Monrovia, Liberia - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia (SRSG), Mr. Alan Doss, has again pledged the UN mission's security commitments to Liberia when he awarded UN peacekeeping medals to Military Observers (Milobs) and Staff Officers today in Monrovia.
Mr. Doss described the Milobs as UNMIL's "eyes and ears" and staff officers as the "administrative backbone" - two key areas that are indispensable to UNMIL's multinational force comprising more than 14,000 troops.
He used the occasion to reiterate UNMIL's commitment to the security and stability of Liberia. "We will not put at risk the gains that have been made so far. At the same time, we must look to the future and work to build the capacity of national security forces so they can take over as UNMIL draws down," he stated. "UNMIL has made great strides in Liberia, but still has a lot more to do. We have to continue working to ensure that Liberia's national security is not compromised," the SRSG added.
During brief remarks, the UNMIL Military Chief of Staff, Brigadier General John Forkuo, commended the medal recipients, noting that they "have lived by peace and proved they are worthy ambassadors of their countries".
Military observers provide regular assessments on security and public order, community disputes and weapons collection, as well as information on movements across the country's borders, while staff officers serve as construction engineers, medical and legal advisers, personnel managers, in addition to other administrative duties.
Following the ceremony, the SRSG opened a new gym at the Officers' accommodation quarters as part of efforts to enhance the well-being of UNMIL staff.
Also attending today's event were UNMIL Force Commander, Lieutenant General Chikadibia Isaac Obiakor and UNMIL Director of Administration, Stephen Lieberman, among a number of military and UNMIL officials.