Family of peacekeeping and friends of peacekeeping,
I am both humbled and greatly honoured to accept the Dag Hammarskjöld medal on behalf of the civilian peacekeepers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace.
Today, I receive this medal on behalf of the families of 60 civilian personnel from 19 Member States.
We pay tribute to their bravery and dedication to the cause of peace and grieve with their loved ones for the loss. I believe the best way for us to honour their memories is to re-dedicate ourselves, and our efforts, to the cause of peace.
Civilians perform many critical functions to carry out the mandates of peacekeeping operations. They provide vital support to our missions in areas such as finance, logistics, human resources, and administration, serving alongside our uniformed colleagues in often remote and dangerous locations to enable the protection of hundreds of thousands of civilians every day.
The Department of Operational Support, in closest collaboration with the Department of Peace Operations, remains committed to implementing the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative to further enhance and support our colleagues in the field.
We must collectively be better-trained, better-equipped and better-tailored to meet the complex challenges we face. We will work with Member States and our field missions to improve operational capabilities, including modern equipment that is fit-for-purpose, as well as rapid and effective emergency medical care, and to provide timely responsiveness when incidents occur. I thank the Member States for the recent pledges made towards that effort at the United Nations peacekeeping ministerial meeting held in December 2021 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Let me assure all of you, particularly those in the field, that we remain committed to ensure that these initiatives are carried out smoothly and effectively.
Excellencies, dear friends,
Our women and men are deployed to some of the most challenging and complex environments in the world and we – the Headquarters, the Missions and Member States – collectively owe them a deep sense of gratitude for their immense sacrifices.
Thank you very much.