UN to honour five Indian peacekeepers who were killed

United Nations, May 25 (IANS) UN will honour over 100 UN peackeepers, including five Indians, who were killed.

The International Day of United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers will be observed Wednesday to honour over 100 Blue Helmets (peacekeepers) deployed around the world, a UN statement said Saturday.

In a message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “One hundred and eleven peacekeeping personnel died last year and more than 3,100 have lost their lives in the UN’s 65-year history of peacekeeping. We salute their bravery and mourn their passing.”

Among the peacekeepers who died in 2012, five are from India.

Subedar Jagdish Chand, Naik Krishan Kumar, Naik Dharam Pal Saini and Lance Havlidar Rajinder Singh lost their lives serving with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Lance Dafadar Ravindera Poonia was killed in Lebanon.

Commemorative activities will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York as well as at UN peacekeeping operations and offices around the world.

Ban Ki-Moon said: “To meet emerging threats and rise to new challenges, United Nations peacekeeping is adapting its policies to better fulfil its mandates to bring lasting peace to war-torn countries.”

He added: “While we welcome these advances, we acknowledge that peacekeeping will always carry risks.”

There are nearly 80,000 military personnel, 12,500 police officers, 17,000 international civilian and national staff serving in 15 peacekeeping operations on four continents.

India is the third largest contributor of peacekeepers to the UN with 7,795 serving worldwide.

To honour the fallen peacekeepers and those who continue to serve in the cause of peace, there will be several events at the UN headquarters in New York.

Ban Ki-moon will oversee a solemn wreath-laying ceremony in honour of all fallen peacekeepers.

He will also address a ceremony at which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to 103 military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations in 2012, including the five from India.

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