The supreme sacrifice was made by Indian peacekeeper Sepoy Johnson Beck, in the line of duty while serving in the UNDOF Mission. He was commemorated on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on 29 May 2020, and was posthumously awarded the prestigious Dag Hammarskjöld Medal.
The role of UNDOF in supervising the implementation of the Disengagement Agreement and maintaining the ceasefire is of critical importance, given the volatile situation in the region. The decade-long conflict in Syria has also impacted UNDOF’s activities.
UNDOF peacekeepers are currently operating in extremely challenging circumstances. While UNDOF is yet to fully return to the area of separation, UNDOF’s movement is getting restricted, and violations of the Disengagement Agreement are taking place from both sides.
India is currently the third-largest troop contributor to UNDOF with a contingent of around 200 peacekeepers. We are concerned about the high risk of collateral damage to UNDOF peacekeepers due to security incidents, as mentioned in the UNSG’s report. Protecting the blue helmets should be the utmost priority for all of us.