UNIFIL participates in the celebration of Lebanon's Independence
On the 70th anniversary of Lebanon's independence, UNIFIL congratulates the government and people of Lebanon and joins in observing together the freedom and sovereignty of our host nation.
At the national ceremony held in Beirut to mark the day, for the first time UNIFIL peacekeepers marched shoulder-to-shoulder with the Lebanese Armed Forces. The UNIFIL marching contingent comprised sixty peacekeepers from different countries contributing troops to the Mission. Since the establishment of the Mission in 1978, this is the first occasion when UNIFIL troops have participated at the Lebanese national military parade.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Paolo Serra said: "On this day, I once again salute the brave soldiers and officers of the Lebanese Armed Forces who stand forth as a true symbol of this great nation. Our peacekeepers feel proud to march alongside the LAF soldiers at this national event, just as we do every day and every hour working together in southern Lebanon for the cause of peace and stability."
He added: “Our joint efforts with the Lebanese Armed Forces, and the hospitality and support we receive from the people of south Lebanon, have been the mainstay of our strength and success in the implementation of our mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701.”
“Security and stability in Lebanon is of paramount importance for the United Nations, as much as it is for the people of Lebanon, and UNIFIL is resolved to play its part in this national endeavour within our area of operations south of the Litani river,” Major-General Serra said. "I take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation for the strong support we have been receiving from the Lebanese authorities for our Mission and I congratulate all the people of Lebanon on this national day.”