Five slain Indian peacekeepers to be honoured by UN
New York: Five Indians are among over 100 fallen peacekeepers who will be honoured by the UN for their "bravery" during operations last year across the world.
More than 100 blue helmets, who lost their lives in the past months while serving the cause of peace, will be honoured on the International Day of United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers on Wednesday, a UN statement said on Saturday.
In a message to mark the Day, 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."
The UN has named the peacekeepers who died in 2012 and 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 Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Lance Dafadar Ravindera Poonia was killed in Lebanon.
India deployed more than 3,000 troops in UN mission in Congo to help maintain peace in the conflict-ridden country. The country is the third largest contributor of peacekeepers to the UN with 7,795 serving worldwide.
Commemorative activities will be held at UN Headquarters in New York as well as at UN peacekeeping operations and offices around the world.
Paying tributes to the martyrs, Ban 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. 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," the statement said.
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.
The UN Secretary-General 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.
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 operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace, it said.