To celebrate the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, Ms. Kiran Bedi, former Police Adviser in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), inaugurated India and UN Peacekeeping, an exhibition jointly presented by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), United Schools Organisation of India (USO) and India International Centre (IIC). The photo exhibition, which opened on 27 May, continued until 31 May 2011, in the lawns of the prestigious India International Centre in Delhi.
Curated by UNIC, the exhibit highlights India’s engagement with UN peacekeeping that began as early as 1953. Today, 8,842 Indian personnel help keep the peace in nine UN peacekeeping missions throughout the world. 140 Indian soldiers have paid the ultimate price by laying down their lives while participating in UN peacekeeping operations.
The exhibition contained DPKO’s backgrounder on peacekeeping operations, the UN Secretary-General’s message for the Day, a panel dedicated to India’s role in UN peacekeeping, and a dozen India-specific photo panels culled from DPKO resources. The panels were creatively punctuated by Blue Helmets. The design of the exhibition and its contents were greatly appreciate by the vast numbers of visitors to the show.
UNIC Library supported the exhibit with a display of books and a bibliography of UN resources (both print and online) on UN peacekeeping.
There was high media interest in the exhibition, The Hindu and Asian Age carried prominent pictures from the inauguration. 5 television channels covered the opening; another TV channel separately interviewed UNIC Director Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman on the significance of the exhibition.
Following its showing at the India International Centre, the exhibit will move to the lobby of the United Schools Organisation, where it will continue to inspire school teachers being trained in that institute.