Morocco is the 11th largest contributor to United Nations peacekeeping with more than 1,700 military and police serving in Abyei, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, according to the UN.
The UN celebrates, on Thursday, May 25, 2023, the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers and also commemorates the 75th anniversary of United Nations peacekeeping operations. On this occasion, thehe United Nations Information Center in Rabat held an online media briefing with Moroccan peacekeepers from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
During this briefing with journalists, UN officials said that the Kingdom of Morocco has been contributing to UN efforts to maintain world peace since 1960, noting that it is in the top 11 contributing countries with more than 1,700 military and police serving in Abyei, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
They also specified that this briefing, which connects Moroccan journalists with Moroccan blue helmets, is the first of its kind. Its purpose is to allow the media to better understand the missions and to have a more detailed and in-depth idea of the efforts made by these soldiers to maintain peace in countries under tension.
In addition, Secretary-General António Guterres will lay a wreath in honor of the more than 4,200 United Nations peacekeepers who have lost their lives since 1948. He will also preside over a ceremony where the Dag Hammarskjöld Medals were posthumously awarded to 103 military, police and civilian peacekeepers who lost their lives serving under the UN flag. last year.
Among the peacekeepers who are posthumously honored with the Dag Hammarskjöld medal are seven Moroccan peacekeepers, including Master Corporal Abderrahman El Gannou, 2e Classe Imad Izri and Corporal Ossama Alioui who served with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Also added: 1st Class Abdelaziz El Maskyni, Master Corporal Azzouz Znaidi, 2e Class Mohammed Rami and 1st Class Hassan Bounouif who served with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
The Secretary-General will present the 2022 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award to Captain Cecilia Erzuah, a military officer from Ghana who served in the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
In his message, Guterres said that “UN peacekeepers are the beating heart of our commitment to a more peaceful world. For 75 years, they have supported people and communities shaken by conflict and upheaval around the world”.
He pursues: “Today, on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we pay tribute to their extraordinary contributions to international peace and security.”
It should be noted that the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the UN General Assembly in 2002, to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping and to honor the memory of those who lost their lives in the cause of peace.
It was in 1948 that the historic decision was taken to allow the deployment of military observers to the Middle East to oversee the implementation of the Arab-Israeli armistice agreements, in what became the United Nations truce monitoring.
Since then, more than two million peacekeepers from 125 countries have served in 71 operations around the world. Today, 87,000 women and men serve in 12 conflict zones in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
For Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, “peacekeeping is a powerful example of how strong partnerships and collective political will can lead to meaningful change.”