United Nations honours 117 fallen peacekeepers
Three Bangladeshi peacekeepers along with others who laid down their lives while serving in the UN peacekeeping operations last year have been honoured in a ceremony at its headquarters in New York.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday led a moment of silence to remember the fallen peacekeepers on the occasion of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
The three Bangladeshis are among the 117 peacekeepers from 43 countries who died while serving under the UN flag last year.
The Bangladeshis are: Abul Bashar, a solider of Bangladesh Army, serving in the UN stabilisation mission in Mali made the supreme sacrifice on October 13 last year; constables Motaher Hosen and Samidul Islam of Bangladesh Police, serving in the same mission also died on May 15 that year.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal was awarded to the peacekeepers who have been killed while serving in the cause of peace.
"Those we honour today died while protecting the world's most vulnerable people and supporting countries in making the difficult transition from conflict to peace," the UN secretary general said.
"They are the best of all of us, and we must always pay tribute to their sacrifice that is a demonstration of the courage and generosity that the United Nations needs to present in today's world," he added.
“UN peacekeeping is one of the international community's most effective investments to support peace, security and prosperity. […] While peacekeeping carries a tragically high price in lives lost, it brings enormous returns in lives saved," Guterres said.
“And if there is something that makes the United Nations known all over the world are Blue Helmets,” he said. “Our debt in relation to peacekeepers is something that we will never be able to repay."
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen received medals for the three Bangladeshi peacekeepers, said a press release of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN.
Mission's Defence Adviser Brig Gen Khan Firoz Ahmed and officials of Bangladesh army, navy, airforce and police working at UN headquarters were also present on the occasion, the release added.
Bangladesh first participated in the peacekeeping operations in 1988. Now, it is a major contributor, with 6,815 members, including 5,744 armed forces troops, 999 police and 72 military experts to 10 UN peacekeeping missions around the world.