UN honours twelve fallen Bangladeshi peacekeepers
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 medals were awarded by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and received by the permanent representatives of the respective countries at an event held in New York on Friday. The programme was organised mark-ing the International Day of the UN Peacekeepers.
Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, permanent representative of Bangladesh to the UN, received the medals on behalf of Bangladesh.
Defense Advisor of the Bangladesh Mission Brig Gen Khan Firoz Ahmed and officials from Bangladesh Army, Navy and police working at the UN Headquarters were also present.
The Bangladesh Mission would make special arrangements to send the medals to the family members of the fallen peacekeepers, said a media re-lease yesterday.
The 12 fallen Bangladeshi peacekeepers are sainiks Arzan Howlader, Md Ripul Miah, Mohammad Rayhan Ali, Mohammad Jamal Uddin, Mohammad Rasheduzzaman, Md Zane Alam, Md Motiar Rahman and Md Monjur Ali, Warrant Officer Mohammad Abul Kalam Azad, Lance Corporal Mohammad Akter Hossain, Lance Corporal Md Mizanur Rahaman and Lieutenant Commander Md Ashraf Siddiqui.
Bangladesh is the second largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping. 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.
So far, 146 peacekeepers from Bangladesh have lost their lives on duty.
On Friday, the UN chief laid floral wreath at the Peacekeepers Memorial Site in the North Lawn of the UN headquarters in honour of all fallen heroes.
He said, “Today, we honour 119 brave men and women who lost their lives while serving the United Nations. Hailing from different backgrounds, our fallen heroes were united in their efforts to help the UN attain its most important objective -- to save future generations from the scourge of war.”
The congregation paid respect to the departed souls by observing a one-minute silence.
The global theme for this year’s commemoration is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace”.
Although the International Day of the UN Peacekeepers was marked at UNHQ on Friday, UN missions and offices around the world will commemorate the day on Wednesday.
The Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 2002 to pay trib-utes to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
The General Assembly designated May 29 as the International Day of UN Peacekeepers in commemoration of the day in 1948 when the UN’s first peacekeeping mission, the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), began operations in Palestine.