13 July 2018 - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative in Ukraine Pablo Mateu took part in the ceremony to honour Ukrainian Peacekeepers, organized today in Kyiv by Social Policy Department of the Kyiv City Administration.

The ceremony was held on the occasion of the Ukrainian Peacekeepers Day, established by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in 2013 and observed annually on July 15. It honours professionalism, dedication and courage of Ukrainian men and women serving in peacekeeping operations, and pays tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Ukraine has actively participated in the UN peacekeeping activities since the very first years of its independence. It has become a significant troop-contributing country, as well as a staunch supporter of the UN peacekeeping operations. Since its independence more than 34 000 Ukrainian “blue helmets” have participated in over 20 operations under UN auspices, bringing peace and security to war-torn regions. The courage of Ukrainian helicopter pilots in the UN Operations in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia showed an example of a new, “strong” UN peacekeeping.

“For 70 years, UN peacekeeping has proven to be one of the international community’s most effective investments in peace, security and prosperity. Peacekeeping has had a positive impact on the lives of millions of people around the world, - said Pablo Mateu, Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ukraine, who represented the United Nations Country Team at the event. - On this 70th anniversary, we express our gratitude to more than one million men and women who have served under the UN flag, saving countless lives, including Ukrainian military, police and civil personnel We honour more than 3,700 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948”.

Pablo Mateu thanked Ukrainian government and servicemen themselves for their continued support and invaluable contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping activities.