Ban Ki-moon Thanks Uruguay for Contribution to UN Peace Missions

By Dialogo
June 17, 2011

On 15 June, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked Uruguay for its contribution to United Nations peace missions and committed to resolving the delay in payments to the country, at the conclusion of a brief visit to the Uruguayan capital.

“Uruguayans have made great sacrifices in the name of the global good. They have shed their own blood in the name of global peace. Twenty-seven of your finest young people have paid the highest price for the cause of peace, security, and human rights,” Ban said in a speech to the legislative General Assembly, at the end of a twenty-four-hour visit.

“Over the years, more than 25,000 Uruguayans have served in twenty-one different peacekeeping missions. Right now, more than 2,400 Uruguayans serve under the blue flag of the United Nations. Uruguay, a country with a small population, contributes more troops per capita than any other member state in the world. (…) I thank you very much for that commitment,” he stressed.

The secretary-general – who visited the Peacekeeping Operations Coordinating Center in the morning – also expressed his commitment “to solving the payments issue.”

“We are working hard – very hard – to find a solution. I will not relent,” he affirmed.

Uruguay has expressed its concern about the delay in payment for its services in the form of United Nations ‘blue helmets.’

One in three Uruguayan military personnel is estimated to participate in peace missions abroad, in this small country with 3.4 million inhabitants.

Currently, Uruguay is participating in eleven peace missions, but the majority of its personnel are concentrated in the missions underway in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.