“I had very productive meetings with Their Excellencies President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri in Beirut today.
I briefed the President and the Speaker on developments in connection with tunnels along the Blue Line. This is a serious matter and UNIFIL is working in close coordination with the parties both at the technical level as well as at the leadership level to ensure that all related facts are objectively determined and diligently addressed in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
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.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Maritime Task Force (MTF) participated in a search and rescue operation at sea after receiving reports on Wednesday 10 October of a missing boat off the coast of Lebanon.
UNIFIL was informed that a small boat, allegedly heading towards Cyprus, was missing. UNIFIL tasked its Maritime Force to locate the missing vessel. On 11 October at 1130 hrs, UNIFIL’s flagship, BRS Liberal, found a small white boat northwest of Beirut in the area of responsibility of Rescue Coordinator Center Beirut.
In a recent Mine Risk Education (MRE) day, hundreds of young school children from the Tyre district participated in a variety of activities raising their awareness about the dangers of mines and unexploded ordinance (UXO). Crucially the young people are taught to recognize these potentially lethal objects, to move away from them and immediately inform their school teacher or an adult.
UNIFIL today observed the International Day of UN Peacekeepers at its headquarters in Naqoura, paying tribute to more than a million men and women for their service and sacrifice while working under the UN banner for the last 70-years.
UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) today hailed the opening of the LAF’s new regional centre for civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) in Marjayoun as a new chapter in the cooperation between the two forces in south Lebanon.
In their remarks after opening the Spain-funded and UNIFIL-supported regional centre in the south-eastern Lebanese town, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary and senior LAF officials said the centre will play a key role in better serving the residents of the UNIFIL area of operation in south Lebanon.
We, UN and non-UN entities, re-affirm our determination to prevent future acts of sexual exploitation and abuse by our personnel.
We note the issuance of this Statement at the High-level Conference on Eliminating Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN and NGO Personnel on 4 December 2006 in New York, USA and welcome future endorsement of this Statement by others.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) today highlighted the achievements realized together in south Lebanon while vowing to continue the dangerous but life-saving undertaking of clearing landmines.
In his remarks at a ceremony marking the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action in the UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary hailed mine action activities conducted jointly with UNMAS and Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC).
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.