Egypt is one of the top UN troop contributing countries, currently deploying more than 3000 men and women to serve for the cause of peace under the UN flag in a number of peacekeeping operations.
With the aim of honouring fallen Egyptian peacekeepers, on the occasion of the International Day for UN Peacekeepers, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the United Nations Information Centre in Cairo (UNIC Cairo) and the Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA), organised a ceremony on 26 June 2018 at the Diplomatic Club in the Egyptian capital.
The ceremony was attended by around 120 guests representing UN agencies in Egypt, the Diplomatic community, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Interior, as well as former Egyptian Peacekeepers and representatives of families of a number of fallen Egyptian peacekeepers.“It is my unique privilege and honour to mark 70 Years of Service and Sacrifice of UN peacekeeping in Egypt, one of the UN founding members and the 7th largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping,” said Richard Dictus, the UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt, addressing the ceremony.
“We are here today to honour more than 3,700 peacekeepers, including 41 Egyptians, who lost their lives serving the cause of peace, three of whom fell last year serving under the UN flag and were posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal,” he added.
In his remarks during the ceremony, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E Sameh Shoukry said, “Today, we celebrate seventy years of UN Peacekeeping and Fifty-eight years of Egyptian contributions to this global partnership. Today, we mark our resolve for peace, commemorate our fallen heroes, and highlight a vision for more effective and relevant peacekeeping.”
Since 1960, when Egypt first joined the UN peacekeeping operation in Congo, more than 30,000 Egyptian police and military have served in 38 peacekeeping missions in 24 countries around the world. Based on the ‘70th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping’ theme, Service and Sacrifice, Radhia Achouri, Director of UNIC Cairo, delivered three tokens of appreciation to representatives of the Ministries of Defense and Interior as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Deputy Assistant for UN affairs. Paying tribute to five fallen Egyptian peacekeepers, the CCCPA provided recognition plates and certificates, which were handed over to the families’ representatives by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and representatives of the Ministries of Defense and Interior.The ceremony included a photo exhibition showcasing Egypt’s contribution to the United Nations and featuring the multi-cause UN peacekeeping, including, but not limited to, protecting civilians; preventing conflicts; strengthening rule of law; empowering women; promoting human rights; and delivering field support.