- United Nations honours 103 military, police, and civilian personnel, including 8 Pakistani peacekeepers, for their service under the UN flag in the previous year.
- The ceremony commemorates the 75th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping and awards the Dag Hammarskjold Medal posthumously to the peacekeepers.
- Secretary-General Antonio Guterres presides over the event, and Ambassador Aamir Khan accepts the awards on behalf of the fallen Pakistani peacekeepers’ families.
The United Nations honoured 103 military, police, and civilian personnel from various countries for their service under the UN flag in the previous year. Among them were 8 Pakistani peacekeepers who sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of peace.
The ceremony, which commemorated the 75th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping, saw the posthumous presentation of the Dag Hammarskjold Medal to these peacekeepers.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres presided over the special event, where Ambassador Aamir Khan, Pakistan’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, accepted the awards on behalf of the fallen Pakistani peacekeepers’ families.
The brave individuals who were posthumously awarded the medal include Havildar Muhammad Ismail, Major Faizan Ali, Lt. Col Asif Ali Awan, Naib Subedar Sami Ullah Khan, Major Muhammad Saad Nomani, and Lance Havildar Muhammad Jamil Khan.
These 6 peacekeepers tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash on March 29, 2022, while serving with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
Additionally, Havildar Babar Siddique, who also served in MONUSCO, and Corporal Rana Muhammad Tahir Islam, who was part of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), were recognized for their sacrifice.
Pakistan currently stands as the 5th-largest contributor to UN peacekeeping, with approximately 4,200 military and police personnel serving in Abyei, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, South Sudan, and Western Sahara.
During the ceremony, the Secretary-General also bestowed the 2022 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award upon Captain Cecilia Erzuah, a military officer from Ghana who served with the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
This prestigious award, established in 2016, acknowledges the dedication and efforts of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Resolution 1325, which focuses on women, peace, and security.
The origins of UN peacekeeping trace back to 1948 when military observers were dispatched to the Middle East to oversee the implementation of 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 participated in 71 operations worldwide. Presently, 87,000 women and men are serving in 12 conflict zones across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
In a formal ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General paid tribute to the over 4,200 UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives since 1948 by laying a wreath.
In his address, the Secretary-General stated, “United Nations peacekeepers are the embodiment of our commitment to a more peaceful world.
Over the past 75 years, they have provided support to communities and individuals affected by conflicts and turmoil across the globe. On this International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we commend their exceptional contributions to international peace and security.”
Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix emphasized the significance of peacekeeping as a demonstration of the strength of partnerships and collective political will, leading to substantial positive change.
Collaborating with local communities and other stakeholders, UN peacekeeping personnel safeguard civilians, facilitate political solutions, and contribute to the resolution of conflicts, ultimately striving for sustainable peace. Lacroix expressed appreciation for the support of all stakeholders in ensuring the effectiveness of UN Peacekeeping as a valuable multilateral tool for global peace and security.
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers, established by the UN General Assembly in 2002, serves as a tribute to all men and women who serve in peacekeeping missions and honours the memory of those who have lost their lives in the pursuit of peace.
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