International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members 2021 will be observed on Thursday, March 25, 2021.
25 March is the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members according to the UN resolution S/RES/868 (1993) that was adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 29 September 1993. This resolution marks some security protocols that should be observed before sending the UN staff members to different countries.
The United Nations Organization is the world’s greatest intergovernmental organization that is regarded by almost all the countries of the world. It has its peacekeeping missions all over the world where it focuses upon establishing law & order in internally unstable & anarchic states. Moreover, it strives to bring prosperity in under-developed and developing countries. Since it has a presence all over the world, the organization has thousands of employees (staff-members) present in almost all the countries of the world whether they are a member of the United Nations Organization or not. This much presence of UN staff members in other countries makes them vulnerable to threats from the anti-peace, anti-democracy, anti-globalization, or anti-change factors/groups. Staff-members are detained or assassinated by such groups whether they are in the host-country government or running private organizations. According to the CNN news agency, more than 3,866 UN peacekeepers have been slain since 1948. The same news article also reveals that the UN has up to 99,542 staff-members active in different countries according to the data shared by the UN in July 2019. March, 25 has been designated as an International Day to commemorate those peacekeepers who were either detained by any host-government or by the insurgent group. International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members reminds us of the contributions of the United Nations in the establishment of peace and development throughout the world without any racial, religious, or ideological discrimination.
The UN drafted the 1994 Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel on 9 December 1994 that ensures the safety and security of the UN staff-members wherever they are performing their duties. Six days later, the draft was signed by 43 countries and many other countries demanded time to consider the conditions of the draft. This draft binds the signatories to make laws to criminalize any kind of offence against the UN staff-members of the associates who work with the United Nations by any party in their countries.
Background of International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members
Detention and assassination of the UN peacekeepers since the day first, but the abduction of British born journalist Alec Collet in Lebanon stirred the international community. He was working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) when he was abducted on gunpoint by a Palestinian terrorist group Abu Nidal on 25 March 1985. Sabri al-Banna, Abu Nidal’s leader, demanded the release of three Nidalis who was earlier abducted by the London Police in an attempt to assassinate Shlomo Argov, the ambassador of Israel to England. This offer was declined by the London authorities that led to the death of Alec Collet. Reportedly, the remains of his body were found in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon in 2009.
Purpose of International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members
The day is celebrated to acknowledge the services the UN staff members are providing to the peace and development of the world. Another purpose of this day is to encourage the new and future peacekeepers by ensuring them that they will not be forgotten after their death and also that they are doing a commendable job for the whole world. International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members is also celebrated to discourage the anti-peace forces and convince the masses that those who kill or detain the UN peacekeepers are actually terrorists who do not want peace in the world.
A seminar is held at the UN headquarters to explain the purpose of the day and to highlight the services of the UN staff members. NGOs and some Governmental Organizations arrange public concerts to commemorate the services of the UN peacekeepers. Column writers write articles on the theme of International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members whereas Electronic media broadcasts programs to encourage the purpose of this day. Social Media activists also play their role to encourage these blessed peacekeepers by promoting hashtag trends.
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