28 October 2016 — The United Nations (UN) honored today the memory of the 210 departed UN personnel who died in the line of duty during the period January 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016 during a solemn ceremony at the Annual Memorial Service held at the Trusteeship Council Chamber of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson and UN Security Council President Vitaly Churkin paid their respects by lighting the candles in honor of the 210 civilians, military and police UN personnel who died in the pursuit of peace.
Speaking during the ceremony, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that, “the men and women we recognize today came from all corners of the world. They served in dangerous and difficult conditions. They were unwavering in their conviction that, by working together, we can teach a child, we can feed a family, we can heal a community, and we can move a country and our world a little closer to a better place. And it is that calling for which our colleagues made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Among those honored was Mr. Jacinto Bala, a Filipino staff who died while serving as Security Officer in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
Vice-President of Staff Management Committee, Mr. Ian Richards, in turn, stressed that the “environment on which the UN staff work is a fast changing one. While security of staff has been about strengthening the facilities where they work, the model of peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance is that to keep these operations going, it is about getting out of that secured compound and providing help where it is needed.” Stating that “there is a huge gap between the security provided and what is required by the staff as they go about their work,” Mr. Richards underscored the need to improve the protection of staff and clarify the role of peacekeepers in providing security to the UN staff.
The Philippines has been an active contributor to peacekeeping operations since 1963 participating in fifteen (15) peacekeeping and special political missions.
Philippine EMBASSY Philippines