The International Day of UN Peacekeepers (29 May) was an opportunity to honour the UN peacekeeping personnel serving peace around the globe. As part of this recognition, the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres paid tribute to their service and sacrifice at the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal Awards Ceremony which honored the 117 peacekeepers who lost their lives in 2021 serving under the UN flag, including two former MINURSO staff members. Additionally, the Secretary-General awarded the Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage, for only the second time since its creation in 2014. The late Captain Abdelrazakh Hamit Bahar of Chad was killed in Mali by heavily armed assailants while protecting the local population. SRSG Alexander Ivanko hailed the work of MINURSO personnel who everyday work for peace in one of the planet’s most challenging environments. During a celebration on 27 May, he laid a wreath at the monument of the MINURSO fallen peacekeepers.
MINURSO’s Mine Action component and UN Volunteers Programme were honored to be recognized in the “Peacekeeper of the Day” people-driven campaign on UN social media platforms. Likewise, two media reports posted by the UN News Center - an interview with a Chinese Military Observer serving in a team site, and a second one with a Mexican Military Observer working at the Mission’s HQ, highlighted the critical job performed by the UNMOs in general, and women peacekeepers in particular.