The United Nations will honour 129 military, police and civilian personnel, including four Bangladeshi peacekeepers, who lost their lives while in the service of peace during 2017, on June 1.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres will preside over the ceremony to observe the International Day of Peacekeepers at the UN Headquarters in New York, where he will lay a wreath to honour the fallen peacekeepers and will also officiate at a ceremony to posthumously present the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal to them.
The four Bangladeshi peacekeepers are Private Md Monowar Hossain, Sergeant Md Altaf Hossin, Lance Corporal Md Jakirul Alam Sarkar, who lost their lives while serving with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and Private Md Abdur Rahim who served with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Bangladesh is the 2nd largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping. It currently deploys more than 6,990 military and police personnel to the UN operations in the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon Mali, Sudan, South Sudan and Western Sahara.
More than 96,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop- and-police-contributing countries serve under the blue flag, alongside more than 15,000 international and national civilian staff and nearly 1,600 United Nations Volunteers.
The UN will commemorate the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on Tuesday, May 29.
This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of UN Peacekeeping, the flagship enterprise of the Organization described by the secretary-general as “a proven investment in global peace, security and prosperity.”
In his message to mark the Day, Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his solidarity with the peacekeepers who are facing high casualties and enormous volatility.
“We express our gratitude to the more than one million men and women who have served under the UN flag, saving countless lives. We honour the more than 3,700 blue helmets who have paid the ultimate price over the past seven decades. And we pay tribute to the 14 peacekeeping missions working around the clock to protect people and advance the cause of peace,” Guterres said.
“As we recognize a legacy of service and sacrifice around the world, I am also committed to taking Action for Peacekeeping — action to make our operations more effective and safer in today’s challenging environments,” he added.
“Our peacekeepers – civilian, police, men and women, military personnel – save lives every day. Today, we honour those who have sacrificed their lives in service to peace. Their service and sacrifice inspires us to work harder to support a sustainable peace in some of the world’s most complex and challenging places,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, under-secretary-general for UN Peacekeeping Operations.
The General Assembly established the International Day of UN Peacekeepers in 2002 to pay tribute 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 Assembly designated May 29 as the Day because it was the date in 1948 when the first UN peacekeeping mission -- the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization -- began operations in the Middle East.