Member of the disciplined forces that served under UN peacekeeping operations were today remembered for their contribution to restoring peace, dedication and courage in the cause of peace.
The commemoration was held at the National War Memorial site this morning and was attended by His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Cabinet Ministers and Member of the Diplomatic corp.
Minister for Defence, Immigration and National Security Timoci Natuva said this year not only marks in history the first ever commemoration service to be held in Fiji but falls within the 70th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) to honour the invaluable peacekeeping services of the Blue Helmets in various missions under the UN banner.
“The significance of this day is to reflect and remember our loved ones who had paid the ultimate sacrifice at the expense of peace worldwide. Since the first deployment to UNIFIL in Lebanon in 1978, Fiji has lost more than sixty brave and courageous men in peacekeeping and to date we shall remember them,” Minister Natuva said.
“Peacekeeping is now a bargaining tool for Fiji as it further strengthens relations and establishes new friendship with developing and developed countries, and is the cornerstone of our foreign policy agenda.”
Minister Natuva said in the changing security paradigm, the involvement of the Fiji Police Force and the Department of Corrections as peacemakers consolidate our continued efforts and dedication towards peacekeeping.
Commander Republic of Fiji Military Forces Mosese Tikoitoga said in the spirit of remembrance, the RFMF keep alive the memory of fellow Fijians who have served as peace keepers around the world.
“The first UN peace keeping mission was established in 1948. They were noble men who left their peaceful homes and went too far away places to face danger with commitment and dedication, courage just to find peace,” Commander Tikoitoga said.
“They were good men and women who believed in making a difference in troubled areas around the world.”