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Ministry of Foreign Affairs

UN recognizes the service and sacrifice of the Late RFMF personnels staff sergeant Penieli Racolo, Sergeant Savenaca Bulivakacegu and Warrant Officer Class II Semiti Korovavala

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Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Dr. Satyendra Prasad while receiving the UN Dag Hammarskjold medal on behalf of the of the families of the late Sergeant Savenaca Bulivakacegu, Staff Sergeant Penieli Racolo and Warrant Officer Class 2 Semiti Korovavala.


The United Nations Secretary General, Mr António Guterres speaking at a moving ceremony to commemorate International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, said that United Nations peacekeeping is a vital investment in global peace and security; it requires strong international commitment; and the UN has a deep obligation to make peace operations as safe as possible.

The United Nations commemorated International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers at the UN Headquarters in New York, on Friday 24th of May 2019. The day commemorates UN Peacekeepers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace.

The commemoration day started with a wreath laying by the UN Secretary General, Mr António Guterres at the Peacekeeping Memorial site. It was followed by the presentations of the Dag Hammarskjöld Medals by the UN Secretary General, to Troop and Police Contributing Countries. These medals honor and commemorate the 119 United Nations peacekeepers; military, police and civilians who lost their lives between 2017 and 2018.

The UN Dag Hammarskjold medal is named after the second Secretary General of the United Nations who tragically died in a plane crash in 1961. The Fiji Mission in New York was represented by Permanent Representative Ambassador Dr. Satyendra Prasad and the Military and Police Adviser, Colonel Sapenafa Motufaga.

Ambassador Prasad received the Dag Hammarskjold medals on behalf of the families of the late Sergeant Savenaca Bulivakacegu, Staff Sergeant Penieli Racolo and Warrant Officer Class 2 Semiti Korovavala. These Fijian Peacekeepers died, whilst serving with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria, between 2015 and 2017.

The Secretary General in his address said that, the International Peacekeepers Day was to, “honour more than 1 million men and women who have served as United Nations peacekeepers since our first mission in 1948.” More than 3,800 peacekeepers have died since the first peacekeeping mission in 1948. He further stated that, “we express our deepest gratitude to the 100,000 civilian, police and military peacekeepers deployed around the world today, and to the countries that contribute these brave and dedicated women and men."

The Secretary-general said, the UN marks 20 years this year, since the Security Council first mandated a peacekeeping mission to protect civilians. This was the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in 1999. He further noted that peacekeepers protect men, women and children from violence every day, often at great personal risk and that the UN was deeply grateful for that service.

The ceremony was attended by UN Officials, Permanent Representatives of member states and their Military and Police Advisers.

Ambassador Prasad said that “in the life of a Permanent Representative at the UN, this Day was the most difficult and emotionally moving one.  Fijian peacekeepers serve in some of the most difficult regions of the world.  Fiji and the UN is deeply grateful to the families of the late Racolo, Bulivakacegu and Korovavala for their service to the most noblest of UN goals – securing and maintaining peace”.

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 Mr Prasad is accompanied by Fiji’s Military Adviser, Colonel Sapenafa Motufaga at the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers at the UN Headquarters in New York, last week.

 

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Several members of Public Accounts Committee of the Fijian Parliament visiting Wellington this week took advantage of a visit to the Wellington City Council’s Southern Landfill yesterday to glean a few ideas for waste management in Fiji. This included the Hon. Alexander O’Connor, Assistant Minister for Health, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Opposition parliamentarian and Ms. Priya Chand, Parliamentary Secretary who were accompanied by the Fiji High Commission New Zealand staff.

The Southern landfill is an impressive setup particularly as it focuses on recycling and minimising the damage to the environment at the landfill.

 

Other remarkable features of the landfill were its gas collection, electricity regeneration, green waste mulching and water table management. The Hon. O’Connor, an engineer by profession, was particularly impressed and intends to develop a few ideas for the Fijian Government to consider.

 

The PAC members were invited to attend the Pacific PAC training seminar in Wellington facilitated by UNDP from the 12th to the 13th December.

The PAC members, including Deputy Chair, Hon. Mohammed Dean, MP, were hosted to afternoon tea at the Fiji Chancery.  It was an opportunity for the Parliamentarians to meet the Locally Engaged Staff at the Mission and also update the staff on the work and concerns of the Public Accounts Committee.

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