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United Nations Medals - The United Nations Medal

Obverse View

The United Nations Medal  obverse view

Reverse View

The United Nations Medal  reverse view

Note: The United Nations Medal above is shown with the ribbon for the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM). The 28 distinctive ribbons for the 36 United Nation missions recognised by the United Nations Medal on which New Zealand personnel have served can be viewed here.

About the United Nations Medal

Initially the United Nations struck different medals or issued specific clasps for service in different United Nations missions. In 1966 a policy of issuing a standard United Nations Medal with different coloured mission ribbons was adopted. Some (related) missions utilise the same distinctive ribbon. The standard United Nations Medal uses the same obverse and reverse as the UNTSO Medal and the UNMOGIP Medal. No clasps have been issued by the United Nations since 1966.

The Sovereign has given approval for New Zealand military personnel and New Zealand civilian police to accept and wear the United Nations Medal for service in approved United Nations missions. Details about the 36 United Nations missions recognised by the United Nations Medal on which New Zealand personnel have served, and the 28 distinctive ribbons for these missions are included on the NZDF Medals site. A list of all United Nations missions and their ribbons can be found on the Medals of the World website. Further details on each on these missions can be found on the United Nations website and on the Canadian Forces website.

The medal is bronze with an image of the globe (centred on the North Pole) surrounded by a wreath of leaves on the front (obverse). The letters ‘UN’, in capitals, sit above the image of the globe. On the reverse are the words "IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE".  The same medal design, with a different ribbon, is used for the United Nations Special Service Medal.

Medal Regulations

The Regulations for the United Nations Medal can be viewed here.

Clasps and Bars

Except for a few specific missions in the early 1960s (ONUC - Congo) and 1988-1990 (UNGOMAP and OSGAP - both in Afghanistan and Pakistan) no clasps or bars are worn on the United Nations Medal.

Numerals

Silver numerals worn on the medal ribbon are awarded to denote additional periods of service with the same mission. The silver numerals are attached to the appropriate medal ribbon for the full-size medal, miniature medal and when ribbons alone are worn. (Note: Ribbons alone are usually only worn by serving uniformed personnel).

Order of Wear

An example of the position of the United Nations Medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.  The position of wear of each United Nations Medal for each individual will vary depending on when an individual qualified for each specific United Nations Medal.  As for Campaign and War medals, United Nations medals are worn in order of the date an individual qualified for each award.

Recipients of New Zealand Gallantry Awards for their actions in East Timor while serving on a United Nations mission

      Awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Star

      Awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration

Awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Medal

Recipients of New Zealand Gallantry Awards for their actions while serving on other United Nations missions recognised by the United Nations Medal

Awarded the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration

Media statements or NZDF feature stories concerning service by New Zealand personnel on United Nations missions recognised by the United Nations Medal