3 Filipino UN personnel who died in the line of duty honored
MANILA – The United Nations recently paid tribute to three Filipino United Nations personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty amid the pandemic.
In a statement dated May 11, the Foreign Office (DFA) named the three Joanna Abaya, who worked at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Mr. Ronald Santos, United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI); and Maria Luisa Almirol Castillo, from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
During a memorial service held virtually at UN headquarters in New York on May 6, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at least 336 UN staff from 82 countries , including civilians, military and police paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace or coronavirus disease-related circumstances in 2019 in 2020, the highest number of UN personnel deaths on record in the history of the UN
“These dear colleagues reflected the diversity and richness of the United Nations experience,” he said.
Under-Secretary-General Atul Khare of the United Nations Department of Operational Support, who hosted the event, said the virtual memorial service provided families and colleagues around the world with the opportunity to come together and socialize. remember their loved ones.
“Our deceased colleagues will be more united in our hearts than ever and we offer our love and prayers to their families and friends,” he said.
The names of the Filipino staff members and their 333 colleagues were read one by one by UN staff members Marie-Angle Diègue and Alessandro Susini. Australian-American violinist Adele Anthony also honored the solemn commemoration by playing solo violin sonatas by Johann Sebastian Bach.
“The Philippines is grateful for the outstanding work of these Filipinos at the United Nations and their sacrifices,” said Ambassador Enrique Manalo, Permanent Representative of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations. “Their heritage and dedication will serve as an inspiration to us all.”
At least 657 Filipinos, including officers and uniformed personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, currently serve with the UN both at headquarters and in the field, the DFA said. (PNA)