The United Nations staff in Somalia marked the UN Day in Mogadishu on Tuesday with a pledge to continue their support for Somalis in their quest for lasting peace and security.
Speaking at the event, heads of the UN missions in Somalia also paid special recognition to the Somali national staff for their contribution to the UN in the country.
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia Michael Keating urged UN colleagues to work closely with Somalis in developing their country, adding that the deaths of so many innocent civilians in the Oct. 14 Mogadishu bombings should not be in vain.
“What we are trying to do in Somalia is to put these values in effect, in the way we work with the Somalis and help them build peace,” said Keating, who is also the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
According to a statement from UNSOM, Keating lauded the staff for their hard work and urged them to continue upholding the organization’s values and ideals that are enshrined in the UN Charter.
United Nations Day is observed each year to mark the anniversary of the coming into force of the UN Charter in 1945, which culminated in the formation of the UN after the charter was formally ratified.
Head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) Hubert Price urged the staff to serve as good ambassadors of the organization and help to promote the core values of the organization.
“For some people, the face of the UN is the Secretary-General or the Security Council or something lofty. But for many people around the world, you and I are the face of the UN, and I hope that you make the most of that. Enjoy it and embrace it and be proud of this day,” Price said.
Assembled staff members observed a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the Oct. 14 explosions, and Keating and Price expressed wishes for a full and speedy recovery by all Somalis who sustained injuries in the attacks.
“We send our deepest sympathies and condolences to all our Somali colleagues,” said Keating stated, and he praised all UN staff who took part in the response to help the people of Somalia in one of their darkest hours.