The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today marked the 73rd United Nations Day at its headquarters in Naqoura by reaffirming the Mission’s strong commitment to maintain and solidify the existing calm in south Lebanon.
In his address to a ceremony attended by Lebanese dignitaries and fellow peacekeepers, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Stefano Del Col, said UNIFIL has been working since 1978 to safeguard stability in south Lebanon and promote peace.
“Let us use this special day to reaffirm the shared commitment of UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to the cessation of hostilities, which has led to 12 years of overall calm, and to the current situation, where a stable and prosperous society can lead to sustainable progress and development,” said the UNIFIL head.
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. Lebanon is one of the 51 founding members of the UN.
Major General Del Col said UNIFIL’s women and men work every day “to give practical meaning to the Charter.”
During the ceremony, Major General Del Col and LAF Commander’s representative, Brigadier General Robert El Alam, placed wreaths at the UNIFIL Cenotaph in honour of the 314 UNIFIL peacekeepers who have lost their lives to further peace in south Lebanon over the past 40 years.
“May their sacrifice guide us and serve as a reminder of our commitment to work towards a permanent ceasefire and sustainable peace,” said Major General Del Col.
Later in the day, UNIFIL is joining the UN family in Lebanon at an “Open Day” at Beit Beirut where visitors can see and hear about the UN’s diverse work and activities across the country.