Press Release


29 May 2024

UNIFIL today marked the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, an annual event to honour the commitment and sacrifice of women and men serving for peace around the world. 

On this day, UNIFIL normally hosts a gathering of peacekeepers; national, local, and religious officials; and members of the Lebanese Armed Forces and other security agencies at our Naqoura headquarters. The mission did not hold an event today due to the security situation and the ongoing exchanges of fire in the south. 

“UNIFIL peacekeepers from 49 countries are on the ground in our area of operations, focused on preventing escalation of the fighting and avoiding an all-out war,” said Head of Mission and Force Commander Lieutenant General Aroldo Lázaro. “I am proud of the men and women who continue to carry out their mandated tasks in such difficult conditions, amidst ongoing exchanges of fire.” 

Peacekeepers continue to perform their duties to help implement UN Security Council Resolution 1701. At the same time, they are also supporting communities and residents, ensuring humanitarian access to those most affected, providing shelter when civilians are caught in the crossfire and assisting communities in the South with medical, dental, veterinary, and educational assistance, and ensuring humanitarian access to the most affected.  

“The death and destruction we have seen on both sides of the Blue Line is heartbreaking,” said Lieutenant General Lázaro. “Too many lives have been lost and disrupted. Thousands of people remain displaced and have lost their homes and their livelihoods. As peacekeepers, we recommit each day to our work to restore stability. We urge all parties and all actors to cease their fire, recommit to Resolution 1701, and begin the work towards a diplomatic solution, which is the only way to bring a return of stability and resolve this situation.” 

Peacekeepers’ Day is a day to remember the sacrifices of the men and women serving for peace, UNIFIL’s Head of Mission and Force Commander noted. 

“As we mourn those who have fallen for the cause of peace – including Malaysian Sergeant Faridah Abd Rahman, who passed away just a few days ago – we are grateful for their contributions, which will not be forgotten,” said the UNIFIL head. 

Almost 4,400 UN peacekeepers have lost their lives in missions around the world since 1948. Over 330 of these men and women served with UNIFIL. 

In 2002, 29 May was designated as the International Day of UN Peacekeepers to honour the professionalism, dedication, and courage of the military and civilian peacekeepers serving in UN peacekeeping operations, and to remember those who lost their lives for the cause of peace. The date was chosen to commemorate the establishment of the first peacekeeping mission, the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which has more than 50 observers currently working with UNIFIL in south Lebanon.

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon

Goals we are supporting through this initiative