Well done Ghana for contributing to global peace!

Ghana organised a parade of personnel from the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service cuma flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony in Accra yesterday to mark the 77th International Day for United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers with a call for stronger partnerships to enhance their operations and global peace.

Marked every May 29, the day is used to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian peacekeepers and to honourtheir colleagues who havedied serving under the UN flag since 1948.

The UN Peacekeeping started in 1948 when its Security Council approved the deployment of UN military observers in the Middle East to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

The operation became known as the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO).

Ever since that time, more than 70 peacekeeping operations have

been deployed by the UN, including the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which followed UNTSO, both of which operate today.

It is interesting to note that the UN military observers then were unarmed.

The earliest armed peacekeeping operation was the First UN Emergency Force (UNEF I) deployed successfully in 1956 to address the Suez Crisis.

It is also worthy of note that the UN Operation in the Congo (ONUC) launched in 1960 was the first large-scale mission having nearly 20,000 military personnel at its peak and that it was the ONUC that demonstrated the risks involved in trying to bring stability to war-torn regions as 250 UN personnel died while serving on that mission, including the Secretary-General then, Dag Hammarskjold.

UN history has it that in the 1960s and 1970s, the UN established short-term missions such as the Mission of the Representative of the Secretary-General in the Dominican Republic (DOMREP); UN Security Force in West New Guinea (UNSF); and the UN Yemen Observation Mission (UNYOM) and longer-term as UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP); UN Emergency Force II (UNEF II) in the Middle East; UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), established on May 31,1974 by Security Council Resolution 350, following the agreed disengagement of the Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan;and UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

In the second half of the 1990s, the Council authorised new UN operations including UN Angola Verification Mission III (UNAVEM III); UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) and others like the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) towards the dawn of the 21st Century.

Some of these operations have now completed their mandates, including the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) and UNAMSIL.

UN peacekeeping now involves a wide variety of complex tasks, including helping to build sustainable institutions of governance, human rights monitoring, security sector reform, and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants.  

For such purposes, beside the military, many others take part in the operations, including administrators, economists, legal experts, de-miners, electoral observers, human rights monitors, civil affairs and governance specialists, humanitarian workers and communications and public information experts

Over the years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel, as well as tens of thousands of UN police and civilians from more than 120 countries have participated in UN peacekeeping operations and over 3,400 of them have died.

Ghana first took part in United Nations peacekeeping mission in 1960, in the UN Operation in the Congo (ONUC), interestingly the global body’s first large-scale mission as already.

Ever since, 147 Ghanaian service men and women have died during various missions across the world.

The Ghanaian Times congratulates Ghana onhaving been observed a beacon of peacekeeping around the world since its first United UN peacekeeping mission andtouted as the ninth largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping with nearly 2,600 military and police personnel currently on missions.

The paper, above all, salutes the UN forcontinuously spearheading global peacekeeping and thus ensuring that humanity can enjoy some serenity.

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