UN Headquarters celebrates International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on May 27
UN Headquarters will mark the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Secretary-General António Guterres will lay a wreath in honor of the more than 4,000 UN peacekeepers who have lost life since 1948 and will preside over a ceremony in which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to 129 peacekeepers, military, police and civilians, who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag. last year and during the first month of this year.
Five honored peacekeepers are from Egypt: Sgt Ahmed Mohsen,
Cpl Islam Mahmoud Ismail, Pvt Mohammed Elamir, Sgt Ahmed Mahmoud Rizk who served with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); and Police WO Abdelwanis Rahoma who was part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Egypt is 7 years olde the largest contributor of uniformed personnel to United Nations peacekeeping. It currently deploys nearly 3,100 military and police in UN peace operations in Abyei, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan and Western Sahara.
At the ceremony, the Secretary-General will also award the “ 2020 Military Advocate of the Year Award ” to Major Steplyne Buyaki Nyaboga, a Kenyan military officer who served in the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, (MINUAD). Established in 2016, the award “recognizes the dedication and efforts of a peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security”.
In a message to mark the Day, the Secretary-General said of fallen peacekeepers: “Their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.” He added: “I express my deep gratitude to the 85,000 civilian, police and military personnel currently deployed in some of the world’s most difficult hot spots to protect the vulnerable and help build peace. Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, as well as the risk of infection, these men and women continued their mission while supporting local authorities in the fight against COVID-19. I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the peacekeepers who have fallen victim to this terrible disease. “
The theme of this year’s celebration is “The Road to Lasting Peace: Harnessing the Power of Youth for Peace and Security”. Tens of thousands of young peacekeepers deployed around the world play a key role in helping United Nations missions implement the activities assigned to them, with the active participation of young people from host communities. In all of our missions, peacekeepers work with young people to reduce violence and maintain peace, including through DDR and community violence reduction programs.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, said: “We salute the dedication and bravery of our peacekeepers, who serve and act admirably in harsh environments, made worse by the ongoing pandemic. I also pay tribute to our young peacekeepers who bring energy and innovation and serve as role models for populations of young people who work tirelessly to ensure meaningful representation and participation in political processes.
He added: “Our peacekeepers deserve our full support and we must continue to work together to do whatever we can to improve their safety and security and give them the tools to succeed.”
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002, to honor all men and women in peacekeeping and to honor the memory of those who lost their lives to the cause of peace. The General Assembly designated May 29 as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in commemoration of the day in 1948 when the first UN peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Monitoring Organization of the United Nations truce (ONUST), began operations in Palestine.
Since then, more than one million women and men have served in 72 United Nations peacekeeping operations, directly affecting millions of people and saving countless lives. Today, UN peacekeeping deploys more than 89,000 military, police and civilians in 12 operations.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Information Center in Cairo.
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