Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the solemn ceremony ahead of the Security Council high-level open debate on "United Nations peacekeeping operations: technology and peacekeeping", in New York today:
I thank the Government of India for bringing us together at the peacekeeping memorial today to honour the service and sacrifice of our peacekeepers.
More than 1 million men and women have served under the blue flag of the United Nations since 1948. More than 4,000 peacekeepers have lost their lives in the line of duty. Among them are 174 Indian peacekeepers, the highest number of all the troop-contributing countries.
We are forever grateful for their service. Their remarkable work, and ultimate sacrifice, will never be forgotten. Let us take a moment of silence to honour all our fallen United Nations peacekeepers.
Today, our peacekeepers proudly carry on the legacy of those we have lost. They continue to make a vital difference in the lives of millions of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
They now do this while facing the many challenges posed by COVID-19. They are not only protecting civilians and advancing political solutions, they are helping countries address the pandemic.
In a few moments, we will meet in the Security Council for an open debate on peacekeeping and technology. Strengthening the safety and security of peacekeepers is paramount. In line with Action for Peacekeeping Plus, it is essential that we accelerate our move towards innovative, data-driven and technology-enabled peacekeeping. We owe it to our peacekeepers and to the populations we protect.
I look forward to working with India and with all Member States to ensure we do everything possible to protect our own so that they can continue protecting others.