NEW YORK (June 25) — The United Nations recently paid tribute to Filipino peacekeepers serving in Liberia, awarding them medals not only for upholding the UN values of integrity, professionalism and respect for the people and communities they serve but also for their contribution to peace and stability in that country.
The Philippine Mission to the United Nations said members of the 11th Philippine Peacekeeping Contingent serving with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) were presented with medals by Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj, the Special Representative of the Secretary General and head of UNMIL, in ceremonies held in Monrovia last week.
In her statement during ceremonies coinciding with the commemoration of the 111th anniversary of Philippine independence, Ambassador Løj commended the 135-member contingent responsible for the security of the UNMIL Headquarters, saying the Filipino peacekeepers have discharged their duties with discipline and rigour.
Ambassador Løj made special mention of the recent decision of the Philippine government to send more women to peacekeeping missions as she described the role of the nine Filipina peacekeepers serving in UNMIL’s clerical and logistical components as “invaluable to our success”.
Ambassador Løj also eulogized the poetic work of Filipina peacekeeper Consolacion Frias, whose collection of peacekeeping–inspired poetry “moves us all to further embrace our roles as protectors of peace and justice with great pride.”
The UN envoy gave special recognition to Lt. Col. Arnel dela Vega, the contingent commander, for his strong leadership and inspiration to all of the officers to live up to the highest ideals.
Lieutenant Colonel Dela Vega said the participation of the Philippines in Liberia manifests the government’s firm resolve to become an active and committed partner of the UN in bringing peace and stability to Liberia and other nations.