9 May 2015
United Nations peacekeepers or the “blue helmets” inspire hope for peoples affected by conflicts around the world. Peacekeeping operation is also one of the political tools of the United Nations to help host countries transition from conflict to peace.
Thailand has always committed to the cause of United Nations peacekeeping. Thailand has been a troop-contributing country since 1958. To date, Thai service men and women have served in over twenty United Nations missions:
- Lebanon: United Nations Observer Group in Lebanon (UNOGIL)
- Namibia: United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG)
- Iraq-Kuwait: United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM)
- Iraq: United Nations Guards Contingent in Iraq (UNGCI)
- Cambodia: United Nations Advance Mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC) and United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC)
- South Africa: United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH)
- Sierra Leone: United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL)
- Fiji: United Nations Fijian Electoral Mission (UNFEOM)
- East Timor / Timor-Leste: United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET), International Force in East Timor (INTERFET), UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT)
- Burundi: United Nations Operations in Burundi (ONUB)
- Nepal: United Nations Political Mission in Nepal (UNMIN)
- Sudan: United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)
- Liberia: United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
- Haiti: United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
- Kashmir: United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)
- South Sudan: United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
Thai peacekeepers are trained to understand and respect other cultures and values. Through interaction with the local people, they have provided assistance in community development by sharing best practices on agriculture, water and land management, healthcare and sufficiency economy. This distinctive role of Thai peacekeepers, in particular female peacekeepers, has won praise and proven successful in many United Nations peacekeeping operations including Timor-Leste, Haiti and Darfur.
The contribution of female peacekeepers on the ground cannot be overstated. Their presence helps gain trust and confidence from local women, especially in places where sexual exploitation and abuse are prevalent. As such, Thailand is committed to contribute more female peacekeepers and gender experts to the work of the United Nations.
Thai peacekeepers are currently deployed in 4 peacekeeping missions: UNAMID (Darfur), UNMOGIP (Kashmir), MINUSCA (Central African Republic) and UNMIL (Liberia).