UN to mark day commemorating peacekeepers

May 27th, 2011 - 4:52 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, May 27 (IANS) The ninth annual international day will serve as an opportunity to highlight the work of UN peacekeeping forces around the world, while commemorating those who have perished in the line of duty, Xinhua said.

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers will be marked with several events here Friday, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here Thursday.

“Events at UN headquarters include a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of fallen peacekeepers overseen by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro,” Nesirky said.

“Ms. Migiro will also preside over a ceremony during which Dag Hammarskjold Medals will be awarded posthumously to the military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives in 2010 while serving in peacekeeping operations,” said Nesirky.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in France to attend the summit of the Group of Eight industrialised countries.

A total of 173 UN peacekeepers were killed in 2010, with more than 100 of these deaths occurring due to the January 2010 Haiti earthquake. So far in 2011, two tragedies in quick succession — the attack on a UN compound and a plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — have cost the lives of peacekeepers and staff.

Nesirky said that Alain Le Roy, UN under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, will be presenting medals to military and police that are currently serving in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

“A multi-media exhibit will also be unveiled, highlighting efforts to enhance rule of law in peacekeeping operations,” he added.

The exhibit is titled “Law. Order. Peace” and will open in the Visitors Lobby of UN headquarters.

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