Universiteit Leiden

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Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace

  • Hester Somsen
woensdag 29 mei 2019
International Conference Center at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Rijnstraat 8
The Hague

"United Nations peacekeeping is a proven investment in global peace, security and prosperity. Together, let us pledge to do all we can to enable that mission to succeed."
— UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Wednesday 29 May is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. Each year on this day honor is given worldwide to all Blue Helmets killed on duty and respect is shown to the work of peacekeepers that are active in UN Peacekeeping Missions. The date marks the day on which the first UN Peace Mission came into being: the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which in 1948 started monitoring the cease-fire agreement in the Arab-Israeli War of that year. Today UNTSO is still active, as are many other UN Peacekeeping Missions.

Currently there are fourteen active UN Peacekeeping Missions, on four continents, with more than 110.000 peacekeepers on active duty from 120 different countries

About the lecture

To celebrate this important day a meeting will be held with a panel discussion with ‘Action for Peacekeeping’ as theme. What has been achieved during UN Peacekeeping Missions? And perhaps more important: What can be improved?

The panel consists of experienced peacekeepers and experts in the field. They will have a debate with each other and the audience about current issues and questions concerning UN Peace Missions.

The panel:

  • Ronald Poetiray, (Ministry of Defense, former dep. chief of staff Operations MINUSMA);
  • Arthur Kibbelaar (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, former political advisor MINUSMA);
  • Ella van den Heuvel (Ministry of Defense, former gender advisor UNIFIL);
  • Welmoet Wels (former civilian expert Protection of Civilians UNMISS).


15:00-15:45 hrs. Student Presentations

15:50-16:00 hrs. Welcome

16:00-16:10 hrs. Opening by Hester Somsen, Director Security Policy (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

16:10-17:00 hrs. Panel discussion and Q&A-sessions

17:00-18:00 hrs. Networking with drinks

For whom?

This event is open to all, and specifically aimed at (Bachelor and Master) students of Leiden University.


Would you like to join this event ? Register now.

Please bring your ID!

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