United Nations Peacekeeping Forces is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

As The Korean War entered a cease-fire in 1953, UN forces remained along the south side of demilitarized zone until 1967, when American and South Korean forces took over.

Returning its attention to the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the United Nations responded to Suez Crisis of 1956, a war between the alliance of the United Kingdom, France, and Israel, and Egypt, which was supported by other Arab nations. When a ceasefire was declared in 1957, Canadian diplomat (and future Prime Minister) Lester Bowles Pearson suggested that the United Nations station a peacekeeping force in the Suez in order to ensure that the ceasefire was honored by both sides. Pearson had initially suggested that the force consist of mainly Canadian soldiers, but the Egyptians were suspicious of having a Commonwealth nation defend them against the United Kingdom and her allies. In the end, a wide variety of national forces were drawn upon to ensure national diversity. Pearson would win the Nobel Peace Prize for this work, and he is today considered a father of modern peacekeeping.

In 1988 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the United Nations peacekeeping forces. The press release stated that the forces "represent the manifest will of the community of nations" and have "made a decisive contribution" to the resolution of conflict around the world.

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces is unfortunately a reminder to us that peace is not a matter of course here in our world. Peace has to be actively protected - and this protection has its price. 733 young people have sacrificed their lives in the service of the particular form of peacekeeping which is under consideration here.