ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing on May 26 dedicated to the 75th anniversary of United Nations Peacekeeping with the participation of the diplomatic corps and representatives of accredited international organizations.
First Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov said UN peacekeepers are vital to peacekeeping and non-violent resolution of conflicts.
“The first UN peacekeeping mission was deployed in the Middle East in 1948. Since then, the UN has conducted 72 peacekeeping operations with more than 2 million military peacekeepers. More than 4,000 of them have given their lives in the name of peace. Today, nearly 87,000 men and women are part of 12 UN peacekeeping missions,” said Umarov.
Kazakhstan has been participating in UN peacekeeping missions since 2014, and it continues to be an important area of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy. Kazakh citizens serve in Lebanon, Mali, the Central African Republic, and Western Sahara.
“During the period as a non-permanent member in the UN Security Council, our country supported the efforts of the UN to increase the effectiveness of peacekeeping,” said Umarov.
Kazcent, the peacekeeping training center in Almaty, has certified three UN peacekeeping courses available to foreign participants.
“These courses are a real contribution of Kazakhstan to increasing the peacekeeping potential of the countries of the region and other states. We continue exploring the possibility of further enhancing peacekeeping activities within the UN,” said the first deputy minister.
Umarov also mentioned Kazakh peacekeepers’ participation in Lebanon as part of the peacekeeping contingent of the Indian Armed Forces, pointing out the excellent results of this hybrid deployment option for peacekeepers.
UN Resident Coordinator for Kazakhstan, Michaela Friberg-Storey, noted the importance of this day to her, as she served as a UN peacekeeper for around 10 years.
“We recognize that peacekeepers protect civilians, advance political solutions, and promote human rights. They also support democratic processes, especially during elections,” she said.
They also help build the capacity of state institutions and ensure that women and youth can meaningfully participate and lead peace processes.
“Peacekeeping is challenging and is needed now as much as then. And it also has to be recognized that peacekeepers are ordinary people trying to achieve extraordinary things,” said Friberg-Storey.
She also highlighted the importance and efforts of Kazakhstan in providing essential peacekeeping training.
The UN Secretary-General laid a wreath at the UN headquarters in New York on May 26 in honor of all the peacekeepers who gave their lives in the service of the UN flag over the past 75 years.
During an online ceremony, the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal was posthumously awarded to the peacekeepers who died in 2021.