By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
May 28, 2014
MANILA – A Filipino peacekeeper will among those who would receive a posthumous honor to mark the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Thursday.
Filipino Sergeant Benson Angot died while serving with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in 2013.
“Last year, 106 Peacekeepers perished carrying out their duty under the UN flag, bringing the total number of lives lost in the history of peacekeeping to more than 3,200,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
This marks the sixth year in a row that the UN will honor more than 100 Blue Helmets who lost their lives the previous year while serving the cause of peace.
“We mourn the passing of every one of these courageous individuals. We grieve with their friends and families and we recommit ourselves to ensure that their contributions to the cause of peace will never be forgotten,” he said.
Commemorative activities will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, as well as at UN peacekeeping operations and offices around the world.
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002 to pay tribute to all men and women serving in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
The General Assembly designated May 29 as the Day, as it was the date in 1948 when the first United Nations peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), began operations in Palestine.
There are nearly 85,000 military personnel, 12,500 police officers, 17,000 international civilian and national staff serving in 16 peacekeeping operations on four continents.
“Let us all commit to following the selfless example of our fallen heroes, as we work together to help our blue helmets be a force for peace, a force for change, and a force for the future,” the UN Secretary-General said.
The Philippines currently contributes 676 military and police personnel to the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, India-Pakistan, Liberia, and the Middle East.