Two Ghanaian Peacekeepers are to be honoured posthumously during the 2021 International Day of United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers’ Ceremony, slated for Thursday, May 27, at the UN Headquarters in New York.
A statement issued by the UN, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said among those to be honoured were two from Ghana – WO1 Patrick Ackah, who served with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and Mr Emmanuel Mac Kwasi Dorbi, who served in a civilian capacity with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
It said the two Ghanaians would be honoured posthumously at a ceremony to be presided over by Mr Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General.
The statement acknowledged Ghana as the 10th largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping.
It said during the event, Mr Guterres would lay a wreath to honour the more than 4,000 UN peacekeepers who had lost their lives since 1948 and would preside over a ceremony at which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal would be awarded to 129 military, police and civilian peacekeepers, who lost their lives serving under the UN flag last year and in the first month of this year.
The statement said the UN currently deployed nearly 2,300 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Mali, the Middle East, Somalia, South Sudan and the Western Sahara.
It said during the ceremony, the Secretary-General would present the “2020 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award” to Major Steplyne Buyaki Nyaboga, a Kenyan Military Officer, who served with the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, (UNAMID).
Established in 2016, the Award “recognises the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.”
In Ghana, a virtual youth engagement would be held in commemoration of the Day.
Tributes would also be paid to serving Ghanaian peacekeepers to ensure the maintenance and sustenance of peace, the statement said.
Participants at the virtual event would interact with two young Ghanaian peacekeepers serving with the
UNIFIL to share their experiences to inspire young people to champion the cause for peace and security.
To participate in the event, one could register through: http://bit.ly/UNinGhana, the statement said.
In a message to mark the Day, the Secretary-General said of the fallen peacekeepers: “Their service and sacrifices will never be forgotten.”
“I express my deep gratitude to the 85,000 civilian, police and military personnel currently deployed in some of the world’s most challenging hotspots to protect the vulnerable and help to build peace,” he said.
“Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic as well as the risk of infection, these men and women, have pursued their mission while also supporting local authorities in the fight against COVID-19.”
“I offer sincere condolences to the families of peacekeepers who have fallen victim to this terrible disease.”
The Day will be marked on the theme: “The Road to a Lasting Peace: Leveraging the Power of Youth for Peace and Security.”
Mr Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, said: “We salute the dedication and bravery of our peacekeepers, who serve and perform admirably in challenging environments only compounded by the ongoing pandemic.”
“I also honour our young peacekeepers who bring energy and innovation, and serve as role models to youth populations working tirelessly to ensure meaningful representation and participation in political processes.”
“Our peacekeepers deserve our full support, and we must continue to work together to do all we can to improve their safety and security and give them the tools to succeed.”
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the 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.
Today, UN Peacekeeping deploys more than 89,000 military, police and civilian personnel in 12 operations.