UN to establish Memorial Wall for fallen peacekeepers: Record 190 nations co-sponsor resolution piloted by India
The Memorial Wall will come up at the UN headquarters in New York within a period of three years.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a resolution to establish a new Memorial Wall for fallen Peacekeepers after a resolution piloted by India received co-sponsorship from a record 190 nations. According to the resolution adopted on Wednesday (June 14, 2023), the Memorial Wall will come up at the UN headquarters in New York within a period of three years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his delight at the development. “Delighted that the Resolution to establish a new Memorial Wall for fallen Peacekeepers, piloted by India, has been adopted in the UN General Assembly. The Resolution received a record 190 co-sponsorships. Grateful for everyone's support,” he tweeted on Thursday (June 15, 2023).
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar thanked all the member states who co-sponsored the resolution. "India piloted the adoption of a Resolution in the UN General Assembly to establish a Memorial Wall for fallen Peacekeepers. The Resolution received a record 190 co-sponsorships, a testimony to faith in India's contributions and intent. Sincere thanks to all member states who co-sponsored the resolution!" he tweeted.
Introducing the draft resolution on the memorial wall, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ruchira Kamboj pointed out that more than 1 million men and women from 125 countries have served in 71 peacekeeping missions worldwide. Even today, over 80,000 peacekeepers serve in various conflict zones, enduring harsh conditions and risking their lives to keep the peace, she added.
However, this has not been without its cost — more than 4,200 peacekeepers have laid down their lives in the service of the blue flag, she said. These brave men and women — who came from different parts of the world, practice different faiths and follow different cultures — were united by the cause of peace, their spirit of selfless sacrifice, professionalism and resolve.
“They made the supreme sacrifice in the pursuit of mandates that we as Member States requested them to carry out,” Kamboj said, emphasizing that the Memorial Wall will be a constant reminder of the cost of Members’ decisions.
By the resolution, which was adopted without a vote, the Assembly welcomed Member States’ initiative to establish — within three years of the text’s adoption — a memorial wall at United Nations Headquarters in New York honouring the memory of fallen peacekeepers.
In deciding that its planning, construction, upkeep and maintenance will be funded entirely from voluntary contributions, the Assembly invited interested Member States to provide voluntary contributions to that end. It also decided to give prominence to the memorial wall by including it in the solemn ceremonies conducted on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers and other United Nations peacekeeping-related events, the UN said.
The Permanent Mission of India to the UN had launched a virtual memorial wall in 2015, dedicated to the Indian troops who made the supreme sacrifice while doing active service as UN peacekeepers. The initiative was a precursor to the eventual construction of the Peacekeepers Memorial Wall. India had proposed the construction of the memorial wall as an appropriate way to commemorate all the troops from UN member states who had given their lives while on duty under the Blue Flag of the United Nations.
It may be recalled that Prime Minister Modi, in his address to the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping hosted by then US President Barack Obama at the UN Headquarters in September 2015 during the high-level General Assembly week, paid homage to the peacekeepers who laid down their lives in defending the highest ideals of the United Nations. “It would be most fitting if the proposed memorial wall to the fallen peacekeepers is created quickly. India stands ready to contribute, including financially, to this objective,” Prime Minister Modi had said.