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Ministry of Defense Hosts International Day of UN Peacekeepers Ceremony

Chisinau, May 29, 2014- We are privileged to count on the Republic of Moldova as part of this global community. We welcome your presence in missions across the globe including in Africa and the Balkans today. We salute your bravery and will to wear the blue helmet and operate under the UN flag. We highly appreciate your contribution to stabilize communities, protect civilians, promote rule of law and advance human rights, often at great personal risk.

The statement was made by Nicola Harrington-Buhay, United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative in the Republic of Moldova, within the ceremony on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, held at the Ministry of Defense.

Nicola Harrington-Buhay thanked the Moldovan servicemembers for professionalism, dedication, and commitment in maintaining peace and stability worldwide. “On behalf of the UN Secretary General and the UN Peacekeeping Department, thank you sincerely for the personal and professional dedication to the work of the UN. Your engagement emphasizes the commitment of the Republic of Moldova to help all peoples achieve lasting peace and to create a better world for all.”, Nicola Harrington-Buhay said.

Defense Minister, Valeriu Troenco, stated that for Republic of Moldova and the National Army the participation in UN-led peacekeeping missions is a priority. “We assume the responsibility to continue deploying well-trained, professional and committed servicemembers. Thus, we will contribute directly to peacekeeping in the work, as well as build a better image of the Republic of Moldova”, Valeriu Troenco said.

The Minister of Defense appreciated the performance of National Army officers that, throughout 11 years, were the ambassadors of our country in Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, South Sudan, Georgia and Kosovo. “As a Minister of Defense, I am honored to appreciate the successful performance of 88 National Army servicemembers that have been participating in UN missions since 2003. I would also like to congratulate the 12 servicemembers, that currently support, along with other nearly 120 thousand international peacekeepers, the conflict-to-peace transition process, protecting civilians, including the most vulnerable ones: women and children”, Minister of Defense said.

The Chief of Main Staff, National Army Commander, Col. Igor Gorgan, congratulated the Moldovan officers, that are currently engaged in UN peacekeeping missions on the African continent. “You are an example to follow for our servicemembers. I am sure, once you return home, you will put into practice the experience you got as part of the multinational military teams”, Col. Gorgan said.

During the anniversary event, peacekeepers were awarded diplomas and National Army medals.

The guests kept a moment of silence to remember officers, policemen and civilians dead on duty, in UN missions.

Republic of Moldova has been taking part in UN missions since 2003. So far, 88 National Army officers were deployed to UN missions as military observers and main staff officers. 37 of them went to Cote d’Ivoire mission, 27 — to Liberia, 13 — to Sudan, 8 — to South Sudan, 2 — to Georgia and 1 — to Kosovo. The National Army currently has 12 officers in UN international peacekeeping missions. An officer of the Republic of Moldova, Ministry of Defense, is working at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, in New York, USA.

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