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The United Nations and Government of Liberia pay tribute to fallen peacekeepers

By UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
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MONROVIA, Liberia, May 29, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Today the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) observed the annual International Day of UN Peacekeepers that also marks the 64th anniversary of peacekeeping by the United Nations.

A solemn ceremony marking International UN Peacekeepers Day under the theme “Global partnerships in Peacekeeping” was held at the Pan African Plaza Headquarters of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), bringing together senior officials of the Liberian Government, the United Nations family, members of the Diplomatic Corps, non-governmental organizations and other partners.

The Officer-In-Charge of UNMIL Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Rule of Law, Mr. Louis Aucoin and the Representative of the President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Honorable Boima Fahnbulleh each laid wreaths in memory of the fallen peacekeepers.

Honorable Boima Fahnbulleh, representing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the occasion, gave an account of the contributions of UN peacekeepers in restoring peace and stability to Liberia. 'We come today to honour the glorious memory of all those peacekeepers who have selflessly paid the supreme sacrifice in serving humanity in the arena of conflict management and resolution. We also pay homage to those who have demonstrated and continue to exhibit the highest level of commitment, professionalism and valour in the risky business of peace, confidence building and national reconciliation in all post conflict societies.”

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Rule of Law, Mr. Louis Aucoin delivered Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message commemorating the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. “Today we honor the memory of the more than 2,900 peacekeepers that have lost their lives in the line of duty over the years, and we pledge to carry on their work to bring stability to war-ravaged countries. The fallen peacekeepers came from many different troop-contributing countries, a poignant reminder of the global partnership that underpins United Nations peacekeeping…”

The United Nations Secretary-General's message also noted that on this International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers, “let us remember the sacrifice of those who have served, and let us pledge to strengthen the global partnerships that make our blue helmets a beacon of hope to millions of people around the world.”

The colorful parade this year included 164 troops from 4 different military contingents, who were joined by representatives of the Liberian National Police and Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, symbolizing this year's theme “Global partnerships in Peacekeeping.”

Today, the United Nations has more than 121,000 men and women deployed in conflict zones around the world coming from nearly 116 Member States. Of those peacekeepers, around 8,000 military are serving with UNMIL along with approximately 1,400 police personnel, and supported by over 1,600 international and national civilian staff.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers was established in 2002 by a General Assembly resolution designating 29 May – the date in 1948 when the first UN peacekeeping mission began operations – to pay tribute to all men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

Other similar activities marked the day in other parts of Liberia including Ganta, Gbarnga, Harper, Tubmanburg, Voinjama and Zwedru.