Lusaka – The UN International Day of Peace Keepers was celebrated in Lusaka at The Cathedral of the Holy Cross where various high schools, Zambia Army, Air force, Zambia Police and Zambia National Service personnel held a joint church service. The theme this year was “Haiti Standing and Zambians’ contribution in Peacekeeping Operations.”
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Macleod Nyirongo and other members UN staff were also in attendance. Also present was the Minister of Defense Dr. Kalombo Mwansa and his Deputy, Service Chiefs and their deputies representing all security and defense wings and several high schools were invited to be part of the observance including family members of those who lost loved ones in various peacekeeping missions.
The Minister of Defense in his speech urged all the defense and military personnel to remain focused and committed in maintaining the country’s peace. He emphasized that peace is valuable and can only be achieved at a cost which unfortunately includes human life. He reiterated that Zambia is a member of the international community and will remain committed to peacekeeping operations. And on the earth quake that struck Haiti, Dr. Mwansa said although the international community swiftly responded, a lot still needs to be done to restore the country to what it was before.
The UN Resident Coordinator read the UN Secretary Generals Speech on his behalf and was quoted as follows” it is cardinal to honor the men and women who lost their lives while serving under the UN Flag”. Mr. Ban said the UN also paid tribute to more than 122, 000 military and civilian personnel who serve with distinction in operations around the world.
And Mass celebrant, Chaplain Major Delix Siluyele, said peace is important and if taken for grant had the potential to bring misery, he further indicated that peace could be disturbed through natural calamities or individuals that engage in activities which lead to the breach of peace. He commended Zambia’s continued efforts in contributing towards world peace.
At the end of the service invited guests were treated to an exhibition showcasing the various missions were Zambia has contributed personnel.