Two Bangladeshi peacekeepers, who embraced martyrdom in the line of duty, will be honoured at a United Nations ceremony as the UN Headquarters will observe the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on Friday, May 29.
The two Bangladeshis are: Private Atiqul Islam, who served with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic, and Police Constable Md Omar Farouk, who was deployed with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali, according to a press release of the UN Information Centre Dhaka issued today.
Bangladesh is the second largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping. The country currently contributes more than 6,400 military and police personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Sudan and South Sudan, it said.
Marking the day, UN Secretary General António Guterres will lay a wreath to honour all UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives since 1948. He will also preside over a ceremony at which the "Dag Hammarskjöld Medal" will be awarded posthumously to the 83 military, police and civilian peacekeepers who lost their lives in 2019.
The UN secretary general will also award the "2019 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award" to Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo, a Brazilian naval officer serving with the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Maj Suman Gawani from India who served in UN Mission in South Sudan.
"Today we honor more than one million men and women who have served as United Nations peacekeepers and the more than 3,900 who have lost their lives in the line of duty. We also express our gratitude to the 95,000 civilian, police and military personnel currently deployed around the world. They are facing one of the greatest challenges ever: delivering on their peace and security mandates while helping countries to address the Covid-19 pandemic," António Guterres said in a video message to mark the UN Peacekeepers' Day.
"The theme of this year's observance -- Women in Peacekeeping -- highlights their central role in our operations. Women often have greater access in the communities we serve, enabling us to improve the protection of civilians, promote human rights and enhance overall performance yet, women continue to represent only six percent of uniformed military, police, justice and corrections personnel in field missions. As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, we must do more to achieve women's equal representation in all areas of peace and security," the UN secretary general added.
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly 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 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 Organisation, began its operations.