The Origin of the Blue Berets of UN Peacekeeping Forces

The United Nations peacekeeping Force was established in 1956 during the Suez crisis as a special cross-border force established in accordance with relevant UN resolutions. Un peacekeeping began in June 1948, when the Security Council authorized the deployment of UN military observers in the Middle East. Appointed by the United Nations General Assembly or the Security Council, it is active in areas of international conflict. The mission is mandated to oversee the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbours-an operation known as the United Nations truce Supervision Organization.

Since then, the United Nations has deployed 69 peacekeeping operations, 56 of which have been in operation since 1988. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel and tens of thousands of United Nations police officers, as well as civilian personnel from more than 120 countries, have participated in United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Peacekeepers wear sky-blue helmets or blue berets, with the UN acronym “UN” and armbands emblazoned with “Earth and olive branches.” Personnel participating in United Nations peace-keeping forces must be sent to training centres in the four Nordic countries for special training in order to familiarize themselves with the functions, purposes, tasks and special military training of peacekeeping forces.

In November 1956, the United Nations deployed the United Nations Emergency Force in the Suez Canal area, whose mission was to create conditions for the settlement of the conflict in the Middle East. The peacekeeping force consists of Canada, Colombia, Denmark, India, Norway, Sweden, Finland and others. Their pressing task is to create a symbol of peace that distinguishes the uniforms of the army that invaded Egypt at the time.

As we know, the first United Nations Emergency Force completed the task given to them by the international family, and the Suez canal crisis was successfully solved. However, the force also paid a heavy price, 107 people died and never returned to their homeland.

Since then, blue berets and helmets have been more than a symbol of peace. The dress of peacekeepers was photographed by reporters on the cover of books and on television news. At this point, the United Nations peacekeeping force known as the “blue berets” or “blue helmets.”

It has become a ritual to introduce green berets to new members whenever a country participates in a UN peacekeeping operation for the first time. The picture below shows the Soviet Union sending military observers for the first time to oversee the fourth Arab-Israeli war in November 1973. UNTSO’s Irish Army colonel (left front) presented a blue beret to the Soviet colonel (front right).

In order to distinguish nationality, the soldiers of peacekeeping forces wear blue berets representing the United Nations. In order to distinguish nationality, they usually wear round blue armbands of UN peacekeeping forces on their right arm and armbands representing nationality on their left arm. On the left is the armband worn by Soviet military observers, and in the middle by the uniform United Nations armband worn by peacekeepers. On the right is the armband of the Russian army’s international presence.

In February 1975, some former Soviet military observers were photographed in Giza, Egypt. Note that they wore Soviet military observer armbands and blue berets on their left arm.

April 1992, Yugoslavia, United Nations peacekeeping Force, Russian Task Force

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