|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
NEPAL’S PARTICIPATION IN UN PEACEKEEPING FOR 50 YEARS IS ‘SHINING EXAMPLE’, SAYS
SECRETARY-GENERAL, THANKING EVERY NEPALESE PEACEKEEPER ‘PAST AND PRESENT’
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the fiftieth anniversary of Nepal’s continuous participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations, on 12 June:
More than half of all the Member States of the United Nations contribute troops and police to peacekeeping operations. We are grateful to every one of them. But our special thanks go to the top contributors, among which Nepal ranks in the first five. Over the past 50 years, Nepal has contributed 60,000 peacekeepers in some 40 peacekeeping missions. Today, Nepal and four other nations of the South together contribute nearly half of the United Nations peacekeepers around the world.
Since the first operation six decades ago, United Nations peacekeeping has developed into a flagship enterprise of our Organization. Today, we have around 110,000 men and women deployed in conflict zones. They come from nearly 120 countries -- an all-time high, reflecting confidence in United Nations peacekeeping. They bring different cultures and experiences to the job, but they are united in their determination to foster peace. Some are in uniform, but many are civilians, and their activities go far beyond monitoring.
They train police, disarm ex-combatants, support elections and help build State institutions. They build bridges, repair schools, assist flood victims and protect women from sexual violence. They uphold human rights and promote gender equality. Thanks to their efforts, life-saving humanitarian assistance can be delivered and economic development can begin.
In the past year, I have visited peacekeepers in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean. In States emerging from conflict, I have seen refugees returning home, children heading back to school, citizens once again secure under the rule of law. I have seen whole societies moving, with the help of the peacekeepers, from devastation to rejuvenation. In Haiti, in Liberia, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the blue helmets have provided breathing space for a fragile peace to take hold.
The occasions we mark this year are a time to celebrate, but also to mourn our fallen colleagues. Over these six decades, more than 2,400 men and women have died serving the cause of peace -- including more than 60 from Nepal. Each one is a hero. Today, we recommit ourselves to ensuring that their sacrifices are never forgotten, and the vital work of the Blue Helmets continues as long as they are needed.
On this anniversary, I am honoured to send my congratulations and thanks to the Government and people of Nepal, and above all, to every Nepalese peacekeeper, past and present. May your shining example lead the way for Nepal’s continued leadership and participation in peacekeeping around the world.
* *** *For information media • not an official record