Two Indian peacekeepers – Lance Naik Nand Ram and Raju Joseph, have been chosen for UN Dag Hammarsjold Medal 2015, to be awarded posthumously.
They are among the 126 military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives in 2014 while on various missions and will be posthumously awarded a prestigious UN medal. They have been chosen for their brevity and sacrifice while serving in the UN peacekeeping missions in 2014, when they lost their lives while still in service.
Nand Ram had served in the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in theDemocratic Republic of Congo; while Raju Joseph had served in civilian capacity with the UN Mission in South Sudan.They will be given the award on 29th May ,2015 on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002. The General Assembly had designated May 29 as the commemoration day because it was the date in 1948 when the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the world body’s first peacekeeping mission, began operations in Palestine.
This will mark the seventh successive year in which the UN will honour more than 100 blue helmets( people on peacekeeping missions ) who lost their lives while serving the cause of peace. This year’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers falls during the significant 70th anniversary of the United Nations. The theme for the day this year is ‘UN at 70: Peacekeeping: Past, Present, and Future’.
The Dag Hammarsjkold Medal is named after the second UN secretary-general and Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarsjkold(1953-1961), who died in a mysterious plane crash, and is given to members of UN Peacekeeping Missions, who lose their lives during service. It was established in 2000.
In 2014, eight Indian soldiers had received the medal. India is among the largest contributors of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping. It currently deploys 8,112 military and police personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations in Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, the Middle East, Sudan, South Sudan and Western Sahara.