Fallen Cambodian peacekeeper Lieutenant Colonel Phoeuk Chivorn will be honoured posthumously with the Dag Hammarskjold medal by UN Secretary-General António Guterres during a formal ceremony to mark the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on May 30.

The day was established by the UN General Assembly in 2002 to pay tribute to all peacekeepers and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

Chivorn was serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in February last year when he passed away due to respiratory disease. 

To date, a total of 11 Cambodian “blue helmets” have made the ultimate sacrifice while on UN missions, while a further 15 have been injured, sometimes seriously. 

Since 2006, the Kingdom has dispatched more than 8,000 peacekeepers on missions to nine nations: Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Central African Republic, Lebanon, Cyprus, Syria, Mali and Yemen, according to the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces (NPMEC).

Over 600 Cambodian uniformed personnel are currently deployed on peacekeeping missions in Abyei, the special administration zone between Sudan and South Sudan, as well as South Sudan itself, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Lebanon.

Guterres will also present the 2023 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award to Major Radhika Sen, a military officer from India. Radhika Sen served with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

According to the UN, since 1948, more than two million peacekeepers from 125 countries have served in 71 operations around the world. Today, some 76,000 women and men are serving in 11 conflict zones across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

The theme for the 2024 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Fit for the future, building better together”. 

“UN Peacekeeping remains a unique global partnership, with peacekeepers from over 120 countries making a meaningful difference every day to millions of people in some of the world's most difficult places,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, undersecretary-general for Peace Operations. 

"As we respond to tomorrow's challenges, UN Peacekeeping continues to evolve, leveraging partnerships to be nimble, responsive and fit-for-purpose, promote stability, protect the vulnerable and help to build a durable peace,” he added.