UNIFIL marks International Day of Peace in Naqoura

UNIFIL Chief Major-General Michael Beary pays tribute to 325 UNIFIL peacekeepers, who lost their lives while serving the cause of peace in south Lebanon.

Brigadier General Shamas representing the commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces awards a medal to serving peacekeeper during the ceremony to commemorate International Day of Peace.

previous next
3 Oct 2017

UNIFIL marks International Day of Peace in Naqoura

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today held a ceremony to commemorate the International Day of Peace at its headquarters in Naqoura.

Peacekeepers representing the 41 national contingents in UNIFIL were joined at the event by representatives of the local authorities, religious leaders, Lebanese armed and security forces and members of the international community.

The ceremony was observed under this year’s global theme “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” 
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary, reviewed an Honour Guard and, together with Brigadier General Malek Shamas, representing the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Commander, laid wreaths at the cenotaph in memory of the 325 UNIFIL peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the line of duty in South Lebanon in keeping stability in the area of operations.

“It is this calm and stability which must be nurtured in order to continue laying the foundations of a permanent peace for the population of South Lebanon,” said Major General Beary during the ceremony. “As I move throughout the Area of Operations I am struck by the progress that I can see in the municipalities and the communities. I see improvements in access to education for the younger generation and I see people investing in their future in this part of South Lebanon and that instils within me, a sense of great hope for the future.”
Major General Beary again stressed his deep appreciation for the work of LAF including the close coordination with UNIFIL, and the support demonstrated by the international community for the Mission. 
“I must take this occasion to welcome the unanimous adoption by the Security Council of resolution 2373, extending our mandate for another year. This unanimity underlines UNIFIL’s credibility and authority,” he said.
During the ceremony, 42 UNIFIL military staff officers were awarded with the UN Peacekeeping Medal.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the UN General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and ceasefire. 
UNIFIL deferred the marking of this day on 21 September, in deference to the Ashura Commemoration, which is observed by communities throughout Lebanon.
UNIFIL has around 10,500 peacekeepers from 41 troop-contributing countries. The Mission maintains an intensive level of some 13,500 operational activities per month that has helped maintain an unprecedented 11-years of stability in the area of operations. UNIFIL is also complemented by a seven-vessel strong Maritime Task Force.


Video camera: Mohamad Hamze
Edit: Aoibheann O’Sullivan, Suzane Badereddine
Motion Graphics: Zeina Ezzeddine
Photo: Pascual Gorriz

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