London - The courageous and heroic services of peacekeepers under the United Nations’ flag, have been celebrated and heralded -as a genuine catalyst to ensuring global peace -by the diplomatic community in London, under the aegis of the United Nations Association of the United Kingdom, UNA-UK.
Liberia’s Ambassador accredited to the Court of Saint James, His Excellency Dr. S. Mohammed Sheriff, represented Liberia, paying tribute to Peacekeepers’ who lost their lives in active service; insisting that the world is a better place today, thanks to their immeasurable courage and dedication.
The annual event, held at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, includes a parade by Heads of Missions and military representatives of UN member countries, climaxed by the laying of wreath at the Glorious Dead Monument in London, along the venue of the first meeting of the UN General Assembly.
Amb. Sheriff indicated that the significance of the ceremony was beyond symbolism, as it represents a unique occasion to memorialise the selflessness of Peacekeepers and their ultimate contributions to global peace and security.
This state of mind, the top Liberian diplomat empathised, continues to witness Liberia broaden the scope of governance while leveraging the benefits of a functioning society.
Liberia's presence also celebrates the bravery of the contingent of the Armed Forces of Liberia currently serving under the UN mandate- seeking to restore harmony to fellow West African neighbours Mali, one of the troops contributing countries during the Liberian civil unrest.
The Chair of the United Nations Association in the United Kingdom, David Wardrop, reminded the gathering that changing global dynamics continue to give increased relevance to the celebration; calling on participants to continue to push the boundaries of global peace and harmony.
He recounted that Peacekeepers from around the world, continue to be trapped in battles they know nothing about, yet, motivated by their relentless urge to bring relief to those stricken by conflict, with interventions that rescue the embattled people of the world.
Mr. Wardrop also called for institutionalised recognition and memorial sites for Peacekeepers across the world. Such dedicated venues, he insisted, will give a reflective account of UN Peacekeepers, and their selfless contributions towards global peace.
According to a dispatch from London, the ceremony also honoured the daring services of one hundred and twenty thousand (120,000) uniformed and civilian personnel serving under the United Nations, hailing from more than 123 countries.
The event held in London on 24 may, was held in commemoration of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers; with 115 embassies and high commissions represented.
The annual ceremony is organised by the United Nations Association-UK (UNA-UK) in partnership with UNA-Westminster and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
Some 3,553 UN peacekeepers from 119 nations have lost their lives in active service.
The International Day was first observed in 2003 on May 29, the date in 1948 when the first mission began in Palestine, to pay tribute to those who died in the line of duty.
The UN's 112,000 peacekeepers operate in some fraught region of the globe under 16 different missions.