As Pakistan celebrates 50 years of participation in United Nations peacekeeping, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the dedication of the troops, police and civilian personnel who play a crucial role in helping people around the world recover from war.
“Peacekeeping is a credit to us thanks to the fine work of our troop-contributing countries – Pakistan a leader among them,” Mr. Ban said last night in remarks at the opening of a photo exhibition celebrating 50 years of Pakistan’s participation in UN peacekeeping.
He noted that Pakistan’s contribution has been consistent ever since the first Pakistani peacekeeper served in the Congo 50 years ago. Pakistanis have served in 38 missions worldwide. They are involved now in nine of the UN’s most dangerous operations, with large contingents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia.
“The numbers tell only part of the story. The other part is played out in the lives of people recovering from war,” Mr. Ban told the gathering, held at Pakistan’s Mission to the UN.
From the women who are treated by female members of Pakistan’s medical unit to children who play football on fields constructed by Pakistani troops, the services rendered by brave Pakistani troops, police and civilian personnel deserve profound gratitude, said the Secretary-General.
At the same time, “this great contribution comes at a great cost,” Mr. Ban added, noting that 122 Pakistani military, police and civilian personnel have lost their lives while serving the Organization.
“They are sons and daughters of Pakistan … but they are also members of the United Nations family. We mourn their deaths. We remember their lives. And we vow to carry forward their valiant work for peace.”