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Indian peacekeeper to be honoured posthumously with prestigious UN medal for sacrifice in line of duty

Naik Dhananjay Kumar Singh, who served with the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will be honoured posthumously,
Last Updated : 28 May 2024, 12:41 IST
Last Updated : 28 May 2024, 12:41 IST

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United Nations: An Indian peacekeeper who lost his life serving under the UN flag is among over 60 military, police and civilian peacekeepers to be honoured posthumously with a prestigious medal here for their service and supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.

Naik Dhananjay Kumar Singh, who served with the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), will be honoured posthumously with the Dag Hammarskjold medal during a solemn ceremony on May 30 when the UN commemorates the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, a press release issued by the UN said on Tuesday.

India is the second largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping. It currently deploys more than 6,000 military and police personnel to the UN operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, the Middle East, Somalia, South Sudan, and Western Sahara.

Nearly 180 Indian peacekeepers have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, the highest number by far from any troop-contributing country.

During formal ceremonies at the United Nations Headquarters on May 30, Secretary-General António Guterres will lay a wreath at the Peacekeepers Memorial Site on the North Lawn to honour all UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives since 1948.

He will also preside over a ceremony during which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medals will be awarded posthumously to 64 military, police, and civilian peacekeepers, who lost their lives serving under the UN flag, including 61 who died last year.

In his message to mark Peacekeepers’ Day, Guterres said the world organisation pays tribute to the more than 76,000 United Nations peacekeepers who embody humanity’s highest ideal: peace.

"Day in and day out, at great personal risk, these women and men bravely work in some of the most dangerous and unstable places on earth to protect civilians, uphold human rights, support elections and strengthen institutions,” he said, noting that more than 4,300 peacekeepers have paid the ultimate price while serving under the UN flag. “We will never forget them.”

The press release said that in 1948, the historic decision was made to deploy military observers to the Middle East to supervise the implementation of Israel-Arab Armistice Agreements, in what became the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation.

Since then, more than two million peacekeepers from 125 countries have served in 71 operations around the world. Today, about 76,000 women and men are serving in 11 conflict zones across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

The theme for the 2024 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is ‘Fit for the future, building better together’, denoting that while UN Peacekeeping has proven to be part of the solution for over 75 years -- assisting host countries in navigating the difficult path from conflict to peace -- the Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace policy brief sets out a path for multilateral peace and security operations to remain viable tools to address future crises and conflict.

“UN Peacekeeping remains a unique global partnership, with peacekeepers from over 120 countries making a meaningful difference every day to millions of people in some of the world's most difficult places,” Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said.

“As we respond to tomorrow's challenges, UN Peacekeeping continues to evolve, leveraging partnerships to be nimble, responsive and fit-for-purpose, promote stability, protect the vulnerable and help to build a durable peace,” he said.

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers, marked on May 29, was established by the UN 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.

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Published 28 May 2024, 12:41 IST

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