Top official recognizes UNV contribution in Chad
N'Djamena , 4 October 2008 -- The top official for the UN peacekeeping mission in Chad and the Central African Republic has met with UNV volunteers to discuss their growing contribution.The Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), Victor Angelo, attended the first of a series of informal meetings on 4 October. The event took place in the capital N'Djamena and included 36 UNV volunteers from 18 different countries who are currently serving in Chad.
The SRSG remarked upon the importance of the UNV element in every UN mission, while noting that their work is not always fully acknowledged. He stressed that UNV volunteers are often at the forefront of every deployment and always ready to give a significant and positive contribution to the mission.
UNV volunteers from different sections - such as transport, medical, human rights, civil affairs, information technology, administrative services and best practice - were given a briefing by Mr. Angelo about the mandate of the mission and the difficulties and risks everyone is exposed to. He also emphasised the need for sensitivity and respect for different cultures in order to reduce the possibility of incidents.
Youssef Jay, a UNV volunteer Human Rights Officer from Morocco said: "It was a useful meeting that highlighted how much the senior leadership cares about UNV, and that also showed a clear vision on the role and importance of UNV volunteers. I look forward to having another one soon."
MINURCAT was established by the United Nations Security Council in concert with the European Union on 25 September 2007 under Resolution 1778. The Resolution approved the establishment in Chad and the Central African Republic "of a multidimensional presence intended to help create the security conditions conducive to a voluntary, secure and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons."
At the time of writing, 117 UNV volunteers from 25 countries are set to take part in MINURCAT: of these, 69 are presently on board with 10 en route and another 38 under recruitment.