NEW YORK (Press Release) – On 1st June, the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations hosted the Pakistan Peacekeepers Day at the United Nations Headquarters.
At the event, Never Forget Pakistan (NFP), in collaboration with the Pakistan Mission, launched the first-ever dedicated tribute website to the Pakistani UN Peacekeepers.
The website is part of NFP’s tribute series and follows previous tributes to civilians, military and police officers martyred fighting extremism and extremist narratives in Pakistan.
The launching ceremony was attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi. Never Forget Pakistan was represented by its Lead Campaigner Mohammad Jibran Nasir.
The Secretary General while speaking at the event paid tribute to the services of Pakistani Peacekeepers. He said: “Since its first deployment in Congo in 1960, Pakistan has been one of the most consistent and reliable contributors to United Nations peacekeeping.”
In her welcome remarks, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi called for a collective response to the challenges that modern peacekeeping faces today. “Our goal is common – to ensure that in the current context, the UN’s peacekeeping missions can effectively fulfill their mandates,” she said.
She assured the Secretary General of Pakistan’s readiness to work with the UN in pursuit of this goal by adding, “Our own approach to its norm-setting in this new era of peacekeeping remains forward-looking.”
She said that Pakistan’s continued commitment to UN peacekeeping was a fundamental part of its policy and a manifestation of “our contribution to this vital goal.”
Pakistani Peacekeepers, Dr. Lodhi said, serve the UN with bravery, distinction, professionalism and dedication. “The photo exhibition that you see here is testimony to this strong tradition since the early 1960’s,” she added.
Jibran Nasir, while presenting the website, said: “In the post war on terrorism scenario, the global media has often remarked that Pakistan is struggling with peace, but what it has failed to acknowledge is that for the 56 years Pakistan has been struggling for peace in 23 countries through 42 missions.”
Pakistan is the third-biggest contributor to UN Peacekeeping missions with more than 169,000 troops dedicated to date and more than 7000 currently on active duty.
Pakistani women have also paid an active role in peacekeeping and DSP Shahzadi Gulfam, also present at the ceremony, was presented the International Female Police Peacekeeping Award in 2011.
The website aims to archive the the rich history of Pakistani Peacekeepers and features a virtual Wall of Valor saluting the 145 Pakistanis who have sacrificed their lives on Peacekeeping missions.
The website also presents statistics on the current deployment of Pakistani soldiers and police officers and also records the history of the various leadership positions held by Pakistanis as Special Envoys, Special Representatives of the UNSG and as Force Commanders and Military Advisers.
The website also includes the biggest online collection of images of Pakistani Peacekeepers on various missions around the world. It has also archived the tributes paid to Pakistani peacekeepers by various foreign diplomats and military officials.
Through the website, NFP aims to highlight the positive contributions of Pakistan towards global peace and stability.
The website was developed by the following volunteer team members of NFP: Sarmad Ahsan, Batool Aqeel and Madhiya Q for Graphics, Faisal Khan as video editor and Subhan Ghanvi and Arsalan Rauf as web developers.