With a greater push for gender mainstreaming in United Nations peacekeeping, over the past years UNIFIL – backed by a slight increase in the number of women peacekeepers – has carried out a number of activities within the Mission’s area of operation by incorporating gender perspective while performing its mandated tasks.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, today concluded the Lebanon leg of his wider Middle East tour to visit UN Peacekeeping missions, including UNIFIL, and high ranking government officials.
During his three days in Lebanon, Lacroix met with President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Commander, General Joseph Aoun, and the Director General of General Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim.
Over the course of the past six weeks, UNIFIL’s French and Finnish peacekeepers provided medical support to about 600 children in the city of Burj Kallawiyah, south Lebanon.
The peacekeepers attached to the UN Mission’s Force Commander’s Reserve (FCR) extended the support mainly to the children of a local public school. They performed medical checkups, including checking the children’s development, monitoring their height and weight, checking visual acuity, and detecting possible digestive, heart, lung or skin disorders.
Peacekeeping is not just about patrolling and reconnaissance missions. It also means working to create a condition whereby the residents live in peace and go about their business.
In UNIFIL, peacekeepers work day and night, together with the Lebanese authorities, in creating the conditions conducive for the population to build their future. One of the notable successes of the peacekeepers has been the clearing of large swathes of minefields in south Lebanon, allowing the rightful owners to return to their land and till it.
Peacekeepers from UNIFIL’s French-led Force Commander’s Reserve (FCR) installed a new water tank in the public school of the village of Ash Sh’Aytiah (Kneiseh School) in south Lebanon last week.
The 60 cubic metre tank will allow 300 school children, aged between 4 and 17 years, access to pure drinking water.
The French peacekeepers partnered with a local firm in order to accelerate the execution of the one-month long project.
First Sergeant Etikasari, a UNIFIL Indonesian peacekeeper, is visiting the public school in Aytarun, a village close to the Blue Line in south Lebanon. She stands at the front of the class and begins a discussion with the ten-year olds. She is animated and fun, and the children respond to her bright smile. They raise their hands to participate in the discussion about UNIFIL and the Blue Line.
In a military command post tucked in the hill of Kafr Dunin, about 670 metres from the sea level in south Lebanon, Brigadier General Ramez al-Khamis watches as dozens of his troops get ready for a drill. A military commander signals “start” and the soldiers set out for a simulated mission.
These soldiers are members of the recently deployed rapid intervention regiment of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in the UNIFIL area of operation between the Litani River and the Blue Line.
On UN Day, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary today highlighted the importance of working together to achieve a lasting peace in south Lebanon.
Speaking at an event marking the 72nd United Nations Day at the UN Mission’s headquarters in Naqoura, Major General Beary said UNIFIL looks forward to a time when it can hand over authority for the area south of the Litani River to the sovereign Government of Lebanon.
In 2006, under Security Council Resolution 1701, UNIFIL witnessed a substantial increase in its troops and responsibilities across its area of operations between the Litani River and the Blue Line. Monitoring the cessation of hostilities and supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces constitute the core of UNIFIL’s work and so each day, UNIFIL peacekeepers, drawn from 41 countries, patrol the south in vehicles, on foot and from the air.
UNIFIL peacekeepers and local officials jointly inaugurated a new water filtration plant, constructed with funding from Spanish peacekeepers, in Meiss Ej Jebel, south-eastern Lebanon, last week.
The plant consists of a water filter system with the capacity of generating 30,000 litres of drinking water every day in addition to the installation of two 4,000-litre tanks. The water system will directly benefit about 5,000 residents of the area with clean drinking water.
Along the Blue Line near Blida fields, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Blue Line team holds their surveying and mapping instrument steady to take GIS coordinates. As a LAF officer calls out the coordinates, his colleagues write them down and they confirm the position. Then they hammer a large steel picket into the ground. The picket they are hammering is near two others, one is sprayed blue, indicating UNIFIL’s measurement, and the other is sprayed yellow, indicating the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) measurement.
UNIFIL’s Sector West Headquarters and the Mission’s Italian Contingent organized a mine awareness campaign at As Samaiyah Intermediate Public School in Tyre district, in collaboration with various UNIFIL units, UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
The event drew in a large number of audience that also included UNIFIL Sector West Commander Brigadier General Francesco Olla, LAF officers and soldiers, municipal and education officials, and a large number of young children from National Educational Scout.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary, today chaired a regular tripartite meeting with senior officials from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the UN position at Ras Al Naqoura.
Discussions focused on issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), air and ground violations, the situation along the Blue Line and its ongoing visible marking, as well as the issue of withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Ghajar.
On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, a detachment of UNIFIL’s Force Commander Reserve participated in the “Tyre By Bike” event on 8 April 2017.
Some 400 children participated in the event that was jointly organized by UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service) and LMAC (Lebanon Mine Action Center).
The purpose of the event was to raise awareness among Lebanese children on the dangers of unexploded ordnances (UXOs) and explosive remnants of war (ERWs) in order to reduce accidents.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary today met separately with the Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut.
In both meetings, the UNIFIL head thanked the Lebanese leaders for their continued support to UNIFIL in the fulfilment of its mandate in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), while noting that Lebanon’s continued commitment to the UN resolution is critical.
Challenges and progress in clearing explosive remnants of war (ERW) and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) in south Lebanon were the highlights of an event organized today to observe the International Day for Mine Awareness.
Addressing the event at the UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura, the UN Mission’s head and Force Commander, Major General Michael Beary, said mines are of concern in the UNIFIL Area of Operations (AO) and along the Blue Line, which account for approximately 1,000 minefields.
The Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC), with the support of UNIFIL’s Sector East (SECEAST) Headquarters and the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), today conducted an educational program on landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) safety and awareness for students at Blat Public School.
More than 140 students, aged between 3 and 15 years attended the event, which strived to raise awareness among students about UXOs and the threats they pose.
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary today paid his first visit to the newly appointed Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), General Joseph Aoun, in Beirut.
During the meeting, the two Commanders discussed a wide range of issues concerning the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate along the Blue Line and in south Lebanon, while underscoring an enhanced UNIFIL-LAF cooperation.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today donated a number of UN assets, including vehicles and information technology equipment, to the General Directorate of the General Security of Lebanon.
The donation is in line with the existing cooperation between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Government’s military and other security institutions, as mandated by the UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which forms the core of UNIFIL’s mandate.
A Lebanese Civil Defense (LCD) delegation led by its General Director, Brigadier General Raymond Khattar, visited UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura on 13 February to discuss areas of further cooperation between LCD and UNIFIL on emergency response and preparedness in south Lebanon.