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Updated On: Thursday, December 14 2017

Secretary-General, at Wreath-Laying Ceremony, Honours Sacrifice of Peacekeepers, Stressing Need to Fully Appreciate Their Heroic Contribution

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the wreath‑laying ceremony for peacekeepers, in Bangui today:

Chers collègues,

J’ai voulu que la Journée mondiale des Nations unies soit célébrée ici à Bangui, et soit célébrée avec les forces de [maintien] de la paix.

 Les forces de [maintien] de la paix, les Casques bleus, les femmes et les hommes de la police et des forces militaires des Nations unies, sont vraiment l’image de marque des Nations unies dans le monde. Il n’y a rien de plus précieux que la paix.  Il n’y a rien de plus noble que de travailler pour maintenir la paix, même quand ce travail signifie le sacrifice des vies, comme nous l’avons malheureusement souligné il y a quelques instants vis-à-vis tous les camarades qui sont tombés au service de la paix ici en Centrafrique.

I want to say that we need to make sure that the world fully appreciates the heroic contributions of peacekeepers protecting civilians, sometimes in extremely difficult circumstances, like the ones we face in the Central African Republic.  We keep the peace where sometimes the peace is elusive, which means that peacekeepers die, peacekeepers are wounded, peacekeepers sacrifice their lives to protect those civilians — to protect those that look to our flag as a symbol of survival, as a symbol of well-being and as a symbol of solution for the many political crises that we face around the world and the many conflicts that we unfortunately face around the world.  I am very proud to be your colleague.  I am very proud to serve in the same United Nations where you serve, and I want to tell all of you “Blue Helmets” here with us that we count on you to make the United Nations always more effective serving the people.  We are here to serve the people.  To sacrifice ourselves for the people we care for.  And your example is something I will always remember.  Your sacrifice is something that the United Nations will always honour.

Thank you very much to all of you.

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