UN honours 2 Indian soldiers for outstanding contribution to global peacekeeping

at 4:54 pm
POK and Kashmir News
India's Major Radhika Sen receives Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award 2023 from UN Secy Gen Antonio Guterres

New York: Two Indian soldiers, including a female officer, have been honoured by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for their outstanding contribution while serving as the UN Peacekeepers.

Naik Dhananjay Kumar Singh, who lost his life during a UN Peacekeeping operation in African country Congo, was honoured posthumously with the prestigious Dag Hammarskjold medal.

He received the Award along with 63 other military, police, and civilian peacekeepers hailing from various other countries who lost their lives serving under the UN flag.

The fallen soldiers and civilians honoured included 61 who perished last year.

Naik Dhananjay Singh served with the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and sacrificed his life in the line of duty.

Dag Hammarskjöld medal is named after the second UN Secretary-General who died in a plane crash in September 1961 at a place which is now Zambia.

Ever since the UN Peacekeeping Operations began in 1948, more than 4,300 peacekeepers have paid the ultimate price while serving under the UN flag.

The Secretary-General also presented the 2023 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award to Major Radhika Sen, a military officer from India.

Major Sen also served with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

Major Sen was deployed in eastern DRC with the MONUSCO as the Commander of the Indian contingent’s engagement platoon.

She led the unit on countless patrols at a time of escalating conflict in North Kivu province. 

Major Sen helped create community networks, providing a safe platform for women to share their ideas and concerns so that the UN Mission could better respond to their needs.  

The Secretary-General called Major Sen “a true leader and role model”, adding that “her service is a true credit to the United Nations as a whole.”  

Created in 2016, the Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award recognizes the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security.

India is the 2nd largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping.

Currently, it has deputed more than 6,000 military and police personnel to the UN operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, the Middle East, Somalia, South Sudan, and Western Sahara.

It was in 1948 that the historic decision was made to deploy military observers to the Middle East to supervise the implementation of Israel-Arab Armistice Agreements, in what became the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization.

Since that time, more than two million peacekeepers from 125 countries have since served in 71 operations around the world. Today, some 76,000 women and men are serving in 11 conflict zones across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

During formal ceremonies at United Nations Headquarters on May 30, Guterres laid a wreath to honour all UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives since 1948.