United Nations peacekeeping has proven to be one of the most effective tools to assist host countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace. India currently deploys more than 7,600 military and police personnel to UN peace operations in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, West Asia, South Sudan, Sudan and the Western Sahara. Last year, two Indian peacekeepers in different operations lost their lives and in their honour, India’s UN Ambassador Syed Akbarudding received the medal on their behalf for courage and sacrifice in their line of duty.
Rifleman Brijesh Thapa, who served with the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Private Ravi Kumar who was deployed with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon posthumously received the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers observed yesterday.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres laid a wreath to honour all fallen peacekeepers and presided over the ceremony where the Dag Hammarskjold Medal was awarded to 117 military, police and civilian personnel from 43 nations who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations during 2016.
"UN peacekeeping is one of international community's most effective investments to support peace, security and prosperity. There are risks when deploying peacekeepers to a crisis area but inaction may carry even greater risks," he said.
India is the largest cumulative troop contributor, having provided almost 200,000 troops in nearly 50 of the 71 peacekeeping missions mandated over the past six decades, including 13 of the current 16 missions. Historically, the medal is named after the second UN Secretary General, who had died in a mysterious 1961 plane crash. He was posthumously awarded a Nobel Peace Prize the year he died.
[Via: News Bharati]