On United Nations Day, UNIFIL urges parties to cease fire
Today marks the 78thanniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter, and the day in 1945 that the United Nations officially came into being. One of the Organization’s main purposes is “to maintain international peace and stability,” which is why peacekeeping missions like UNIFIL are deployed around the world.
On this day each year, UNIFIL normally brings together peacekeepers, government officials, local municipal and religious officials, members of the Lebanese Armed Forces and other security agencies for a celebration at our headquarters in Naqoura.
Today, however, there will be no gathering due to the current security situation. But this does not mean our commitment to the ideals embodied in the UN Charter are any less. Today, this commitment is being shown by the men and women in blue helmets on the ground. Peacekeepers from 49 different countries are focused on a singular task – preventing escalation of the current conflict along the Blue Line and avoidance of war.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lázaro made the following statement:
“Since the situation began to escalate over two weeks ago, our peacekeepers have remained in their positions performing their tasks under Security Council Resolution 1701 and subsequent resolutions. We continue to carry out patrols and other activities, including with local communities, coordinating this work with the Lebanese Armed Forces. We have actively engaged with authorities on both sides of the Blue Line to de-escalate tensions and avoid misunderstandings.
“Still, the conflict has intensified over the past two weeks, and this is a real concern.
We appreciate the trust that both parties have placed in our liaison and coordination mechanisms, which have helped de-escalate hostilities and prevent misunderstandings during this crisis. We must redouble our efforts to maintain the stability that we have all worked so hard for over the past 17 years. We must avoid a wider conflict that would put many more people in danger. We have already seen too much destruction, injury, and loss of life.
“We urge all parties to cease fire to prevent further harm.
“On this day, United Nations Day, UNIFIL and its nearly 11,000 military and civilian peacekeepers commit to doing all that we can to maintain the ideals and purposes of the UN Charter. Someday soon, inshallah, peace and stability will return to both sides of the Blue Line.”