The United Nations in Nigeria has expressed its gratitude to the Federal Government and people of Nigeria for their contributions and sacrifices to ensuring global peace and security through commitment of human and material resources to the UN peacekeeping operations around the world.
“While appreciating the Government of Nigeria for her contribution to UN peacekeeping operations, I wish to acknowledge the exemplary services of those peacekeepers from Nigeria and elsewhere, who paid the supreme sacrifice while keeping the peace in other lands.” The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the United Nations system in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, said on Thursday, 28 May 2020, in his statement on the observance of the International Day of Peacekeepers, observed every 29 May.
According to him, “the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will on Friday 29 May, preside over a ceremony at which Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to honour the three fallen peacekeepers from Nigeria and 80 others.”
“The International Day of Peacekeepers”, he continued, “offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour more than 3,900 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 102 last year.”
Mr Kallon noted that the theme for this year’s Day is “Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace” to help mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. “Women peacekeepers”, he said further, “make invaluable contributions to peacekeeping. They help improve overall peacekeeping performance, have greater access to communities, especially to women, and therefore, help in promoting human rights and protection of civilians.”
On COVID-19 and peacekeeping, the Resident Coordinator explained that despite the risk and threats of COVID-19, the UN peacekeepers are continuing their operations to the best of their abilities and supporting the governments and the local populations around the world.
“The fallen peacekeepers from Nigeria are Warrant Officer Moshood Lasi si and Police Sergeant Henry Ukomadu who both lost their lives in 2019 while serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); and also Mr. Gabriel Kolawole Shogaolu who died while serving in a civilian capacity with MINUSMA in 2017.”
Nigeria is the 43rd largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peace operations. It currently contributes a total of 300 peacekeepers to the UN operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Lebanon, Sudan, South Sudan, Western Sahara, as well as one expert deployed with the UN Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement.
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