BEIJING, May 26 -- The United Nations (UN) held a ceremony to award the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal in honor of the 75th anniversary of UN P eacekeeping Operations and the fallen peacekeepers in New York headquarters on May 25. More than 200 personnel, including permanent representatives to the UN and related personnel from over 60 countries, attended the event. Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, was present and received a medal awarded by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on behalf of the Chinese peacekeepers who sacrificed their lives.
“The Blue Helmets serve as a beacon of hope and protection for civilians in conflict; they represent the beating heart of the United Nations’ commitment to peace ,” said Guterres. In his remarks, he conveyed condolences to all those who have lost their lives and to the families of peacekeepers. He also expressed gratitude to all Member States and partners for their contributions to peacekeeping efforts.
China is the largest contributor of troops and second-largest contributor of peacekeeping funds among the five permanent members of the Security Council. To date, China’s military and police have actively participated in nearly 30 UN peacekeeping operations, deploying over 50,000 peacekeepers, with more than 20 military and police personnel sacrificing their lives in peacekeeping operations.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal was established by the UN in March 2002 and awarded to any Member State who has lost one or more military or police peacekeepers each year on Peacekeeper's Day to commemorate peacekeepers who have sacrificed their lives. Hammarskjöld served as the second UN Secretary-General from April 10, 1953, until he was killed in an airplane crash while en route to Africa to mediate the conflict in Congo (now DRC) on September 18, 1961.