Thu, 17 Jun 2021 - 01:10 GMT
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shokry in ceremony celebrating the International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers in Cairo, Egypt on June 17, 2021. Egypt Today/Khaled Mashaal
CAIRO – 17 June 2021: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held Thursday a ceremony in Cairo on the occasion of the International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers marking May 27.
In his speech, Minister Sameh Shokry expressed appreciation for the men and women on the frontlines, and for the souls of the martyrs.
Shokry pointed out that Egypt was among the earliest to join peacekeeping forces, and that was in Congo in 1960. Since then, a total of 30,000 Egyptian elements have joined UN peacekeeping missions in Africa and Latin America. Currently, there are almost 3,200 Egyptian men and women deployed in hostile areas around the globe.
The foreign minister said that Egypt's contribution reflects its deep faith in the salience of peace and stability in Africa and the region.
During the ceremony, Egyptian police and army officers who were part of the UN peacekeeping missions last year were honored.
On May 27, the UN secretary general laid wreath to honor the souls of 4,000 who were made martyrs while on peacekeeping missions since 1948.
Egypt ranks seventh in terms of number of elements operating as peacekeepers, and who are deployed in Abyei (a disputed area between Sudan and South Sudan), Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, and Western Sahara.
On her side, the UN Resident Coordinator Elena Panova affirmed that Egypt has been among the pioneers in peacekeeping lauding its participation in UN peacekeeping missions.
Panova noted that by 2030, the world will have 1.3 billion youths (aged between 18 and 29). Eighty-seven percent of those will be mostly living in developing countries, while around 30 percent will be living in hostile areas.
In that context, Panova highlighted that tens of thousands of peacekeepers are aged between 18 and 29, and that the participation of women increased either.
The international official congratulated the Egyptian minister of foreign affairs on the success of the second edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in March commending the focus on post-COVID-19 recovery.