Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

United Nations Salutes the Service, Sacrifice of Peacekeepers

The UN honoured the men and women who serve under its flag in some of the world's most dangerous places in a ceremony in New York to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
May 27, 2022
UN Peacekeepers

On the occasion of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres honoured more than one million women and men who have served as United Nations peacekeepers since 1948.

Guterres began the commemoration by laying a wreath at the Peacekeepers’ Memorial at UN Headquarters, in honour of the more than 4,200 peacekeepers who have sacrificed their lives over the past seven decades.

He also honoured the 117 peacekeepers who died last year. “Our deceased colleagues came from 42 different countries and from diverse backgrounds. But they were united by a common cause: peace,” he said, adding, “I extend my deepest condolences to their families. They will forever remain in our hearts.”

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is observed annually on May 29 to celebrate the contribution of uniformed personnel and civilian personnel serving in field operations.

The Secretary-General said, he was proud of the work of UN peacekeepers in the context of the “increasing challenges” they face, such as rising political tensions, deteriorating security situations, threats of terrorist attacks and violence fuelled by the rise of disinformation and misinformation.

“They work tirelessly in the toughest conditions,” he said. “They adapt to rapidly changing situations on the ground. And they are constantly innovating to protect the most vulnerable – while representing our diverse global community. They advance the greatest mission of all – peace.”

However, he noted that, tragically, sometimes the peacekeepers do not return home, citing the death of Captain Abdelrazakh Hamit Bahar of Chad, who was posthumously awarded the highest honour of peacekeeping forces.

Captain Abdelrazakh, 34, died in a daring counterattack against armed terrorists in northeastern Mali in April 2021.

His family received the Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage, named after a Senegalese peacekeeper who saved hundreds of lives while serving with the UN in Rwanda in 1994 before being killed in battle.

“Please know that your beloved son and brother will always be remembered. He is an inspiration to the United Nations family, at home in Chad and around the world,” Guterres said.