International Day of UN Peacekeepers being observed today

International Day of UN Peacekeepers being observed today


Pakistani among 64 UN peacekeepers being honoured posthumously

Follow on
Follow us on Google News

(Web Desk) – The United Nations is set to honour 64 military, police and civilian peacekeepers from around the world who lost their lives serving the UN, including 61 who perished last year, in a special ceremony marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on Thursday (May 30).

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is being observed today (Wednesday) to highlight the role of UN peacekeeping forces for world peace.

The theme for 2024 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Fit for the Future, Building Better Together”.

Among the posthumous recipients of Dag Hammarskjold medals is Muhammad Zafar Abbas, a Pakistani who served in a civilian capacity for the Office of the UN Special Envoy.

The UN Secretary-General will preside over the solemn ceremony in the Trusteeship Council Chamber at UN Headquarters in New York.

Earlier, the UN chief will lay a wreath to honour the more than 4,300 UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives since 1948. This includes 170 Pakistani peacekeepers who embraced martyrdom during Pakistan’s decades-long participation in UN peace operations.

Pakistan is the 5th largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peace operations, with more than 3,800 currently serving in Abyei, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan and Western Sahara.

According to a UN press release, in 1948, the historic decision was made to deploy military observers to the Middle East to supervise the implementation of the Israel-Arab Armistice Agreements, leading to the establishment of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization.

Since then, more than two million peacekeepers from 125 countries have served in 71 operations worldwide.

During formal ceremonies, the secretary-general will also present the 2023 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award to Major Radhika Sen, a military officer from India, who served with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).

Established in 2016, the Award recognises the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security.

In his message, Guterres said, “Today we pay tribute to the more than 76,000 United Nations peacekeepers who embody humanity’s highest ideal: peace. Day in and day out, at great personal risk, these women and men bravely work in some of the most dangerous and unstable places on earth to protect civilians, uphold human rights, support elections, and strengthen institutions. More than 4,300 peacekeepers have paid the ultimate price while serving under the UN flag. We will never forget them.”

The theme for the 2024 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Fit for the future, building better together”.

This theme signifies that while UN Peacekeeping has been part of the solution for over 75 years — assisting host countries in navigating the difficult path from conflict to peace — the Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace policy brief sets out a path for multilateral peace and security operations to remain viable tools to address future crises and conflicts.

“UN Peacekeeping remains a unique global partnership, with peacekeepers from over 120 countries making a meaningful difference every day to millions of people in some of the world’s most difficult places,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations.

“As we respond to tomorrow’s challenges, UN Peacekeeping continues to evolve, leveraging partnerships to be nimble, responsive, and fit-for-purpose, promoting stability, protecting the vulnerable, and helping to build durable peace.”

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers was established by the UN General Assembly in 2002 to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.