UNMOGIP Working for Stability of Peace in the Subcontinent since 1949
Major General José Eladio Alcaín the Head of Mission / Chief Military Observer (HOM/CMO) UNMOGIP initiated the ceremonial marking of 70 years of United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan at a ceremony held in Islamabad attended by UNMOGIP personnel and some of the UN Agencies. The Ceremony was held in recognition of the great efforts of all the past and current UNMOGIP personnel for their work in the Mission at different times since the Mission was established.
The HOM/CMO recalled the arrival on 24 January 1949, of the first group of Military Observers in the State of Jammu and Kashmir to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan which formed the nucleus of UNMOGIP, making the Mission the second oldest peacekeeping mission in the world after UNTSO in Jerusalem. UNMOGIP remained in the area to observe developments pertaining to the strict observance of the ceasefire of 17 December 1971 under Security Council resolution 307 and report thereon to the Secretary-General.
The HOM/CMO said UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles: Consent of the parties; Impartiality; Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate. Around the world, peacekeepers are the embodiment of efforts to fight threats against international peace and security.
The HOM/CMO said UNMOGIP is a source of hope for millions. This is demonstrated when we visit our area of operation, the people despite the difficulties they are facing welcome us with smiles and hospitality often offering us “chai” (tea) the traditional way of welcoming people in the Kashmir area.
He stated that UNMOGIP will continue to play its role in favour of peace in the region. There is no doubt at all that our Mission has made enormous impact in its efforts to promote peace in the region and we will continue to be a source of hope for millions, the HOM/CMO concluded in his remarks.
At the same Ceremony which was also attended by the Resident Coordinator/Designated Official (RC/DO) Mr. Neil Buhne, Mr. Nester Odaga-Jalomayo the Chief of Mission Support (CMS) expressed his conviction that UNMOGIP, in the implementation of its mandate, was fulfilling an important role. He congratulated the 44 Military Observers and 75 Civilian Staff who are working tirelessly for the peace process in the Kashmir region and expressed hope that time will come when the issue of Kashmir will be peacefully resolved and UNMOGIP will wind down its operations.
The day earlier began with a solemn and dignified flag raising ceremony at UNMOGIP Headquarters in Islamabad which was witnessed by the Head of Mission/Chief Military Observer (HOM/CMO) Major General Jose Eladio Alcain and the Chief of Mission Support Mr. Nester Odaga-Jalomayo. During the flag raising ceremony, a minute of silence was observed to honour those who have fallen down in the line of duty in 1971 and 2005. The flag ceremony was held to signal the continuous and devoted efforts of UNMOGIP towards peace in the Kashmir region.