The United Nations has awarded eight fallen peacekeepers from Bangladesh posthumously with 'Dag Hammarskjöld Medal'.
At a virtual ceremony on the occasion of the International Day of the UN Peacekeepers on Thursday, as many as 129 peacekeepers from 44 nations who lost their lives while rendering duties in different peacekeeping missions in 2020 were honoured.
Among the 129, eight were Bangladeshi peacekeepers, a figure which is the highest from any single country this year.
This medal commemorates the strength, purity and fragility of the lives lost in the cause of peace.
The fallen Bangladeshi peacekeepers awarded with the 'Dag Hammarskjöld Medal' are: WO Abdul Md Halim from Mali; WO Md Saiful Imam Bhuiyan from Congo; LCPL Md Abdulla Al Mamun from Central African Republic; SGT Md Ziaur Rahman from Congo; SGT Md Mobarak Hussain from Congo; SGT Mohammad Ibrahim from Central African Republic; LCPL Md Saiful Islam from Congo; and Washerman Nurul Amin from South Sudan.
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, Ambassador Rabab Fatima received the medals on behalf of Bangladesh.
The Permanent Mission will make necessary arrangements to send the medals to the family members of the deceased peacekeepers.
Defense Advisor to Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN Mission also attended this virtual ceremony.
"I pay my deep homage to all the brave men and women in blue helmets who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag, and express my heartfelt condolences to their families and friends," said Ambassador Fatima in a condolence message given on the occasion.
She also said that Bangladesh lost many of its valiant soldiers in the line of their sacred duty for world peace. "This sacrifice, however, has never deterred us from responding to the UN's call for duty; rather reinforced our resolve to continue serving the cause of peace."
The PR called upon the international community to honour the memories of the fallen peacekeepers through its pursuit for peace and by ensuring a world free from want and sufferings.
The medals were virtually awarded by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres in presence of the respective Permanent Representatives of 44 countries at the event to observe the day.
The theme for this year is 'The Road To A Lasting Peace: Leveraging The Power Of Youth For Peace And Security'.
The UN Secretary-General also laid wreath at the Peacekeepers Memorial Site in the North Lawn of the UNHQs in honour of all peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the UN flag over the past seven decades.
Bangladesh is currently the top contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping operations and around 7,000 peacekeepers are deployed in nine peacekeeping missions currently.
So far, 159 peacekeepers from Bangladesh have lost their lives while serving in the UN peacekeeping operations, according to the Permanent Mission.
Each year, the United Nations observes the International Day of the UN Peacekeepers on the UN headquarters premises. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually this year.