Three Indian U.N. peacekeepers will be honoured posthumously with the Dag Hammarskjold Medal for their supreme sacrifice in the line of duty at a solemn ceremony at the U.N. Headquarters on May 25. “We salute our fallen heroes, and their bravery and offer our deepest respects,” the Permanent Representative of India to the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said ahead of the ceremony to honour the peacekeepers of the United Nations.
“Remembering the fallen, honouring the brave. Ahead of the solemn #PKDay ceremony at @UN HQ today, PR @ruchirakamboj articulates our profound gratitude for the peacekeepers’ sacrifices and commitment to their mission. We salute their bravery and offer our deepest respects,” Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, New York tweeted.
The three Indians include Border Security Force (BSF) personnel Head Constables Shishupal Singh and Samwali Ram Vishnoi, who served with the Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Shaber Taher Ali, who was employed in a civilian capacity with the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq. Shishupal Singh and Sanwala Ram Vishnoi deployed as part of a United Nations mission at Butembo, Congo, since June 2, 2022 were among five people killed during an anti-U.N. protest in the Eastern city of Goma near the strife-torn country’s border with Uganda. While Mr. Shishupal Singh hailed from Sikar, Mr. Vishnoi belonged to Barmer.
“India’s contribution to U.N. peacekeeping needs no long introduction. Suffice to say that since our first participation in a U.N. peacekeeping mission in 1950, India has been one of the most prolific contributors to peace efforts worldwide,” said Indian envoy Kamboj. India has deployed more than 2,75,000 troops, including a significant number of women peacekeepers, in over 51 U.N. peacekeeping missions. “Sadly, this has also entailed the supreme sacrifice in the finest traditions of the profession of arms. Later today, a solemn ceremony will take place at U.N. headquarters in New York, where we will honour the memory of three Indian peacekeepers with the Dag Hammarskjold Medal,” said Kamboj.
The medal is the highest honour awarded to U.N. Peacekeepers who have distinguished themselves by exceptional courage, devotion to duty, and sacrifice in the cause of peace. The U.N. Secretary-General will preside over a Dag Hammarskjold Medal and Military Gender Advocate of the Year award ceremony in the General Assembly Hall. In his message honouring the extraordinary contributions of U.N. peacekeepers to international peace and security, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres 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. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the U.N. Peacekeeping.”
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on May 29 offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel’s invaluable contribution to the organisation’s work and honouring more than 4,200 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the U.N. flag since 1948.