UN Unanimously Backs India’s Proposal For Monument To Honor Peacekeepers
NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – The world organization’s members have unanimously backed India’s efforts to honor with a monument the more than 4,300 Blue Helmets who made the supreme sacrifice in the cause of peace.
The UN General Assembly on June 14 adopted a resolution proposed by India and co-sponsored by 190 members to create the peacekeepers’ memorial that India’s Permanent Representative Ruchira Kamboj said will “ensure that their sacrifice is not forgotten, their memories are honored”.
The highest number of peacekeepers from any country killed in UN operations – 178 – is from India, which has contributed the greatest number of personnel for peacekeeping.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally made the proposal for the memorial in 2015 at the UN summit and offered to pay for it.
It has taken nearly eight years for the proposal to wend its way through the UN system and the resolution has set a three-year deadline for its completion.
The memorial to be constructed in the UN headquarters campus is expected to be ready in time for the 80th anniversary of the UN’s founding in 2025.
Introducing the resolution, Kamboj acknowledged that creating the memorial wall will be a “complex affair” and its shape, size and location and the display of the names to be determined.
It will honor the “brave men and women (who) came from different parts of the world, practiced different faiths and followed different cultures” but “were united by their commitment to the cause of peace, their spirit of selfless sacrifice, their professionalism and their resolve to bring succor to lives riven by conflict,” she said.
“These peacekeepers made the supreme sacrifice in the pursuit of mandates that we, as member states, requested them to carry out,” she added.
The monument will “be a source of solace for the near and dear ones of the Bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice, including their serving comrades and colleagues,” she said.
A measure of the unity around paying homage to the peacekeeping heroes is the cooperation of Pakistan, which had moments earlier attacked India at the Assembly on a different issue, but joined in as one of the main co-sponsors of the monument resolution and Kamboj named it while thanking those whose efforts moved the resolution.
From Pakistan, 168 peacekeepers have died in UN operations. Other countries she listed included Bangladesh (166), Nepal (90), China, and the US.