Foreign Minister Baerbock today joined Interior Minister Faeser and Defence Minister Pistorius to honour nine peacekeepers: three civilian experts, three police officers and three soldiers.
The three ministries have jointly celebrated the Day of the Peacekeeper since 2013 as a way of paying tribute to the work of all Germans deployed as part of international peace missions and thanking them and their families for their efforts, which often involve challenging working and living conditions.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the Day of the Peacekeeper, the ceremony was for the first time held in the German Bundestag, the place where Germany’s crisis engagement is debated and foreign deployments of the Bundeswehr are decided.
This year the award was presented to peacekeepers who are serving or have served in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iraq, the Niger, the Palestinian territories, Ukraine, the Sudan, South Sudan and Turkey.
Their tasks are just as varied as the places where they work, from providing military protection for the civilian population and monitoring conflict parties in the region, to planning training for young peacekeepers, to promoting the rule of law and offering gender-specific counselling.
Women take on important roles in peacekeeping – both within the missions that they serve and for the societies in whose midst they work. To underline their contribution to international peacekeeping, this year’s celebration focuses on the topic of Women, Peace and Security. Women from Germany remain underrepresented in peacekeeping, making up only one in seven of all deployed personnel.
Germany is also the fourth-largest contributor to the overall UN peacekeeping budget and the second-largest contributor to OSCE field operations, covering 6% and 12% of total funding respectively. In addition, it makes the biggest contribution of any EU member state, around 25% of the total, to financing civilian and military missions and operations under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, and also participates in NATO operations and missions.