This year’s International Day of the United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers was yesterday launched in Accra, on the theme: “UN 70 and Ghana in Peacekeeping: Past, Present and Future.”
The event to be held on Friday, May 29, would be climaxed with a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony at the forecourt of the State House, Accra.
A photo exhibition of peacekeeping duties of the Ghana Armed Forces, the Prison Service and the Ghana Police Service was mounted as part of the launch.
Other activities planned for the event include television documentaries on peacekeeping, radio discussions and adult education in the local languages.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms. Hannah Tetteh launching the event, said the day would offer Ghanaians the opportunity to pay homage to the gallant men and women who served and continued to serve in UN peacekeeping operations.
“We have to pay homage to our gallant men and women who have demonstrated high level of professionalism, dedication and courage during their peacekeeping operations as well as those who have paid the supreme price in the cause of global peace and security,” she said.
She paid tribute to those maimed or injured in the line of duty, and also expressed condolences to families of fallen heroes and heroines.
Ms. Tetteh said Ghana had become the first African country to participate in over 63 UN peacekeeping missions adding, “it is against this background of relentless effort and great sacrifices made by our peacekeeping personnel that the day needed to be celebrated.”
She said the day would also afford the opportunity to look back at the history and trajectory of peacekeeping operations, and how it is evolving to meet new challenges as it remained relevant and effective in the days and years to come.
The Minister expressed the hope that the celebration would bring Ghana’s perspective to bear on the international discourse to reform UN peacekeeping operations through innovation and technology, to make the peacekeepers including civilians more secure and safe when they put their lives in harm’s way.
The occasion was graced by the UN Resident Co-ordinator, Ms. Christine Evans Klock.
By Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu