Dhaka, May 22 : Twelve fallen peacekeepers from Bangladesh will be honoured by the United Nations on Friday when it will observe the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will lay a wreath to honour all peacekeepers who lost their lives since 1948.
He will preside over a ceremony in which the Dag Hammarskjold Medal will be awarded posthumously to 119 military, police and civilian peacekeepers, who laid down their lives in 2018 and early 2019.
Twelve Bangladeshi peacekeepers will be among those honoured, the UN said in a statement.
They are — SNK Arzan Howlader and SNK Md Ripul Miah who served with UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic; SNK Mohammad Jamal Uddin, WO Mohammad Abul Kalam Azad, SNK Mohammad Rayhan Ali, LCPL Mohammad Akter Hossain, and SNK Mohammad Rasheduzzaman who served with United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali; SNK Md Zane Alam who served with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo; SNK Md Motiar Rahman, SNK Md Monjur Ali, LCPL Md Mizanur Rahaman and LCDR Md Ashraf Siddiqui who served with the UN Mission in South Sudan.
Bangladesh is the second-largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping. It currently deploys more than 6,600 military and police personnel to nine peacekeeping missions in Abyei, CAR, DR Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan and Western Sahara.
While the day will be marked at UNHQ on Friday, UN missions and offices around the world will commemorate the Day on May 29.
During a special ceremony, Secretary-General Guterres will award the ‘Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage’ posthumously to Private Chancy Chitete of Malawi.
The medal is named after a Senegalese peacekeeper killed in Rwanda in 1994 after saving countless civilian lives.
This is the first time the medal will be awarded since the inaugural medal was presented to Captain Diagne’s family in his honour in 2016.
In a video message, Guterres said they honour more than a million men and women who have served as UN peacekeepers since their first mission in 1948.
“We remember the more than 3,800 personnel who paid the ultimate price. And we express our deepest gratitude to the 100,000 civilian, police and military peacekeepers deployed around the world today and to the countries that contribute these brave and dedicated women and men,” he said.
The global theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace’.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, said the UN Peacekeeping deploys to some of the most complex and difficult places, protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable.
“We are working in partnership with Member States to implement the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative to strengthen peacekeeping, including to improve how we protect civilians, which is at the heart of our work. For hundreds of millions, peacekeeping is the last best hope and it needs all our support,” Lacroix said.
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 Organization (UNTSO), began operations in Palestine.