Lusaka- The UN International Peacekeepers Day was established by the by the UN General Assembly resolution 57/129 in order to “pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the United Nations Peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.”
The resolution invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, Non-Governmental Organizations and individuals to observe the day in an appropriate manner.
This year Zambia joined the rest for the world in observing the International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers with a solemn church service that was held on May 29, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka under the theme “Adapting to new challenges”.
Zambia over the years has sent personnel in various parts of the world as peacekeepers most notably Angola, Sudan, Sierra lone among others and its record in those countries it has served in has been very exemplary and many other countries have emulated the record set by Zambian peacekeepers.
Among the invited guests was the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, who was represented by the United Nations Security Advisor for Zambia Ms. Rakhi Sahi who read the UN Secretary General’s Ban Ki-moon remarks, other UN members of staff and guest of honor was the Honorable Member of Parliament Mr. Georfrey Mwamba Minister of Defense who delivered the a keynote speech. Also present were members from the various defense wings of the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force, Zambia National Service and Zambia Police Service.
The Minister in his key note address stipulated the importance adapting to new challenges through overcoming them by using all possible strategies. He mentioned that the UN has recognized the important contribution Africa has made towards the creation and sustainability of peace in the world.
Mr. Mwamba reminded his audience that peacekeeping missions are a necessity in countries that are ravaged by war, as they help mitigate and promote the revival of social economic development in affected countries. The minister also commended the United Nations and Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon for the material and support rendered to the Zambian Peacekeepers.
Furthermore, he paid tribute to all peacekeepers in active service and those who have fallen, saying that their sacrifice has not been in vain because their contribution has resulted in stability, unity, cooperation and economic development to countries that previously were torn apart by war. He also urged families of officers currently serving to continue supporting their loved ones as they raise the Zambian flag wherever they are serving.