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International Day of Peace Unveiling of the Nepali UN Peacekeepers’ memorial plaque
9/20/2017 7:00:40 PM

UN House, Kathmandu, 20 August 2017 – UN System in Nepal observe the International Day of Peace on 20th September 2017 by paying tribute to the brave Nepalese UN Peacekeepers who have fallen in the line of duty by unveiling of the Nepali UN Peacekeepers’ Memorial Plaque in the UN House amid a brief ceremony.

Honorable Mr. Giri Raj Mani Pokharel, Minister of Health and designated Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal and chief guest addressed the programme. Ms. Valerie Julliand, UN Resident Coordinator for Nepal put her remarks on blue helmet. Ms. Julliand laid wreath to the memorial plaque followed by the chief guest, Nepal Army Chief General Rajendra Chhetri, Nepal Police Chief Mr. Prakash Aryal and Nepal Armed Police Chief Mr. Singha Bahadur Shrestha.

The event was followed by screening of video message of Secretary-General and candle lit by family members of the Nepalese peacekeepers.

Chief of Nepali Police, Chief of Army and Chief of Armed Police Force and participants Former Commander Chiefs of UN missions and high official of security force of Nepal. 

 

Address by Hon'ble Mr. Giriraj Mani Pokharel, Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs

at the Program of International Day of Peace and 

unveiling of the Nepali UN Peacekeepers' Memorial Plaque in the UN House

at 10 am on 20th September 2017 at the UN House, Lalitpur

United Nations Resident Coordinator Madam Valerie Julliand,

Excellencies,

Distinguished representatives and Officials of the UN System and international organizations,

Chiefs of Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Nepal Armed Police Force,

Family members of Nepali UN peacekeepers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty for world peace

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I feel honored and privileged to be amongst you at this august gathering organized this morning on the occasion of the International Day of Peace that is celebrated worldwide on 21st September every year. Tomorrow is our national holiday on the occasion of the first day (Ghatasthapana) of great Festival Vijaya Dashami. I also take this opportunity, on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami of B.S. 2074, to extend my sincere greetings for good health, happiness, peace and prosperity to you all in the days to come.

At the outset, I would like, on behalf of the Government of Nepal, to express sincere thanks to the United Nations for organizing this program at which we just jointly unveiled a Memorial Plaque in memory of Nepali UN Peacekeepers. It is a fitting occasion to pay homage to Nepali UN Peacekeepers who have made their supreme sacrifice of their lives in the line of their duty in different times. 

This year's global theme of the International Day of Peace for 2017 is "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All."  The theme is timely and most appropriate for all members of the United Nations. Nepal has always underlined the need for unity and concerted efforts of all UN members towards achieving the goals of international peace and security, sustainable development and respect for human rights of all people around the world based on the cardinal principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

I would like to reiterate, on behalf of the Government of Nepal, its unflinching faith and commitment to the United Nations Charter. Nepal, a peace-loving member of the UN, has taken on the Organization as an international instrument of collective security for world's peace and stability.  Since becoming its member on 14 December 1955, Nepal has consistently participated in the activities of the United Nations and strived for making the Organization more effective in its vision and mission in a global partnership for peace and solidarity. 

You may already know that leading a Nepali delegation the Right Honorable Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has left Kathmandu just yesterday evening for New York to participate in the ongoing 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Our regular participation in the General Assembly and other organs of the United Nations attests our commitment and resolution towards the Organization.

Furthermore, Nepal's contributions to the maintenance of international peace, security and stability through the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions since 1958 have been well recognized and received by the international community. Nepal takes pride in her consistent contributions to the noble endeavor for collective security and world peace over six decades. We consider that the spirit of together under the umbrella of the United Nations is well served since UN peacekeeping efforts represent the most significant and successful achievement of the Organization for sustainable peace and prosperity for all. 

