Celebration of the Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo



MONUC has joined the rest of the UN family in celebration today of the first United Nations Peacekeepers Day by organizing several activities to increase the knowledge and a better understanding of the role of the United Nations in preserving world peace but also the aim and objectives of its presence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


In Kinshasa the major event was an exhibit at MONUC headquarters which was opened by the UN Under Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean Marie Guehenno and MONUC Deputy SRSG for Policy, Lena Sundh. This followed the presentation of the videotaped message of the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, for the occasion.


The exhibit spearheaded by the Division of Public Information aimed at showing to the general public but also to the staff the work of the mission as well the majors events and developments in the peace process in DRC. The Division of Public Information had several exhibits showing different mission’s publications; several photo exhibits and TV presentations on the life of the mission, the profile of some staff members and major events such as the killings in  Dro Dro and Bunia. The Humanitarian Affairs, Human Rights, Child Protection and Gender Sections, the Civpol and the UNV office were also all presents with an exhibit of their own. There was also a special video presentation paying tribute to the 18 UN personnel who died in the course of this mission.


In the afternoon, Les Béjarts, a local theater group specialized in civic education performed a very satirical but realistic play, to the delight of the staff. The play emphasized the difficulties of the work of MONUC and the clear role and responsibility of the Congolese in bringing about peace in the country.


The Day ended with an address to the general staff by the Deputy Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guehenno. (Details to follow)


In the sectors, several scheduled activities were cancelled due to security concerns. Only Kisangani was able to organize a play with a local group on the mission and the mandate of MONUC.


The activities at MONUC Headquarters were well covered by the local media.