Peace is not just a dream

UN peacekeepers with their blue helmets are the most visible symbols of the UN’s peace efforts. The peacekeepers, soldiers drawn voluntarily from various national armies, fulfil the role of an impartial third party. They help create and maintain a ceasefire and form a buffer zone between parties in conflict. Their presence helps make the search for peaceful settlement of conflict through diplomatic channels possible. As peacekeepers maintain peace on the ground, mediators from the United Nations meet with leaders from the disputing parties or countries and try to reach a peaceful solution.

 

Modern-day peacekeeping is more than maintaining peace and security. Peacekeepers are increasingly involved with assisting in political processes, reforming justice systems, training law-enforcement and police forces, disarming former combatants and clearing land mines.

 

In 2005, the International Atomic Energy Agency and its Director General Mohamed El Baradei were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This was the ninth time the UN was honoured by the Nobel Committee with the peace award. Previous winners were: UN and Kofi Annan (2001), UN Peacekeeping Forces (1988), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (1954 & 1981), International Labour Organization (1969), UN Children’s Fund (1965), Dag Hammarskjöld (1961) and Ralph Bunche (1950).