We have noticed that UN peacekeeping missions have constantly been evolved during the past seven decades in terms of their mandates and effectiveness in the changed contexts of a multi-polar world. The numbers of UN peacekeepers and troop contributing countries and UN Missions have substantively increased. Since the Brahimi Report of 2001, the nature of deployment of troops has also been redefined with a view to creating lasting peace and stability, and preventing and managing conflicts around the world. 

It is both an opportunity and challenge for Nepali UN Peacekeepers to perform their duty with Blue Helmets. The Government of Nepal would like to express its sincere appreciation to the United Nations for providing opportunities to the Nepal Army, Nepal police and Nepal Armed Police Force as uniformed or civilian personnel to serve various United Nations peacekeeping, peace-building and peacemaking missions around the world. Nepali UN peacekeepers have demonstrated their selfless dedication and commitment with high professionalism as required by the mandates of their respective missions as many as 42 out of 71 UN Peacekeeping Operations during the past six decades. So far, Nepal has contributed over 126, 000 peacekeepers and is currently the sixth largest troops contributing country. Even at present, 5200 plus Nepali UN peacekeepers are on duty in 15 out 16 UN peacekeeping missions from Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti all corners of the world. 

While we commend all Nepali UN peacekeepers, 76 of them have lost their lives in the line of duty in about 20 missions during the six decades. It is therefore a pious occasion to pay homage to them and give applause to their family members who have lost their dear ones. Nepal along with 193 UN members would remember them as brave Nepali Blue Helmets in memory of their service for common humanity.

The Government of Nepal has laid emphasis on impartiality, dedication and professional excellence of Nepali peacekeepers that is the hallmark of Nepal's participation. Efforts are made for inclusive participation of female peacekeepers in different missions to improve gender parity in the peacekeeping missions. 

With a view to making peacekeeping effective, responsible and accountable, Nepal considers that the core principles of the UN peacekeeping, such as consent of the parties, impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate should form the fundamental basis for the legitimate role of the UN peacekeeping operations. 

We have internalized and integrated into policy relevant norms and standards on peacekeeping, including the Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians. Nepal believes that host government should ensure safety and security of the lives and dignity of the peacekeepers and civilian population. Therefore, we feel that collective and shared interest of better peacekeeping requires the close support and coordination of all stakeholders. The United Nations must support troops contributing countries for strengthening professionalism and capability of peacekeepers and senior leadership.

Nepal has always responded positively and promptly to the call of the United Nations and sent troops and civilian personnel at the shortest of calls, also in relatively difficult missions, which is a testimony to our commitment to world peace. The Nepal Army, Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force have all integrated the UN policies regarding protection of civilians, sexual exploitation or abuse, and protection of human rights into the pre-deployment training of peacekeepers. The Nepali peacekeepers and officials receive pre-deployment trainings with focus on challenges associated with the protection of civilians. In light with these commitments to the highest standards of peacekeeping, it is imperative that troops contributing countries should also have an enhanced sense of ownership in the whole process of peacekeeping. 

It is our firm belief that balanced, fair and equitable opportunities for recruitment in senior positions from the Troops and Police Contributing Countries will enhance the inclusive character of the Secretariat and field missions and further enhances their effectiveness. 

You may be aware that just yesterday we celebrated the third anniversary of the proclamation of the new Constitution. The cycle of local level elections has completed just two days ago. The Federal Parliament and Provincial elections have already been scheduled in November and December this year. After all these elections governance at all levels will be entirely in the hands of elected representatives that will enhance acceptability and implementation of the Constitution by all Nepali people.

Last but not the least, the Government of Nepal attaches high importance to partnership with the United Nations in the attainment of its goal of international peace, security and sustainable development around the world. As in the past, Nepal will continue to make its utmost efforts to respond to the call of the United Nations to make a safe and better world.  

Thank you all for your kind attention.

 

Remarks by UN Resident Coordinator
Ms. Valerie Julliand
To mark the International Day of Peace at the Unveiling ceremony of the Nepali UN Peacekeepers’ memorial plaque

Wednesday, 20 September 2017, UN House, Hariharbhawan

Designated Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon’ble Giriraj Mani Pokharel (Minister of Health)
Chief of Nepal Army Staff, General Rajendra Chettri,
Inspector General Police Mr. Prakash Aryal
Inspector General of Nepal Armed Police Force Mr. Singha Bahadur Shrestha
Officers in Uniform
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Family members of former U.N. peacekeepers,
Members of the Press,
Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we continue to witness conflicts across the world. In 2016 alone, 87,000 people were killed in the armed civil conflicts, and many more have been forced to flee their homes due to the unrests caused by the conflicts. Countless number of children, men and women have been deprived of their basic rights.

Prevention and mitigation of wars continue to be the number one priority of the international community through the U.N., as well as the collective responsibility of the member states; equally important is to ensure that the war-torn countries can take steady steps toward peace, recovery and sustainable nation building.

The U.N. peacekeepers stand at the frontline and continue to play a crucial role to maintain the peace, and keep countries from falling back into war again. As of June 2017, there are more than 112,000 U.N. military, police and civilian personnel deployed in 15 peacekeeping missions in four continents with the contributions from 126 countries including Nepal.

However, fragile status of the post-war countries sometimes expose the peacekeepers to the recurrence of war and other dangers. Since 1948, more than 3,500 lives of the fellow peacekeepers were sacrificed through peace keeping missions, and this includes 76 Nepali peacekeepers.

Today, we remember and honor the uniformed personnel, civilian peacekeepers such as international civil servants, national staff members and the U.N. volunteers who have fallen. Our missions would not function without their bravery, integrity, as well as endurance of their family members toward the endeavor of their loved ones.

Ladies and gentlemen, on this occasion, I would like to request you to join me in a moment of silence to honor the legacy of the brave men and women who lost their lives in service under the flag of the United Nations. (Approx. 1 minute)

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Every year, on International Day of Peace on 21 September, we gather and remember the spirit of the U.N. peacekeepers and the origin the United Nations which was born after the devastating World Wars with a mission to pursue global peace. This is the moment when we re-affirm our shared aspiration to end the needless suffering caused by the wars.

As we speak, global leaders are gathering at the 72nd General Assembly in New York to renew their commitment to strive for peace and decent life for all. The Secretary General highlighted in his message that peace serves as the foundation of the fulfillment of human rights, hence it fosters the wellbeing of all, thriving communities and prosperous nations in a sustainable manner.

Peacekeeping operation is a powerful tool and effective investment in global peace, security and prosperity. Nevertheless, today’s world is still over-armed, and peace is underfunded. The energy to reverse this trend must derive from every member state of the United Nations.

Nepal has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate its commitment to peace and prosperity from inside out. Its contribution to the U.N. peacekeeping operation remains the sixth largest in terms of the number of troops and police. Currently, 5,202 Nepali police (708), military experts (55), and troops (4,439) are on the ground. This is remarkable.

I would also like to draw your attention to Nepal’s commendable efforts to build a peaceful and inclusive nation. Following the promulgation of the Constitution, the successful holding of local elections has proven the country’s commitment and ability for a peaceful transition to the federal democratic system. And this is only recent years’ achievements. We must remember that this is part of a long journey of almost 11 years after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, where Nepal has been taking careful yet rigorous steps without relapsing into another conflict. Now two other important elections (State and Federal Elections) need to be completed as well as the Transitional Justice process long awaited by the victims of the conflict.

Inclusive nation building, justice and development mitigate the risk of instability, pave the way for prosperity and will allow the country to offer opportunities to the young generation, to the women, to the disadvantaged groups and to all Nepali in general, to carry the legacy from the past and envision a bright future.

On behalf of the United Nations, I would like to express our gratitude to the country’s tireless efforts in the promotion of peace and prosperity. The U.N. Nepal is committed to support the country’s leadership in fostering national and global peace. Let us work Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.

Thank you.
 

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