Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, has paid tributes to all the peacekeepers, uniformed and civilians, who lost their lives while rendering services for various missions of the United Nations. In a statement marking International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Saturday, he pointed out that among those who made the ultimate sacrifice under the United Nations (UN) flag were 160 Pakistanis, including three lost only last year. “They are indeed a symbol of Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to international peace and stability,” Ambassador Akram said. “Through their ultimate sacrifice, they demonstrated our country’s innate spirit of honor and courage. These brave souls will always remain in our thoughts and prayers,” the Pakistani envoy said. “Today,” he said, “over 4400 Pakistani peacekeepers, including young men and women, are deployed in 9 UN Missions around the world. “Despite facing unprecedented threats and challenges, they continue to serve with distinction. They support the United Nations in protecting civilians, including women and youth, engaging with communities and building infrastructure to lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development.” “We acknowledge and salute their bravery and dedication,” Ambassador Akram added. Pakistan is the sixth largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping, currently deploying more than 4,400 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and the Western Sahara. The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002, to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. The General Assembly designated 29 May as the International Day of UN Peacekeepers in commemoration of the day in 1948 when the UN’s first peacekeeping mission, the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), began operations in Palestine.