UN HONORS FIJI’S FALLEN PEACEKEEPERS

The United Nations commemorated International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Friday 29th May 2020. The Dag Hammarskjold Medal ceremony is held annually on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

The Dag Hammarskjold Medal is posthumously awarded to honor peacekeepers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, in the service of peace.

Three Fijian Peacekeepers were posthumously awarded with the Dag Hammarskjold Medal in 2020.

The late Warrant Officer Class Two Kolinio Mocevakaca died whilst serving with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq.

Corporal Sakiusa Vakalala, died serving in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in Syria.

The late Mr Seniloli Tabuatausole died, as a result of a car bomb attack in Libya. He was a civilian staff with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. In 2019, 83 United Nations Peacekeepers died in the service of peace.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Guterres in his address, commemorating the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, said that peacekeepers are facing “one of their greatest challenges ever, delivery on their peace and security mandate whilst helping countries to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The theme for this year’s International Day for United Nations Peacekeepers is, ‘Women in Peacekeeping – A Key to Peace.’ The Secretary General stated that this shows the “central role” women play in peace operations. There needs to be “more done to achieve women’s equal representation in all areas of peace and security,” as only 6% of peacekeepers are women today.

Fijian peacekeepers have continuously served around the world since 1978. More than 20,000 Fijians have participated in United Nations peacekeeping, and 64 Fijians have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten.