Saturday September 23, 2023

Pakistan, UN celebrate 75 years of peacekeeping

June 01, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Nations Wednesday celebrated 75 years of UN peacekeeping at a time when the former is among the largest troop contributing countries to the UN peacekeeping with nearly 4,334 military and police personnel currently serving in nine locations around the world.

In this connection, an event was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in collaboration with the United Nations to celebrate the 75 years of peacekeeping, paying tribute to more than 200,000 Pakistani servicewomen and men who served in 46 UN Missions since 1960 – including 171 who lost their lives.

“Pakistan is proud of its long-standing association and contribution to the UN peacekeeping,” said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar at the event. She paid tribute to the services and sacrifices rendered by the UN peacekeepers for advancing the shared goals of peace all over the world, and reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong commitment and support to the UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding architecture

“Today we are celebrating more than 80,000 brave peacekeepers — women and men — who are carrying out the extremely important task of creating peace around the world. We also thank Pakistan, the fifth largest contributor to peacekeeping globally,” said Knut Ostby, UNDP Representative in Pakistan, who spoke on behalf of the United Nations.

“The UN was created to work on three pillars that are interlinked: peace, development and human rights. We see peace as an understanding between people, a desire to work together to bring the world forward,” he added.Khar opened an exhibition of photographs featuring Pakistani peacekeepers and Pakistan’s work at the United Nations in presence of representatives from the government, foreign embassies, UN agencies and development partners.

The event also included two panel discussions with the participation of a representative from the UN, senior policy level officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Army General Headquarters (GHQ), and a female Pakistani peacekeeper who served in the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The panelists shared their perspectives on the important role of UN peacekeeping, its evolution over the years, and Pakistan’s contributions to this noble endeavor.

Last week in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres laid a wreath to honour the memory of the more than 4,200 UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives helping maintain peace and security since 1948 – including 171 who were Pakistani citizens.

Guterres presided over a ceremony during which Dag Hammarskjöld Medals were awarded posthumously to the 103 military, police, and civilian peacekeepers – including eight Pakistanis – who lost their lives helping maintain peace last year.

In his message, the Secretary-General said, “United Nations peacekeepers are the beating heart of our commitment to a more peaceful world. For 75 years, they have supported people and communities rocked by conflict and upheaval across the globe. Today, on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we honour their extraordinary contributions to international peace and security.”Meanwhile the Foreign Office also announced travel plans for Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto who has left for Jordan and Iran.

While in Jordan he will attend the royal wedding, in Iraq he will meet with the Iraqi leadership and his counterpart.

Important agreements will also be signed during the visit.