Statement By UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez During the Commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Ladies and Gentlemen, Protecting Civilians is an active duty of all peacekeepers: Military, police and civilians themselves.

Hon. Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Minister for Defense and National Service

Hon. Brigadier David Malugo, Directorate of Peace Support Operations, Tanzania People’s Defense Forces,

Hon. Ferdinand Mtui, Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations and Training, Tanzania Police Force,

Your Excellencies Ambassadors,

Representatives from the Government of Tanzania,

Defense Attachés present,

Members of the Diplomatic corps,

Members of the Press,

Habari za Asubuhi,

Asalam Aleikhum,

Bwana Asifiwe,

 

I am pleased to join you again this year for the commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. Today we honor UN Peacekeepers for their service and sacrifice in helping to restore peace in conflict hit societies. We also honor all the fallen UN Peacekeepers who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting those who cannot protect themselves. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Security Council providing the UN with peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone with a groundbreaking mandate under chapter seven of the UN Charter explicitly authorizing them to protect civilians. In memory of this, this year’s theme is ‘Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace.’

Ladies and Gentlemen, Protecting Civilians is an active duty of all peacekeepers: Military, police and civilians themselves. UN Peacekeeping Operations are an investment in global peace and security. Peacekeepers make a difference every day in the lives of million of the most vulnerable.

The United Nations appreciates the contribution of Tanzania’s military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Sudan, in the Darfur region and South Sudan. This contribution is among the largest amongst member states currently contributing uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping.

UN Tanzania congratulates the Government for continuing to send UN Peacekeepers the most recent being last week when the 13th Tanzanian Battallion arrived in Darfur region to pursue peacekeeping initiatives.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has issued a statement which I would like to share with you on this day,

Today we honor more than one million men and women who have served as United Nations peacekeepers since our first mission in 1948.

 

We remember the more than 3,800 personnel who paid the ultimate price.

 

And we express our deepest gratitude to the 100,000 civilian, police and military peacekeepers deployed around the world today, and to the countries that contribute these brave and dedicated women and men.

 

This year, the United Nations marks 20 years since the Security Council first mandated a peacekeeping mission to protect civilians.

 

Peacekeepers protect men, women and children from violence every day, often at great personal risk.

 

In that same spirit, on this International Day, the Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage is being awarded for the first time.

 

We pay tribute to Private Chancy CHITETE, a Malawian who served in the Democratic Republic of Congo and died trying to save the life of a fellow peacekeeper.

 

UN peacekeeping is a vital investment in global peace and security. But it requires strong international commitment.

 

That is why we launched the “Action for Peacekeeping” initiative, which aims to make our missions stronger, safer and fit for the future.

 

For millions in conflict-affected situations around the world, peacekeeping is a necessity and a hope. Let us work together to make peacekeeping more effective in protecting people and advancing peace.

Asanteni sana

Ladies and gentlemen, as highlighted by the Secretary General, more than 3,800 people have sacrificed their lives for peace.

In a ceremony at UN Headquarters on the 24th of May 2019, the UN Secretary General awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal posthumously to 119 military, police and civilian peacekeepers, who lost their lives in 2018 and early 2019.

Among the honored fallen peacekeepers, six are from Tanzania. We have also been informed that the surviving peacekeeper who was saved by the fallen Malawian peacekeeper is from Tanzania. We thank the survivor, Corporal Ali Khamis Omary, for his service and wish him all the best in his endeavors.

I would like to thank all of the families UN Peacekeepers from Tanzania for their sacrifice and service.

Nawatakia maadhimisho mema na ningependa kumalizia kwa kuishukuru Serikali ya Jamuhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania kwa mchango wake katika kulinda amani.

 

Speech by
Author
Alvaro Rodriguez
Former UN Resident Coordinator
RCO
Alvaro Rodrigues
UN entities involved in this initiative
UN
United Nations