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27. June 2024

Interministerial ceremony to mark German “Peacekeeping Day”

As in previous years, several members of the Advisory Board took part in the interministerial ceremony for "Peacekeeping Day", organized by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, to pay tribute to peacekeepers and emphasize the important role of civilian actors and preventive approaches.

“Peacekeeping is and remains an essential political instrument precisely because it combines the civilian and preventive approaches. It thus effectively takes into account the primacy of crisis prevention, to which the German government has also committed itself in the National Security Strategy. Prevention is less financially burdensome than any subsequently following repressive measures and helps to create and maintain security, reduce suffering and tackle the root causes, e.g. of displacement and flight, and thus also breaks chain-linking of crises in advance,” explained the co-chair of the Advisory Board, Lars Wagner.

In her speech, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also emphasized that “security is more than the absence of war and threats. We cannot create sustainable security with military means alone. That is why peacekeeping is more relevant than ever, even at this turning point of the “Zeitenwende”. Our budgetary situation is not more important than the security of our friends and partners. We lack the necessary resources. We want to change that.”

In this context, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius emphasized that the personnel involved in foreign missions should not experience disadvantages, but advantages regarding their careers and professional paths. Appropriate measures are currently being worked on. The Co-Chairman of the Advisory Board, Lars Wagner, welcomed these clarifying statements.

Every year, police officers, soldiers and civilian experts – representing all Germans who work in international peace missions – have been recognized and honored annually under the motto “Commitment to Peace”. In addition to honoring this year’s laureates, the focus was on meeting and exchanging ideas with peacekeepers and practitioners.

This year, peacekeepers serving in Lebanon (UNIFIL United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), South Sudan (UNMISS United Nations Mission in South Sudan), the Specialized International Tribunal for the Central African Republic, Armenia (EUMA), Kosovo (UNMIK United Nations Mission in Kosovo) and Somalia (EUCAP EU Capacity Building Mission Somalia) were honoured. Three soldiers, three civilian experts and three police officers were honored.

Central to peacekeeping is an understanding of integrated security and integrated peace missions. Civilian and military peacekeeping missions are a core element of German foreign and security policy and make peacekeeping a cross-cutting civil-military task if it is to have an integrated and sustainable effect. It therefore tackles crises with a whole-of-society approach and makes an important contribution to crisis prevention, the priority which is enshrined in many German foreign policy strategy papers.

For over ten years, the three ministries have jointly celebrated Peacekeeping Day to express their appreciation and gratitude for all German peacekeepers who carry out their work worldwide, often under difficult living and working conditions. Germany participates substantially in international peacekeeping missions, both in terms of personnel, within the framework of international organizations, as well as financially, and thus assumes responsibility for peace and security worldwide.