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By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 30, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Today the African Union and the United Nations jointly commemorated the International Day of UN Peacekeepers at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Members of the UN, UN agencies and International Organizations,

the Regional Economic Communities (RECS) and International NGOs represented in

Addis Ababa attended the ceremony.

UN Secretary‐General Ban Ki‐moon, in a statement that was read on his behalf by

Amb. Zachary Muita the Special Representative of the Secretary‐General (SRSG) to

the African Union, said: “Today we honour the memory of the more than 2,900

peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the line of duty over the years, and we

pledge to carry on their work to bring stability to war‐ravaged countries.”

“I am deeply grateful for every contribution of troops and police, as well as for the

financial and material resources that make peacekeeping possible. I also thank all

countries that provide political support and leadership,” he said.

Speaking during the commemoration, the Chairperson of the Commission of the

African Union, Dr. Jean Ping paid glowing tribute to the women and men, across the

world, who have displayed great courage and committment to ensure that peace

prevails. Dr. Ping made particular mention of the African Union's Green Helmets in

their respective theatres of operation, ranging from Burundi to the Comoros and

from Darfur to Somalia. “Through their tireless effort and sacrifice, they are writing

the history of African Peace Operations, alongside the struggle for liberation of the

continent,” he said.

The ceremony, which was marked under the theme “Peacekeeping as a Global

Partnership,” celebrated the longstanding collaboration between the UN and the AU

in the area of peacekeeping.“This year's theme vividly captures the essence of the

cooperation and the shared strategic vision, which has enabled the two organizations

to benefit from their respective comparative advantages”, said Dr. Ping.

He gave examples of the flagship AU‐UN mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the AU

Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and hailedthem asa modelof true

partnership,highlighting the political and professional creativity, which led to their

creation, and further called for the enhancement of this partnership and common

actions in view of the many challenges that need to be addressed.

The ceremony was marked by a colourful parade, by UN Peacekeepers and the

Ethiopian Military outside the New African Union Complex.The climax of the

ceremony was the laying of a wreath by Dr. Ping and Amb. Muita, in honor of those

peacekeepers who have fallen in the line of duty, in the pursuit of peace, security

and civilian protection.