The United Nations has awarded eight fallen peacekeepers from Bangladesh posthumously with ‘Dag Hammarskjöld Medal’.
At a virtual ceremony on the occasion of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers held in UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, some 129 fallen peacekeepers from 44 nations received this symbol of the ultimate sacrifice. The peacekeepers lost their lives while rendering duties in different UN Peacekeeping operations in 2020.With a focus for this year’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers on youth, peace and security, the UN chief told the commemorative ceremony on Thursday that “peace cannot be achieved without the active participation of young people”. “We salute the dedication and bravery of all our peacekeepers – women and men, the young and the slightly older – and we remain grateful for their service and sacrifice,” underscored the UN chief. “They deserve our full support, and we must continue to work together to do all that we can to improve their safety and security and give them the tools to succeed.”
After a moment of silence, the UN chief conducted the traditional Dag Hammarskjöld Medal Ceremony, posthumously awarding the 129 blue helmets who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag last year and this January.
Among the 129, eight were Bangladeshi peacekeepers, which is the highest from any single country this year, said the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations on Friday.
This medal commemorates the strength, purity, and fragility of the lives lost in the cause of peace.
The eight fallen Bangladeshi peacekeepers awarded with the ‘Dag Hammarskjöld Medal’ are Warrant Officer Abdul Md Halim from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali, Warrant Officer Md Saiful Imam Bhuiyan from United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lance Corporal Md Abdulla Al Mamun from United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), Sergeant Md Ziaur Rahman from MONUSCO of DRC, Sergeant Md Mobarak Hussain from MONUSCO of DRC, Sergeant Mohammad Ibrahim from MINUSCA, Lance Corporal Md Saiful Islam from MONUSCO of DRC and Washerman Nurul Amin from UNMISS of South Sudan.
The Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Rabab Fatima received the medals on behalf of Bangladesh. The Permanent Mission will make necessary arrangements to send the medals to the family members of the deceased peacekeepers.Defence Advisor of Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN Mission also attended this virtual ceremony.
“I pay my deep homage to all the brave men and women in blue helmets who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag, and express my heartfelt condolences to their families and friends,” said Ambassador Fatima in a condolence message given on the occasion of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
She also mentioned that Bangladesh lost many of its valiant soldiers in the line of their sacred duty for world peace. This sacrifice, however, has never deterred us from responding to the UN’s call for duty; rather reinforced our resolve to continue serving the cause of peace.
The Permanent Representative has called upon the international community to honour the memories of the fallen peacekeepers through its pursuit for peace and by ensuring a world free from want and sufferings.
The medals were virtually awarded by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres in the presence of the respective Permanent Representatives of 44 countries at the event to observe the ‘International Day of the UN Peacekeepers’.
The theme for this year’s Day is "The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security." The UN Secretary-General also laid wreath at the Peacekeepers Memorial Site in the North Lawn of the UNHQs in honour of all peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag over the past seven decades.
Bangladesh is currently the top contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping operations and around 7,000 peacekeepers are deployed in nine peacekeeping missions at this moment. So far, 159 peacekeepers from Bangladesh have lost their lives while serving in the UN peacekeeping operations.
Each year, the United Nations observes the ‘International Day of the UN Peacekeepers’ at the UN headquarters premises. However, due to unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually this year.