UNIFIL celebrates United Nations Day

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary salutes an Indonesian UNIFIL peacekeeper at the United Nations Day celebrations at UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura.

A UNIFIL guard of honour carry the UN flag into the UN Day ceremony.

On UN Day Lebanese Armed Forces representative, Brigadier General Charbel Abou Khalil, lays a wreath in memory of fallen peacekeepers at the UNIFIL cenotaph.

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Beary presents a certificate of recognition to civilian peacekeeper, Joumana Sayegh, for her 25 years of service.

These UNIFIL civilian peacekeepers were awarded certificates for long service at the UN Day ceremony held at UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura.

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24 Oct 2016

UNIFIL celebrates United Nations Day

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today celebrated United Nations Day amidst a special ceremony at the peacekeeping mission’s headquarters in Naqoura, south Lebanon.

During the ceremony, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Michael Beary and representative of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Brigadier General Charbel Abou Khalil laid wreaths at the UNIFIL Cenotaph in honour of the peacekeepers who lost their lives in the service of peace in Lebanon.

In his remarks, Major-General Beary paid tribute to the 310 peacekeepers who made the ultimate sacrifice while attempting to help bring peace and stability to the people of south Lebanon since UNIFIL was established in 1978.

“Let us never forget the sacrifice that those soldiers and their families have paid for peace in south Lebanon,” he said. “We are striving to create a calm and peaceful region where the citizens of south Lebanon can be given the opportunity, together with their government and the LAF, to lay the foundations of a permanent peace in what has often been a very troubled region.”

The UNIFIL head also presented certificates of recognition to national and international staff members completing at least 25 years of service with UNIFIL and the staff members who are retiring this year. Today’s ceremony was attended by representatives of the Lebanese authorities, religious leaders, the LAF, members of the international community, and peacekeeping troops.

Major-General Beary said everyone in attendance in today’s ceremony – both peacekeepers and Lebanese guests – have a role to play in implementing the Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006), which forms the core of UNIFIL’s mandate.

“Whether you are a Finnish soldier on patrol in Rshaf or a parent trying to create the best possible life for your family in Shab’a, or indeed a religious, civic or political leader in Ayta Shaab or Khiam, we must all work together to reduce tension, avoid misunderstandings that lead to unnecessary conflict and respect the Blue Line,” said the UNIFIL head.

UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter and it has been celebrated since 1948. Lebanon is one of the 51 founding members of the UN.

UNIFIL was created by the UN Security Council resolutions 425 and 426 of 19 March 1978, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its effective authority in the area. Following the July/August 2006 conflict, the Security Council, by its resolution 1701, significantly enhanced UNIFIL's mandate and capacity and assigned it additional tasks working closely with the Lebanese Armed Forces in Southern Lebanon.

Currently UNIFIL has more than 10,000 troops drawn from 40 countries. In addition, the mission has some 900 national and international civilian staff.

Video Editor: Mohamad Hamze, Aoibheann O'Sullivan
Video Camera: Mohamad Hamze
Audio: Rania Bdeir
Photo: Pasqual Gorriz


Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Michael Beary speech