Context: About 850 Indian peacekeepers serving in South Sudan have been awarded the prestigious UN medal for their service and contribution to building peace in the strife-torn nation and supporting the local communities.
- India is among the largest troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping operations. Currently, 2,342 Indian troops and 25 police personnel are deployed with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
- The Indian troops were particularly praised for their efforts to support peace talks between the government and the opposition forces in the Upper Nile region and establishing the first-ever UNMISS base on the west bank of the Nile at Kodok.
Types of Medals given by UN
- Dag Hammarskjöld Medal: The Secretary-General established the Dag Hammarskjöld medal in December 2000 as a posthumous award to members of peacekeeping operations who lost their lives during service with a peacekeeping operation under the operational control and authority of the United Nations.
- Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal: The Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage to be awarded to “those military, police, civilian United Nations personnel and associated personnel who demonstrate exceptional courage, in the face of extreme danger, while fulfilling the mandate of their missions or their functions, in the service of humanity and the United Nations.
- UN Medal: The UN medal was established by the Secretary-General in 1966 for award, subject to the Regulations for the United Nations Medal (ST/SGB/119/Rev.1), to military personnel and civilian police who are or have been in the service of the United Nations.
About UN Peacekeeping Forces
- United Nations peacekeeping began in 1948 with the deployment of unarmed UN military observers to the Middle East in a mission to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
- The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) and the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) were the first two United Nations missions deployed.
- Today, more than 110,000 uniformed and civilian personnel are serving in 20 peace operations managed by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
- The decisions about establishing, maintaining or expanding a peacekeeping operation are taken by the Security Council.
- The financing of UN Peacekeeping operations is the collective responsibility of all UN Member States.
- Every Member State is legally obligated to pay their respective share towards peacekeeping. This is in accordance with the provisions of Article 17 of the Charter of the United Nations.