Fallen UN peacekeepers honoured

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses a wreath laying ceremony on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. UN Photo/Mark Garten

More than 3,300 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while serving under the United Nations flag have been honoured at a wreath laying ceremony in New York.

The ceremony took place on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers which is marked on 29 May each year.

The theme for this year is "UN70 and UN Peacekeeping: Past, Present, and Future”.

Derrick Mbatha reports.

The UN Secretary-General said the annual day is a sad occasion on the UN calendar but one which will always be honoured with the greatest possible dignity.

Ban Ki-moon called for the observance of a solemn moment of silence to honour the 126 heroes from 38 countries who died last year while serving under the United Nations flag.

"The deployments are higher – and so are the death tolls. In the first 45 years of the United Nations, there were four years when more than 100 peacekeepers lose their lives. In just the last 14 years, we have suffered that terrible loss already ten times. Last year was the seventh year in a row that more than 100 peacekeepers lost their lives." (26")

The Secretary-General said the conditions were especially hazardous in Mali where the UN mission lost over 40 of its personnel.

He also mentioned the Darfur region of Sudan where two dozen peacekeepers were lost and pointed out that in Liberia, for the first time, the UN lost peacekeeping personnel to Ebola.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration. 1’20″

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