Two Indians Lance Naik Nand Ram and Raju Joseph on 23 May 2015 were posthumously named for prestigious United Nations (UN) Dag Hammarskjold Medal.
Lance Naik Nand Ram served the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and Raju Joseph served in a civilian capacity with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
They will be awarded on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers observed annually on 29 May 2015.
The 126 military, police and civilian personnel lost their lives in 2014 while serving with the UN as a result of hostile acts, accidents and disease and will receive the medal during a ceremony at UN headquarters in New York.
In 2014, eight Indian soldiers were posthumously awarded the medal, named after Dag Hammarskjold, the second UN Secretary-General.
The Dag Hammarskjold Medal was established in December 2000 and is awarded posthumously to members of peacekeeping operations who lost their lives during service with a peacekeeping operation under the operational control and authority of the United Nations.
Hammarskjold, a Swedish diplomat and second Secretary General of the UN died in a mysterious plane crash in 1961. He was posthumously awarded a Nobel Peace Prize the year he died.
India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping Mission
India is among the largest contributors of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping. It currently deploys 8112 military and police personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations in Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, the Middle East, Sudan, South Sudan and Western Sahara.
So far, India has contributed nearly 180000 troops to UN peacekeeping missions, including the 103-strong Indian female police unit in the UN mission in Liberia.
International Day of UN Peacekeepers
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002, as a tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
United Nations Organisation (UNO) was formed in 1945. In 2015, UNO will mark 70th anniversary. The theme for the day in 2015 is UN at 70: Peacekeeping: Past, Present, and Future.
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When: 23 May 2015