ISLAMABAD: United Nations Pakistan in collaborations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, to celebrate 75 years of United Nations peacekeeping, paying homage to the more than 200,000 Pakistani service women and men who have served in 46 UN Missions since 1960 – including 171 who lost their lives.
Pakistan is among the largest troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping with nearly 4,334 military and police personnel currently serving in nine locations around the world, says the press note.
“Pakistan is proud of its long-standing association and contribution to UN peacekeeping,” said the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar at the event.
The Minister of State paid tribute to the services and sacrifices rendered by UN peacekeepers for advancing the shared goals of peace all over the world, and reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong commitment and support to the UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding architecture.
“Today we are celebrating the more than 80,000 brave peacekeepers — women and men — who are carrying out the extremely important task of creating peace around the world.
“We also thank Pakistan, the fifth largest contributor to peacekeeping globally,” said Knut Ostby, UNDP Representative in Pakistan, who spoke on behalf of the United Nations.
“The UN was created to work on three pillars that are interlinked: peace, development and human rights.
“We see peace as an understanding between people, a desire to work together to bring the world forward,” he added.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs opened an exhibition of photographs featuring Pakistani peacekeepers and Pakistan’s work at the United Nations in presence of representatives from the Government, Foreign Embassies, UN agencies and development partners.
The event also included two panel discussions with the participation of a representative from the UN, senior policy level officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Army General Headquarters (GHQ), and a female Pakistani peacekeeper who has served in the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The panelists shared their perspectives on the important role of UN peacekeeping, its evolution over the years, and Pakistan’s contributions towards this noble endeavor.
Last week in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres laid a wreath to honour the memory of the more than 4,200 UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives helping maintain peace and security since 1948 – including 171 who were Pakistani citizens.
Guterres presided over a ceremony during which Dag Hammarskjöld Medals were awarded posthumously to the 103 military, police, and civilian peacekeepers – including eight Pakistanis — who lost their lives helping maintain peace last year.
In his message, the Secretary-General said,“United Nations peacekeepers are the beating heart of our commitment to a more peaceful world.
“For 75 years, they have supported people and communities rocked by conflict and upheaval across the globe. Today, on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we honour their extraordinary contributions to international peace and security.”
Globally, more than 87,000 women and men are helping maintain peace in 12 conflict zones across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. UN peacekeepers provide security and the political and peace-building support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace.
Since 1948, more than two million peacekeepers from 125 countries have served in 71 operations around the world.
International Day of UN Peacekeepers, observed on 29 May every year, established by the UN General Assembly in 2002, pays tribute to all women and men serving in peacekeeping, and honors the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.