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UN honours fallen heroes at Peacekeepers’ Day


UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

The United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, said that UN peacekeeper heroes have manifested the best attributes of global solidarity, courageously serving in dangerous environments to provide security to some of the world’s most vulnerable.

He said this in New York yesterday in a message to commemorate the International Day of Peacekeepers.

“The confidence that the world places in United Nations peacekeeping is reflected in its massive growth in recent years, in terms of both numbers and complexity,” he said.

“On this International Day of UN Peacekeepers, we honour our heroes – the more than one million men and women who have served under the UN flag with pride, distinction and courage since the first deployment in 1948. And we pay our highest tribute to the more than 3,400 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while in service during that period,” he noted.

“Fifteen years ago, the UN had fewer than 40,000 military and police personnel. Today, more than 105,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop- and police-contributing countries serve under the blue flag, along with 18,000 international and national civilian staff and UN Volunteers,” he noted.

Ban commended that over the past year, the ‘Blue Helmets’ deployed across 16 peacekeeping operations around the world had saved countless lives, advanced peace and inspired hope.

“In South Sudan, more than 200,000 civilians who feared for their lives sought shelter at UN bases. In the Central African Republic, peacekeepers successfully supported landmark presidential and legislative elections that have set the once deeply troubled country on a path to peace and stability. Peacekeepers have confronted armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and disarmed ex-combatants.”

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