Ghana to mark Int’l Day of UN Peacekeepers Monday
International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2023
THEME: “Peace Begins with Me: 75 Years of UN Peacekeeping”
The General Assembly, in its resolution 57/129, designated 29th May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. This was the day in 1948 when the first United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission named the “United Nations Truce Supervision Organization”, or UNTSO, began operations in Palestine. On this day, we pay tribute to the professionalism, dedication, and courage of all the men and women serving in UN peacekeeping operations and honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
Since the first UN Peacekeeping mission was established, some 3,900 military, police and civilian personnel have lost their lives in the service of peace as a result of acts of violence, accidents and diseases. On 29 May, UN offices, alongside Member States and non-governmental organizations, hold solemn events to honour fallen peacekeepers.
At the UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General presides over a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of all peacekeepers who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag. In addition, the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal is awarded posthumously to the peacekeepers who have fallen while serving in the cause of peace, during the preceding year.
UN Peacekeeping operations use the Day to strengthen bonds with the local populations that they have been deployed to serve.
As a prominent contributor, currently the 7th largest, of UN peacekeepers, Ghana will join the rest of the world to commemorate the Day with a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony in memory of the fallen heroes and to pay tribute to the thousands of Ghanaian military troops, police and prisons officers, and civilians who continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations all over the world.
Who are the peacekeepers?
UN peacekeepers come from all walks of life, with diverse cultural backgrounds and from an ever-growing number of Member States. When they serve under the United Nations, they are united by a commitment to maintain or restore world peace and security. They share a common purpose to protect the most vulnerable and provide support to countries in transition from conflict to peace.
Peacekeepers are military, police and civilian personnel all working together. The roles and responsibilities of peacekeepers are evolving as peacekeeping mandates become more complex and multidimensional. Peacekeeping operations have developed from simply monitoring ceasefires to protecting civilians, disarming ex-combatants, protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law, supporting free and fair elections, minimising the risk of landmines and much more.
The theme for this year’s Day is “Peace Begins with Me:75 Years of UN Peacekeeping”.
For 75 years, peacekeepers have helped countries navigate the path from conflict to peace. As ordinary people working in dangerous conditions to achieve extraordinary outcomes, their courage and commitment inspire us to take action.
Today, peace-making is harder than ever amidst rising global political tensions. Conflicts are more complex and prolonged, peacekeepers face terrorists, armed groups and their allies who have access to powerful modern weapons and technology. Misinformation and disinformation are fueling violence against UN personnel and partners. Attacks against peacekeepers increased from 280 in 2020 to 463 in 2021. It is critical to draw attention to the fact that for peace to reign, individuals have a responsibility to respect each other, co-exist and maintain peace.
Digital media outreach & video (18th May)
Flag-raising ceremony (29th May)
Tree planting – tree planted in memory of Ghanaian fallen heroes (29th May)
Photo exhibition – (29th May)
A flag-raising ceremony will take place at the Forecourt of the State House to demonstrate Ghana’s continuous significant role and recognition of UN peacekeeping as key to promoting peace and security in the world. The occasion will also provide the opportunity for the UN and the Government of Ghana to reaffirm their commitment to supporting peace and security. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the UN Resident Coordinator will address the gathering, to be attended by selected members of the Security Service Agencies, students, the diplomatic community and the media.
Create and increase awareness of UN peacekeeping among the media.
Promote partnerships as critical to protection and peacebuilding and issue a call to collective action.
Promote the tangible impact of peacekeeping through social media.
Recognize the service and sacrifice of peacekeepers facing increasing threats to their own health and wellbeing as well as the communities they serve. Pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the pursuit of peace.
Get community involved to appreciate the service and sacrifice of UN peacekeeping
PROPOSED MEDIA QUESTIONS:
What is peacekeeping in general?
UN peacekeeping provides security, political and peacebuilding support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace.
UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles:
Consent of the parties
Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
What is the essence of peacekeeping?
Peacekeeping helps countries
Achieve lasting peace
Supports political processes
Protects civilians and
Helps guarantee ceasefire
Can you provide some statistics on UN Peacekeeping around the world?
Over the past 75 years of its existence, more than 2 million peacekeepers from 125 countries have served in 71 peacekeeping missions.
There are currently 12 peacekeeping operations led by the Department of Peace Operations.
Out of the 122 contributing countries, Ghana ranks number 7 with 2756 peacekeepers in February 2023.
Can you elaborate on Ghana’s role?
Speak to the statistics above
Speak to Ghana’s membership on the Security Council
In June 2021, Ghana was elected to the United Nations Security Council for the 2022-2023 term. Ghana’s agenda is focusing on Enhancing Global Peace and Security for Sustainable and Inclusive Development particularly on the continent of Africa.
Speak to Ghanaian’s taking on leadership positions with the UN system and their efforts to make meaningful impact
Refer to the President’s Statement to the 77th UN General Assembly (Provide a copy)
What is happening in Ghana on UN Peacekeepers Day?
Digital media outreach & video (18 May)
Flag-raising ceremony (29 May)
Photo exhibition (29 May)
Tree planting – tree planted in memory of Ghanaian fallen heroes (29 May).
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