“Painting for Peace” - UNIFIL Commemorates International Day of Peace, 20 September 2012
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today held a ceremony at its headquarters in Naquora to mark the 31st International Day of Peace.
The ceremony, attended by representatives from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), religious and municipality leaders, ambassadors from troop contributing countries and members of the International community, was marked under this year's theme, "Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future".
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major-General Paolo Serra and LAF South Litani Commander Brigadier General George Chraim representing the LAF Commander laid wreaths at the UNIFIL Cenotaph in memory of the peacekeepers who have laid down their lives in the line of duty in southern Lebanon.
Addressing the ceremony, Major-General Serra said: "This year's theme for the international day of peace highlights the fact that we cannot possibly think about building a sustainable future if there is no sustainable peace, as armed conflicts attack the very pillars of sustainable development." He added, "I am pleased to say that, following UNIFIL's expansion and with the deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces to the area in 2006, southern Lebanon is witnessing one of the most peaceful times in its recent history."
Force Commander Serra expressed his deep appreciation for the work done by the LAF in coordination with UNIFIL "I am very grateful for the tremendous support, cooperation and good-will which the Lebanese army has been extending to UNIFIL and I remain firmly committed to continue conducting all our activities in close coordination with them." He added, "I am encouraged by the assurances from the parties that they will continue working closely with UNIFIL to maintain calm in the area."
On this occasion, UNIFIL organised an activity under the theme "Painting for Peace" at its headquarters, where 16 students from eight schools in southern Lebanon joined UNIFIL staff members' children to sketch their visions of peace in wall paintings.
"The International Day of Peace is an opportunity to involve every individual in the quest for peace. Each one of us can serve as a role model to inspire and mobilize others," said Major- General Serra while interacting with the children involved in the painting activity.
The International Day of Peace was established by the UN General Assembly in 1981. It is dedicated to cease-fire and non-violence and is an occasion during which all promote tolerance, justice and human rights. Each year on this day, the United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities and to commemorate the day through activities that promote peace.
UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Paolo Serra's speech