On International Day of UN Peacekeepers (29 May), we pay tribute to all the uniformed and civilian personnel who have served in UN Peacekeeping operations. This day is an opportunity to commend their invaluable contribution to the Organization’s work, and pay respect to the more than 4,000 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag.

This year’s theme, “The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security”, highlights the vital role of youth in peace processes as acknowledged by resolution 2250 of the UN Security Council. Consisting of five pillars…

The story of Evgenia Chamilou, Cyprus.

Born and raised in Nicosia, Cyprus, Evgenia Chamilou knows firsthand the damaging consequences of conflict. Despite not having lived through war, she is experiencing the devastating outcome of the decades-long conflict, living on a divided island. It was probably this experience that influenced her decision to become a youth peace activist. She admits that being a Cypriot gave her “no other option” than being engaged in peacebuilding and conflict resolution. …

The story of Nanah Kamara

Nanah at the UNMISS office in Juba South Sudan in May 2021. (Photo provided by: Nanah Kamara)

From the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, the Mano River Basin sub-region of West Africa was ravaged by war and violence that started in Liberia, and quickly spread to neighbouring countries. To help restore peace and protect populations throughout West Africa, the UN Security Council deployed a total of six peacekeeping operations across the region from 1993 to 2018.

Among these operations was the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), which was established in 1999 and, to this day, is considered as one of UN Peacekeeping’s biggest success stories. In just six years of…

By Jake Sherman and Albert Trithart

United Nations peace operations are increasingly recognizing strategic communications as essential to implementing their mandates and managing expectations about what they can and cannot achieve. While the use of strategic communications in UN peace operations is not new, it has taken on added importance due to changes in patterns of violence and in the technological landscape. These changes are being exploited by armed groups and other stakeholders to shape perceptions of the political landscape, undermine confidence in missions, and mobilize violence, UN personnel, and other targets. …

By Charalampia Armpounioti

Centre for Equality and Liberty of the LGBT community in Kosovo (CEL) Executive Director, Blert Morina, in Pride parade (Photo: Blert Morina)

UN peacekeeping operations work tirelessly to help countries ravaged by violence and war make the difficult transition from conflict to peace. They also strive to ensure that the rights and safety of all people is guaranteed, focusing particularly on ensuring that the most vulnerable groups in society can enjoy equal rights, benefits and freedom.

Among those vulnerable groups are LGBTQI+ people who are often discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics. Due to deeply entrenched homophobic and transphobic attitudes, they are often victims of severe human rights violations. …

The story of Abdoul Azize Mohamed

By Charalampia Armpounioti

Abdoul Azize Mohamed in action with Malian youth (Photo: Abdoul Azize Mohamed)

Following the adoption of the Security Council resolution 2100 of 25 April 2013, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was established to support political processes in the country and to carry out crucial security-related operations. Since then, the mission has been acting to “facilitate the implementation by Malian actors of a comprehensive politically-led strategy to protect civilians, reduce intercommunal violence and re-establish State authority, State presence and basic social services in Central Mali.”

To ensure the establishment of lasting peace, in any conflict and post-conflict setting, the…

By Charalampia Armpounioti

Motivated by their strong enthusiasm and drive, youth can play an important and positive role in fostering peace in societies impacted by conflict. Youth are also those most deeply affected by violence, making their contribution to building lasting peace even more significant. As underscored by UNSCR 2250, the empowerment of young people is crucial to navigating the difficult path from conflict to peace. Young people’s needs must be addressed, their voices must be amplified and their engagement must be advanced so that they may become active agents of peace.

Exploring how different organisations work to empower youth…

Youth activist, Kessy Martine Ekomo Soignet, talks about youth and peace in the Central African Republic

By Charalampia Armpounioti

(Photo: Kessy Martine Ekomo Soignet)

Plagued by decades of instability and brutal conflict, the Central African Republic is slowly making progress towards improving national peace and security. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), established in 2014 to help the country navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace, has been present supporting the extension of State authority, the deployment of security forces, and the preservation of territorial integrity. …

By Charalampia Armpounioti

Artist in residence workshop in 2021 (Photo: Stephanie Lemesianou)

Challenging common stereotypes that undermine youth’s agency in peace processes and portray young people as violent actors or passive victims, youth organizations and activists around the world are actively working to build peace and prevent violence in their own communities. As acknowledged by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (2015), “youth should actively be engaged in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation, and a large youth population presents a unique demographic dividend that can contribute to lasting peace and economic prosperity if inclusive policies are in place.”


By Charalampia Armpounioti

Living in the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, Samuel Kuol Daniel and Donna Imanya Otome are two 25-year old musicians using their natural talent to advocate for peace and social justice. They both believe that, in a country where more than 70% of the population is under 30 years old, youth can be a driving factor for change, and urge their fellow youth to freely express themselves and speak up for their rights.

(Photo by Donna Imanya Otome)

The early years

Samuel or Maboto Motivated, as he is more widely known in the music scene, was born in Kakuma refugee camp in…

UN Peacekeeping

We help countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace.

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