Two Indian peacekeepers, Rifleman Brijesh Thapa and Private Ravi Kumar are among the 117 military, police and civilian personnel to be honoured with the prestigious Dag Hammarskjold Medal by the United Nations posthumously for their courage and sacrifice in the line of duty.
- Rifleman Brijesh Thapa served with the UN Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and Private Ravi Kumar was deployed with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
- The medal will be awarded on May 29, 2017, observed as International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
India’s Contribution to UN Peacekeeping Missions:
India is the largest cumulative troop contributor to UN Peacekeeping Missions.
- It has provided nearly 200000 troops for about 50 peacekeeping missions since past 60 years.
- Under the UN Flag, 168 Indian troops have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty so far.
- Currently 7600 military and police personnel are deployed in 13 ongoing UN peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, the Middle East, South Sudan, Sudan and the Western Sahara.
International Day of UN Peacekeepers:
May 29 was designated as International Day of UN Peacekeepers, by United Nations General Assemblyon December 11, 2002.
- May 29, marks the anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in 1948 to monitor the ceasefire after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which was the first ever UN peacekeeping mission.
- This day is observed to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve inUnited Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication, and courage and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
- On May 29, 2017, current UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will lay a wreath at the Peacekeepers Memorial at the UN’s headquarters to honour all fallen peacekeepers. Thereafter, he will preside over a ceremony during which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medals will be awarded to 117 peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations last year.
About Dag Hammarskjöld Medals:
Dag Hammarskjöld Medalis a posthumous award given by the United Nations (UN) to military personnel, police, or civilians who lose their lives while serving in a United Nations peacekeeping
- The medal is named after the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld, who died in a plane crash in September 1961.
- The first medals were awarded in October 1998.