Troops' service to peace recognised in Summer Medal Parade.
NICOSIA, 10 July 2017 – This Monday, under the setting Cyprus sun, 248 military personnel trooped across the UN flight hangar to receive awards in the service of peace.
Officiating at the event were Head of Mission and Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus, Ms. Elizabeth Spehar, Force Commander Major General Mohammad Humayun Kabir; in attendance were mission personnel and members of the diplomatic community in Cyprus.
This year’s Summer Medal Parade marks the 53rd year of Peace Keeping Operations in Cyprus; more than 150,000 blue berets have received their UNFICYP medal since it was introduced in 1964 to recognize a minimum of 90 consecutive day’s duty on operations in Cyprus.
“You face various hazards, and we appreciate the dedication you continue to show in carrying out your duties, including through this summer’s blazing heat wave, through long and isolated stints at observation posts, and over a difficult terrain,” SRSG Spehar said. “Your role on the island, as the keepers of, calm and stability in the buffer zone, and as liaisons between the sides, is now as critical as ever. Be certain that we are grateful for your contributions.”
“I am particularly delighted to note the professionalism shown by the Sectors in manning all the sensitive positions along the Buffer Zone in respective Areas of Operation. In addition, I have noted with great interest your cooperation with other contingents and components in operational, training, and administrative activities,” Force Commander Humayun said at the event. “Let me emphasize that at this critical time of the political process, it is extremely crucial that we remain vigilant all the time and continue to remain focused on our mandated mission.”
The parade involved soldiers from across all 3 Sectors, Force Headquarters and Force Troops Units. The formal element of the parade was concluded by some truly multinational hospitality, with soldiers and guests invited to enjoy some much-needed cold refreshments and taste the delicacies of the countries that continue to support this mission.