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UNIS/INF/576
2 August 2021

The United Nations thanks Austria for its contribution to peacekeeping

NEW YORK, 2 August (UN Information Service) – Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix thanked Austria for its strong support to United Nations Peacekeeping and for the service and sacrifice of its military and police personnel deployed around the world under the UN flag.

Austria currently provides 190 personnel to six UN peacekeeping operations -- the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) based in the Middle East.

Austria’s largest deployment –177 women and men -- is in Lebanon where they have served since 2011. There, the Austrian contingent plays a vital role by providing UNIFIL with transportation and logistics capabilities, including a fire brigade.

The contingent’s fire brigade protects UNIFIL facilities and personnel and trains the Lebanese Civil Defence (LCD), a civil emergency service that carries out firefighting and search and rescue activities across the country. The brigade has worked with Lebanese firefighters to combat major forest fires in recent years.

“UN Peacekeeping truly appreciates the contribution of such specialized units which provide vital support to our missions and positively impact the local populations,” said Mr. Lacroix.

“The UN is grateful to Austria for its contribution of tens of thousands of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping since 1960,” he added.

Mr. Lacroix commended the efforts of the Austrian women and men who have served or continue to serve in dangerous environments, separated from their loved ones back at home.

“We honour the service and sacrifice of the 44 Austrian personnel who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag,” he added.

Austria is also a signatory to the Declaration of Shared Commitments underpinning the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative, which calls on Member States, the Security Council, host countries, troop- and police-contributing countries, regional partners and financial contributors to renew collective engagement with UN peacekeeping and mutually commit to reach for excellence.

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Note to editors:
The UN's Department of Global Communications runs the international multi-year communications campaign titled 'UN Peacekeeping -- Service and Sacrifice.' The campaign expresses the world body's gratitude to the countries that contribute their uniformed men and women to serve in the peacekeeping missions. More information here: https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/service-and-sacrifice
Since 1948, more than a million women and men have served as UN peacekeepers. Every day, they make a tangible difference in the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people, and every day they save lives. Peacekeeping is a unique force with military and police personnel from over 120 countries serving together, alongside civilian colleagues. UN peacekeepers come from diverse cultures and speak different languages, but share a common purpose: the protection of vulnerable communities and the provision of support to countries struggling to move from conflict to peace. Tragically some make the ultimate sacrifice - over 3,500 peacekeepers have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
Action for Peacekeeping: https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/action-for-peacekeeping-a4p

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Media enquiries in Europe:
UN Information Service Vienna (Austria)
Martin Nesirky
Director
Tel: + (43-1) 26060-4666
Email: unis.vienna[at]un.org

Media enquiries in Lebanon (UNIFIL):
Andrea Tenenti
UNIFIL Spokesperson / Chief of Strategic Communications and Public Information
Tel: 961 1 926 441
Mobile: 961 70 910 064
Email: teneti[at]un.org

Media enquiries at UNHQ:
Department of Global Communications (New York):
Douglas Coffman
Tel: + 1 917 361 9923
Email: coffmand[at]un.org

Valerie Mainil-Varlet
Tel: +1 929 213 8113
Email: mainil-varlet[at]un.org

Department of Peace Operations
Hector Calderon
Tel: + 1 212 963 4203
Email: hector.calderon[at]un.org