KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 (Bernama) — In commemoration of the International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers on Sunday, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak urged Malaysians to join him in recognising and saluting those men and women as well as their families for the sacrifices they have made for the sake of global peace.
The prime minister said that for the past 50 years, Malaysia had been actively supporting UN peacekeeping missions all over the world.
To this day, over 20,800 Malaysian military personnel and about 1,000 civilian police have been deployed to missions in more than 20 countries.
“Twenty six brave Malaysians have lost their lives in their pursuit to uphold peace and order all over the world,” he said in his 1Malaysia blog on Saturday.
Najib said that more recently, in a statement of support to the peace efforts undertaken to maintain stability in Bahrain by Saudi Arabia and other member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, he had announced that Malaysia was prepared to contribute peacekeepers to the country, if invited to do so.
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on May 29, is a day to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their professionalism, dedication, and courage and to honour 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 to monitor the ceasefire after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Malaysia began its first UN peacekeeping mission to the Republic of Congo in Africa in 1960.
According to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), there are nearly 85,000 military personnel, more than 14,000 police officers, 5,700 international civilians and 13,700 national staff serving in 15 operations on four continents.
A total of 26 peacekeepers died between January 1 and April 10 this year.
UN’s peacekeeping traditional role of monitoring ceasefire agreements and borders between sovereign States has evolved to carrying out large-scale multidimensional operations, addressing intra-state conflicts.
Source : Bernama