Guterres honors the service and sacrifice of United Nations peacekeepers

Mr. Guterres started the day by laying a wreath at the Peacekeepers Memorial on the grounds of United Nations Headquarters in New York to honor the more than 4,300 “Blue Helmets” who have died in recent history. 80 years of the Organization.

Later, at a ceremony in the Board Room, he called for a minute of silence to remember the military, police, civilian and national employees who had paid the ultimate price.

“The memory of the fallen Blue Helmets reminds us of the tragic human cost of conflict,” he said. speak.

“Each loss underscores the urgent need to stop the violence, protect the most vulnerable and make every effort to end these deadly conflicts.”

‘We will never forget them’

Last year, 61 peacekeepers from 33 countries were killed on duty.

Their family received the Dag Hammarskjöld medal, named after the second United Nations Secretary-General, who died in a plane crash in September 1961 in what is now Zambia.

“We share our deepest sympathies with the family and friends,” Mr. Guterres said. “We will never forget them.”

The United Nations chief noted that the world is going through difficult and dangerous times, the international community is deeply divided and the United Nations peacekeeping force is more important than ever.

Support United Nations peacekeeping forces

More than 76,000 women and men from 121 countries are currently deployed in 11 operations worldwide.

“Peacekeepers often participate in countries or regions that do not have peace to preserve,” he said.

“Despite direct attacks by armed groups, a harsh operating environment and the emergence of new weapons of war, including digital technology and artificial intelligence, defenders Our peacekeeping persists. And we must support them.”

Gender-affirming awards

Mr. Guterres also presented the 2023 United Nations Military Gender Advocate Award to Major Radhika Sen, an Indian peacekeeper who served in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Major Sen is deployed in eastern DRC with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country, MONUSCOas the Commander of the Indian Army’s engagement platoon.

Listen to our interview with Major Sen:

She led the unit on countless patrols at a time of escalating conflict in North Kivu province.

Major Sen helped create a community network, providing a safe platform for women to share their ideas and concerns so that the United Nations Mission could better meet their needs.

The Secretary-General called Major Sen “a true leader and a role model”, adding that “her service is a real credit to the United Nations as a whole”.

A wreath-laying and memorial service was held International Day of United Nations Peacekeepersis commemorated every year on May 29.

Secretary-General António Guterres (right) greets Major Radhika Sen, recipient of the 2023 United Nations Army Gender Advocate Award.

Secretary-General António Guterres (right) greets Major Radhika Sen, recipient of the 2023 United Nations Army Gender Advocate Award.


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