The United Nations marks the International Day of UN Peacekeepers every year on May 29 and it serves as an occasion to pay tribute to the contribution civilian and uniformed personnel have made to the organization. More than 4,000 peacekeepers have died since 1948 and the undertaking remains dangerous in the 21st century, particularly given the rise of groups such as the Islamic State and Boko Haram. Last year, 130 peacekeepers died serving under the UN flag.
It is important to mention that while May 29 serves as a chance to pay tribute to UN peacekeepers, there are many other active peacekeeping operations ongoing across the world. In fact, the largest mission globally as of May 2021 is actually the responsibility of the African Union. That is AMISOM or the African Union Mission in Somalia which has been ongoing since February 2007. According to SIPRI's Multilateral Peace Operations Database, 19,384 peacekeepers are part of the mission which aims to create secure channels for humanitarian aid to Somalia, as well as combatting Al-Shabaab militants.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is currently the second largest active peackeeping mission with just over 17,000 military personnel involved. It was established in July 2011 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1996 to support recently independent South Sudan. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali or MINUSMA is the third largest peacekeeping operation as of May 2021 with 15,000 personnel.