Accra, 26 May, 2015 – Four fallen peacekeepers from Ghana who lost their lives in 2014 will be honoured posthumously with the Dag Hammarskjöld medal in New York at a solemn event to mark International Day of UN Peacekeepers. They are Corporal Augustine ACKAH, Sgt George KORANTENG, and Lt. Moses ADATARA who served with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL); and Warrant Officer 1 Peter ATABIRE who was deployed with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
These fallen heroes were among some 126 peacekeepers – military, police and civilian – from 38 countries across the world who lost their lives in 2014 while serving with the United Nations as a result of hostile acts, accidents and disease.
In Ghana, a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the forecourt of the State House in memory of the fallen Ghanaian peacekeepers and to honour the over 3,000 military and police personnel currently deployed to eleven peacekeeping operations in Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India-Pakistan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan and Western Sahara.
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002, in tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, 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 United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the world body’s first peacekeeping mission, began operations in Palestine.
The 2015 commemorative ceremonies will be held at a time when the demand for United Nations peacekeepers is at an all-time high. There are now more than 125,000 UN peacekeepers, including 91,000 military personnel, 13,000 police officers as well as 17,000 international civilian and national staff serving in 16 operations on four continents.