Indian Peacekeeper to Receive Posthumous U.N. Medal

Image credit: Reuters

Naik Dhananjay Kumar Singh, an Indian peacekeeper who served valiantly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will be posthumously awarded the prestigious Dag Hammarskjöld Medal on May 30, coinciding with the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

India stands as a significant contributor to UN Peacekeeping efforts, with over 6,000 military and police personnel currently deployed in various missions worldwide. The sacrifice of nearly 180 Indian peacekeepers underscores the nation’s unwavering commitment to global peacekeeping endeavors.

During the solemn ceremony on May 30, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will pay tribute to all fallen peacekeepers at the Peacekeepers Memorial Site at the UN Headquarters. Among those honored will be Naik Dhananjay Kumar Singh, along with 64 other peacekeepers who made the ultimate sacrifice, including 61 who lost their lives last year.

In his message commemorating Peacekeepers’ Day, Mr. Guterres lauded the courage and dedication of the more than 76,000 UN peacekeepers, who courageously serve in some of the world’s most perilous regions, safeguarding civilians, upholding human rights, and facilitating democratic processes. He acknowledged the profound loss of over 4,300 peacekeepers who laid down their lives in service under the UN flag.

The origins of UN peacekeeping trace back to 1948, with the deployment of military observers to the Middle East. Since then, over two million peacekeepers from 125 nations have participated in 71 missions worldwide. Presently, approximately 76,000 peacekeepers operate in 11 conflict zones across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

The theme for the 2024 International Day of UN Peacekeepers, “Fit for the Future, Building Better Together,” underscores the enduring relevance of peacekeeping in navigating societies from conflict to stability.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, emphasized the transformative impact of UN Peacekeeping as a global partnership, promoting stability, protecting the vulnerable, and fostering durable peace.

Established by the UN General Assembly in 2002, the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on May 29 serves as a poignant reminder of the selfless dedication and sacrifice of peacekeepers worldwide in the pursuit of peace and security.

Re-reported from the article originally published in THE HINDU.

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