International Peacekeepers' Day is for honouring, not protesting

May 24, 2016 — On May 25th, at the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, a wreath-laying ceremony will honour the memory of peacekeepers who have died in the service of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations around the world.

The ceremony is attached to a conference on peacekeeping, organized around the time of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on May 29th.

We have learned that a group of protestors intends to disrupt the conference by drawing attention to recent sexual exploitation and abuse committed by UN and non-UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic and beyond.

Code Blue absolutely dissociates itself from the actions of the protestors. There is a time and a place for protest. The day to acknowledge and memorialize peacekeepers is most emphatically not one of them.

Code Blue will continue its campaign to end impunity for sexual exploitation or abuse by UN peacekeeping personnel. But we do so because we support international peacekeeping and respect all those who have served with courage and principle. UN peacekeeping is one of the finest dimensions of multilateralism. Code Blue will not be a part of any attempt, no matter the motivation, to sully the service of peacekeepers or the memories of those who have given their lives for the cause of world peace.


(Photo credit: UN Photo / Mark Garten)