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Fiji Participates At UN Memorial Service In New York

A solemn candle lighting ceremony followed by a UN Dag Hammarskjold medal presentation ceremony was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the 26th of October, 2016
28 Oct 2016 21:21
Fiji Participates At UN Memorial Service In  New York

A solemn candle lighting ceremony followed by a UN Dag Hammarskjold medal presentation ceremony was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the 26th of October, 2016 to mark the annual United Nations Staffs Memorial Service.

 

Led by the United Nations Secretary General, His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, President of the UN General Assembly, HE Mr Peter Thomson and the President of the UN Security Council, HE Mr Vitally Churkin, the day honors and commemorates the 211 United Nations personnel who lost their lives in the service of peace last year.

 

The UN Dag Hammarskjold medal is named after the second Secretary General of the United Nations who died in a plane crash in 1961.

 

UN Staff and the 194 UN Member States were gathered at the United Nations Headquarters to attend the UN Memorial Service and received medals on behalf of their UN staff that died while serving in the cause of peace last year, 2015.

 

Fiji’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations was represented by Colonel Manoa Gadai, the Military and Police Adviser to the Permanent Mission of Fiji, his wife Mrs Tatila Gadai and Mrs Lanieta Daveta, who was invited by the United Nations to attend the Memorial Service and to receive the Dag Hammarkskjold medal on behalf of her late husband, Sergeant Joeli Daveta, who passed away on 3rd of November, 2015 whilst serving with UNAMID in Darfur.

 

During the ceremony, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s delivered the following opening remarks:

 

“Five years ago, we instituted an annual memorial service at the Headquarters to honour the women and men of the United Nations who gave their lives in the service of peace. Today, we come together to pay tribute to 210 of our colleagues who lost their lives in the line of duty between 1 January 2015 and 30 June of this year. We also pay tribute to the late Jori De Marco, who was killed while serving as a Security Officer for the Observer Mission in Tajikistan. We are honoured to be joined today by family members of six fallen personnel, including those of Jori De Marco. In nearly a decade as Secretary-General, I have had the sad duty to take part in many staff memorials at Headquarters and around the world. Like all of you, I have been deeply affected by the loss of friends and colleagues on the job.  In many ways, that feeling never goes away. The men and women we recognize today came from all corners of the world. They served in difficult and dangerous conditions. What drew them together? Our blue flag and all it represents. There are many flags in the world. But, only one represents all of humanity equally. All countries. All faiths. All people. One flag. Others have tried to turn it into a target. But, that flag remains a beacon. It represents the conviction that by working together, we can teach a child, we can feed a family, we can heal a community, we can move a country and our world a little closer to a better place. Inch by inch. We know that to be true. That is what summons us to work every day. And it is that calling for which our colleagues made the ultimate sacrifice. The staff we lost never intended to be heroes. But, in striving to do their best for others, they came to represent the best in us all. They are the best heroes. Those who destroy may think that bombs or bullets are the most powerful force. They are wrong, simply wrong. I think of the lives we lost and the good they did.  And I say without hesitation: There is nothing more powerful than the human spirit. Today and every day, let us honour their sacrifice by giving life to the mission and the values of our beloved United Nations.”

 

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