United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) on Thursday announced the launch of an online archive of the Blue Beret Magazine, documenting the history and events of the mission from its beginning in 1964 to the present day.
The Blue Beret Magazine is well-known by military, police and civilian peacekeepers who have served within the Mission over the years.
"The 50th anniversary of UNFICYP is a chance to pay tribute to more than 100,000 troops and police from 32 different countries who have served the cause of peace in Cyprus," said UNFICYP spokesperson Michel Bonnardeaux.
"It is therefore fitting that we mark the occasion with the launch of a digital archive of this iconic publication that has served the UN peacekeepers in Cyprus for five decades," he added.
UNFICYP has issued over 1,000 separate editions of the Blue Beret and the magazine has undergone several facelifts and editorial evolutions. It was first published as a weekly newsletter on May 20, 1964.
"Its chief aim was to provide information and a morale boost to the multinational force serving far from home here in Cyprus. To this end its early editions included articles in at least nine different languages, from Danish to Gaelic," Bonnardeaux said
As an archival collection, the Blue Beret back-catalogue offers a fascinating insight into Mission life and the history of the United Nations' involvement in Cyprus.
"The issues from the 1960s and 70s in particular are a rich source of historical information, reflecting developments here on the island as well as recounting the UN's involvement in international conflicts from Suez to Cambodia," the spokesperson added.
Now published bi-monthly, the Blue Beret in 2014 continues to function as an internal communication tool.
"These days, the Blue Beret also provides important information for reinforcing United Nations priorities such as women in peacekeeping, mine awareness and sustainability," Bonnardeaux said.
"For troops and police serving with the UN for the first time, it is a window onto the UN values that shape the organisation's deep commitment to peacekeeping."