Dhaka, May 28 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called upon all to work together to make peacekeeping more effective in protecting people and advancing peace.
“UN peacekeeping is a vital investment in global peace and security. But it requires strong international commitment,” he said in a message marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers that falls on May 29.
Today, the UN chief said, they honor more than one million men and women who have served as United Nations peacekeepers since its first mission in 1948. “We remember the more than 3,800 personnel who paid the ultimate price.”
Bangladesh is the second largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping and 146 peacekeepers from Bangladesh have so far lost their lives on duty.
It currently deploys more than 6,600 military and police personnel in nine peacekeeping missions in Abyei, the Central African Re-public, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan and Western Sahara.
On Friday, the United Nations has honoured 12 fallen Bangladeshi peacekeepers who lost their lives on duty in various parts of the world last year.
The UN awarded “Dag Hammarskjold Medal” to 119 fallen peacekeepers from 27 member states. Among them were the 12 Bangladeshis who made supreme sacrifice for global peace.
The UN chief expressed their deepest gratitude to the 100,000 civilian, police and military peacekeepers deployed around the world today, and to the countries that contribute these brave and dedicated women and men.
This year, the United Nations marks 20 years since the Security Council first mandated a peacekeeping mission to protect civilians.
“Peacekeepers protect men, women and children from violence every day, often at great personal risk,” said the UN chief.
In that same spirit, on this International Day, the Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage is being awarded for the first time, the message reads.
“We pay tribute to Private Chancy CHITETE, a Malawian who served in the Democratic Republic of Congo and died trying to save the life of a fellow peacekeeper,” Guterres said.
He said they launched the “Action for Peacekeeping” initiative, which aims to make their missions stronger, safer and fit for the future.
The UN chief said for millions in conflict-affected situations around the world, peacekeeping is a necessity and a hope.
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, May 29, offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilians personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour the peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 98 last year.
The theme for this year’s Day is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace” to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary when for the first time the Security Council explicitly mandated a peacekeeping mission (UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone) to protect civilians.