Australia honours decades of peacekeepers

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Australians are being asked to remember members of the military, police and civilians who have served as peacekeepers around the world for more than 70 years.

Known as the Blue Berets, the men and women are being honoured on International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Saturday.

More than 4000 have died serving under the UN flag since 1947, including 16 Australians in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Others have suffered injury and trauma.

"Today we honour their memory and thank all those who have served in UN operations," Veterans' Affairs Minister Darren Chester said.

"You have made, and continue to make, a valuable contribution to the world."

Peacekeeping duties include clearing landmines, monitoring ceasefires, treating casualties, and supporting humanitarian aid and democratic elections.

Major General Cheryl Pearce completed her tenure as the force commander of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus this year, where she was in charge of more than 800 staff from 15 nations.

There are 23 Australians deployed on UN peacekeeping missions around the world, including in South Sudan, the Middle East and Mali.

Australians have served in 50 multinational peacekeeping operations, most recently in Afghanistan, Palestine and South Sudan.

Australia also played an important role in the formation of the UN.

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