On May 25, 2023, three Indian peacekeepers were honoured with the Dag Hammarskjold Medal posthumously for their supreme sacrifice in the line of duty at a solemn ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York, USA.
“We salute our fallen heroes and their bravery and offer our deepest respects”, the Permanent Representative of India to UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said.
The three Indians include the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel Head Constable Shishupal Singh and Samwali Ram Vishnoi, who served with the Organisation Stabilisation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Shaber Taher Ali, who was employed in a civilian capacity with the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq.
Shishupal and Vishnoi were deployed as part of the United Nations mission in Butembo in Congo on June 2, 2022. They were among the five people killed during an anti-UN mission protest in the Eastern City of Goma near the strife-torn country’s border with Uganda. Both belonged from Sikar and Barmer in Rajasthan, respectively.
As per Ruchira Kamboj, India’s contribution to UN peacekeeping needs no introduction. Suffice to say that since our first participation in a UN mission was in 1950, India has been one of the most prolific contributors to peace efforts worldwide.”
India deployed more than 2,75,000 troops, including a significant number of women peacekeepers, in over 51 UN Peacekeeping missions. “Sadly, this has also entailed the supreme sacrifice in the finest traditions of the profession of arms. Later today, a solemn ceremony will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York, where we will honour the memory of three Indian peacekeepers with the Dag Hammarskjold Medal,” said Kamboj.
The medal is the highest honour awarded to Un Peacekeepers who have distinguished themselves by exceptional courage, devotion to duty and sacrifice in the cause of peace. The UN Secretary-General will preside over the Dag Hammarskjold Medal and Military Gender Advocate of the Year award ceremony in the General Assembly Hall.
In his message honouring the extraordinary contributions of UN Peacekeepers to international peace and security, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “United Nations peacekeepers are the beating heart of our commitment to a more peaceful world. For the past 75 years, they have supported people and communities rocked by global conflict and upheaval. This year also marks the 75th Anniversary of UN Peacekeeping.”
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on May 29 offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel’s invaluable contribution to the organisation’s work and honouring more than 4,200 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN Flag since 1948.