Nigeria is the 41st largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping. It currently contributes more than 500 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan and the Western Sahara.
The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix said: “Our peacekeepers – civilian, police, men and women, military personnel – save lives every day. Today, we honour those who have sacrificed their lives in service to peace. Their service and sacrifice inspires us to work harder to support a sustainable peace in some of the world’s most complex and challenging places.”
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the brave men and women who risk their lives every day in service to others, and we grieve with the families and nations of our fallen colleagues. But beyond gratitude, we owe our peacekeepers all the support we can muster to ensure they are well-equipped, well-trained and well-prepared to complete their missions successfully.”
Penpushing recalled that, the General Assembly established the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in 2002 to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. The Assembly designated 29 May as the Day because it was the date in 1948 when the first UN peacekeeping mission – the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization — began operations in the Middle East.