Ghana observes International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on 29 May

...Five Ghanaian peacekeepers to be honoured posthumously at UN ceremony
By United Nations Ghana
General News Ghana observes International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on 29 May

Ghana will observe the 76th International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Wednesday, 29 May 2024 with a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony. UN Headquarters will observe the Day on Thursday, 30 May 2024.

In 1948, the historic decision was made to deploy military observers to the Middle East to supervise the implementation of Israel-Arab Armistice Agreements, in what became the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization.

Since that time, more than two million peacekeepers from 125 countries have since served in 71 operations around the world. Today, some 76,000 women and men are serving in 11 conflict zones across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Ghana is the 7th largest contributor of uniformed personnel to the UN Peacekeeping. It currently deploys more than 2,600 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, the Middle East, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and Western Sahara.

During formal ceremonies at UN Headquarters, Secretary-General, António Guterres, will lay a wreath to honour all UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives since 1948. He will also preside over a ceremony at which Dag Hammarskjöld Medals will be awarded posthumously to 64 military, police, and civilian peacekeepers, who lost their lives serving under the UN flag, including 61 who perished last year.

Among the peacekeepers to be honoured posthumously with the Dag Hammarskjold medal are five (5) from Ghana: SSGT Mensah Alex AMEYAW and WOII Ibrahim ABUBAKARI who both served with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL); L/CPL Adjei Emmanuel NI ADDO who was deployed with (UNISFA); and civilian peacekeepers Mr. Michael Sowah and Mr. Jeduah Mahama Abudu who served respectively with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

The Secretary-General will also present the 2023 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award to Major Radhika Sen, a military officer from India, who served with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

The United Nations Information Centre in Accra . | P. O. Box GP 2339, Accra| Tel: 0302 665511, E-mail: UNIC- [email protected]; Media contact: Majorie Akosua Otu, UN Information Centre, Accra, DGC, [email protected]

Created in 2016, the Award “recognizes the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security”.

In his message, the Secretary-General said: “Today we pay tribute to the more than 76,000 United Nations peacekeepers who embody humanity’s highest ideal: peace. Day in and day out, at great personal risk, these women and men bravely work in some of the most dangerous and unstable places on earth to protect civilians, uphold human rights, support elections and strengthen institutions. More than 4,300 peacekeepers have paid the ultimate price while serving under the UN flag. We will never forget them.”

The theme for 2024 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Fit for the future, building better together.” The theme denotes that while UN Peacekeeping has proven to be part of the solution for over 75 years -- assisting host countries in navigating the difficult path from conflict to peace -- the Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace policy brief sets out a path for multilateral peace and security operations to remain viable tools to address future crises and conflict.

“UN Peacekeeping remains a unique global partnership, with peacekeepers from over 120 countries making a meaningful difference every day to millions of people in some of the most world's most difficult places,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations. "As we respond to tomorrow's challenges, UN Peacekeeping continues to evolve, leveraging partnerships to be nimble, responsive and fit-for-purpose, promote stability, protect the vulnerable and help to build a durable peace.”

In Ghana, the UN Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani, and the Minister for the Interior, Hon. Henry Quartey will preside over the ceremony which will take place at the forecourt of the Statehouse. Four wreaths will be laid in memory of peacekeepers who lost their lives serving under the blue helmet.

ZED Multimedia, a local media network will host some Ghanaian peacekeepers serving on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. The peacekeepers will share their experiences and have a moment to connect with their friends and loved ones in Ghana.

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers was established by the UN General Assembly in 2002, to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.