On International Day of UN Peacekeepers we pay tribute to the invaluable work of peacekeepers and honour those who have lost their lives while on duty. The EU works closely with the UN on peacekeeping and civilian, police and military crisis management, to enhance security both inside and outside the EU. The EU and the UN also aim to increase participation of women in peace operations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges and threats faced by peacekeepers are even greater than ever, as they are not only having to cope with the pandemic, but also with supporting and protecting the people in the countries they are based in.
Even in these difficult times with the Coronavirus outbreak, the EU is taking important decisions to bolster its engagement in the world. EU Member States have decided yesterday to launch a new CSDP crisis management operation in the Mediterranean Sea, called EUNAVFOR MED IRINI. Operation Irini is the EU’s latest military operation that has the key aim to contribute to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya and to promoting peace in our neighbourhood. This is a tangible way in which the EU is helping to end the long-running conflict in Libya, right on the EU’s doorstep.