The UN on Monday held its annual memorial ceremony to honour 115 UN personnel, who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“This year, we honour 115 colleagues from 43 nations, who lost their lives between January 2018 and March this year,” UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said at the ceremony held at the UN headquarters in New York.
“Most were involved in peacekeeping, which faces increasingly complex and deadly challenges, and the vast majority, 103 of those 115 were our African peacekeeping colleagues,” he said.
“This number is striking, and is a stark testament to the commitment and sacrifices of our African partners to our joint endeavours toward global peace and security,” he said.
“We also lost 19 civilians from agencies, funds and programmes. And we remember with sadness our 21 colleagues, who perished in the Ethiopian air disaster in March,” the UN chief said.
“On this solemn occasion, let us honour their memory by rededicating ourselves to the noble cause of promoting peace, prosperity and opportunity for every woman, man and child on the planet,” he said.
According to UN statistics, since the founding of the organisation, more than 3,600 men and women have lost their lives in its service.
From 2013 to 2017, a consistent increase in peacekeeper fatalities due to violent acts resulted in 195 deaths.