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UN Honors Fallen Indian Peacekeepers on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers

UN Honors Fallen Indian Peacekeepers on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers

The United Nations commemorated the International Day of UN Peacekeepers today, paying tribute to the courageous peacekeepers who have served and sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of peace worldwide. The solemn ceremony took place at the UN headquarters, where distinguished guests, including several Permanent Representatives and top UN officials, gathered to honor the fallen peacekeepers and express their gratitude for their invaluable contributions.

At 1000 hours, the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal Ceremony commenced. The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal is the highest honour awarded to UN peacekeepers. It is named after the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold. The medal is awarded to peacekeepers who have distinguished themselves by exceptional courage, devotion to duty, and sacrifice in the cause of peace.

Among the honorees were two Indian peacekeepers who tragically lost their lives while serving under the UN flag last year in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Head Constables Shishupal Singh and Sanwala Ram Vishnoi of the Border Security Force were posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjold Medal for their unwavering dedication and ultimate sacrifice. Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj received the medals from the Secretary-General on behalf of them. In addition, Shaber Taher Ali, employed in a civilian capacity with the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, was also posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjold Medal, which was received by Under-Secretary for Field Support Mr. Atul Khare. Following the medal presentation, the dignitaries respectfully signed the condolence book placed on the stage. The signing marked a solemn moment of remembrance for the fallen heroes.

Following the ceremony, attendees moved to the Delegate's Dining Room, where India hosted a reception inviting more than 200 guests to pay their respects near the Remembrance Board. Highlighting the selfless dedication of UN Peacekeepers, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj expressed, "...India holds the selfless sacrifice of UN Peacekeepers in high esteem. Indeed, more Indian Peacekeepers have fallen under the Blue Flag than any other state.  In this past year, too, three Indian brave hearts have given their lives while protecting their comrades, in the finest tradition of the profession of the arms”. The event was attended by Deputy-Secretary-General Ms. Amina Mohammed, President of the UN General Assembly Mr. Csaba Kőrösi, Mr Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary for Field Support Mr. Atul Khare, Secretary-General's Chef de Cabinet Mr. Courtenay Rattray as well as other high-ranking officials to signify the end of the formal part of the reception.

As one of the largest troop and police contributing countries, India is committed to strengthening UN peacekeeping by supporting measures to address the safety and security of UN peacekeepers and enhancing effective mandate delivery.

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers, observed annually on May 29, commemorates the invaluable contributions of peacekeepers and pays tribute to those who have lost their lives while serving under the United Nations flag. The day recognizes peacekeepers' dedication, professionalism, and bravery worldwide.