Posted by: africanpressorganization | 17 June 2009

Liberia / UN Envoy calls on peacekeepers to “embrace our roles as protectors of peace and justice with great pride”





Liberia / UN Envoy calls on peacekeepers to “embrace our roles as protectors of peace and justice with great pride”


MONROVIA, Liberia, June 17, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UN Envoy Ellen Margrethe Løj has reminded military peacekeepers from the Philippines serving in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to uphold the UN values of integrity, professionalism and respect for the people and communities they serve. Ms. Løj made this statement when she awarded UN peacekeeping medals to 135 peacekeepers, nine of whom are women, for their contribution to peace and stability in Liberia.


The SRSG, commending the contingent comprising the security and defense platoons, said the Philippine military officers have discharged their duties, which include area, point and security patrols at UNMIL headquarters, with discipline and rigour.


Recognizing the Philippines government’s recent decision to send more women to peacekeeping missions, Ms. Løj described the role of the nine women serving in the clerical and logistical components of the Mission as “invaluable to our success”. Eulogizing the poetic work of a former Philippines peacekeeper, Consolacion Frias, the SRSG said “her collection of peacekeeping–inspired poetry moves us all to further embrace our roles as protectors of peace and justice with great pride”.


Underscoring the pivotal role played by peacekeepers in sustaining the peace in Liberia, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) cautioned: “We should never let that respect be tarnished by acts of misconduct from individuals”. She added that the success in protecting and preserving the peace achieved depends on all the Mission’s personnel: “each individual is responsible to guard against sexual exploitation and abuse and obliged to report any violations of the Secretary General’s zero tolerance policy. We are all responsible to protect those that we have travelled so far to serve, and we must follow in the footsteps of peacekeepers that have made us proud”.


The UN Envoy gave special recognition to Contingent Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Arnel dela Vega for his strong leadership and inspiration to all of the officers to live up to the highest ideals. “I highly commend him for joining this contingent with UN Volunteers to reach out to the marginalized in society”, she said. Lieutenant Colonel dela Vega said the contingent’s accomplishments, in the performance of its assigned tasks, “are our humble contribution in pursuit of UNMIL’s mandate”. He also described their participation in UNMIL as a manifestation of their firm resolve, as members of the Philippines Armed Forces, to become active and committed partners of the UN in bringing peace and stability to Liberia and other nations.


The medal ceremony, which also commemorated the 111th Independence anniversary of the Philippines, brought together Deputy Force Commander, Major General Carl Modey; Director of Mission Support, Mr. Stephen Lieberman; Officer-in-Charge for Operations and Rule of Law, Mr. Kamudoni Nyasulu; Chief of Administrative Services, Ms. Stephani Scheer; and other senior UNMIL military and civilian officials.




Mission of UN in Liberia


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