SUVA, June 15 ((Xinhua) -- Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama praised on Friday Fijian peacekeepers for having sacrificed, persevered and having brought honor to the island nation.
No matter how different the region, Fijian peacekeepers have sacrificed, persevered and have brought immeasurable honor, glory and pride to the island nation, Bainimarama said while closing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon's 40th Anniversary symposium held here in Suva, capital of Fiji.
The care and concern that Fijians hold for the safety of their community defines Fiji as a nation and through Fiji's peacekeepers, that duty of care is extended to the world stage, he said, adding that the legacy of peacekeepers has not been built without sacrifice, as Fiji has paid a high price, especially for a nation of it's size for the sake of spreading peace around the world.
Currently, nearly 900 Fijians are serving as UN peacekeepers around the world, all of whom are worthy successors to the proud legacy of excellence forged by the 100,000 Fijian peacekeepers who have served over the past 40 years.
For his part, Fijian President Jioji Konrote said on Friday that Fiji's reputation as one of the best and effective peacekeeping troop contributing countries is well known throughout the world. Through this international reputation Fiji has been able to secure the support of many UN-member countries to develop and modernize Fiji.
Fiji's first 100 peacekeepers were deployed to Lebanon exactly 40 years ago this month.
Over 100 Fijians have died in UN peacekeeping missions across the world over past four decades.
The island nation has organized a UN mission 40th anniversary celebration around the country in recent days and the theme of the celebration is "Fiji's Sacrifice for Global Peace."