Three Indians died during UN peacekeeping ops to be honoured



United Nations: Three Indian security personnel who laid down their lives during UN peacekeeping operations last year will be among 112 peacekeepers to be honoured for their sacrifice at a ceremony here next week.

The UN will commemorate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on May 29 during which 112 blue helmets who were killed in the various operations across the world will be remembered and honoured.

The three Indians to be honoured are: Rifleman Lundup Gailpo who died March 24, 2011 while serving in Lebanon, Major Jaidev Singh Guleria who was killed on October 7 while serving with the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo and police constable Pritam Singh, who lost his life on August 6, 2011 also in Congo.

"I am deeply grateful for every contribution of troops and police, as well as for the financial and material resources that make peacekeeping possible," UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon said in a message marking the Day.

"This Day is also a time to mourn fallen peacekeepers. In 2011, 112 men and women died devoting their lives to peace. In the first four months of this year, another 27 peacekeepers have died while serving the United Nations," he said in the statement.

The ceremony marking the annual International Day of UN Peacekeepers would also pay tribute to the more than 120,000 military, police and civilians currently serving worldwide under the blue flag.

Ban said 116 Member States contribute military and police personnel the operations, reflecting growing global confidence in the value of United Nations peacekeeping as a tool for collective security.

The International Day for UN peacekeepers was established by the UN General Assembly in 2002 to pay tribute to men and women serving in UN 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.

The 193-member body designated May 29 as the day, as it was the date in 1948 when the first UN peacekeeping mission, the UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), began operations in Palestine.

India is currently the third largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping, with more than 8,100 uniformed personnel serving in nine operations - in Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, the Middle East, South Sudan, and Timor-Leste.

PTI