“World peace begins with the thoughts and actions of every individual,” noted Giovanna Ceglie, Director of the United Nations Global Service Centre (UNGSC), at the ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping at UNGSC’s Brindisi base. Her words were directed not just at the special guests and staff gathered on that occasion to pay tribute to peacekeepers worldwide, but also to hundreds of local students who were in attendance.
The impact of the event, which featured the dedication of “United Nations Peacekeepers’ Gardens,” as well as a tour of the UNGSC Brindisi base, and interactive booths for students to learn about UNGSC’s work and explore careers in peacekeeping, was felt strongly by the young guests.
They shared that they had previously been “unfamiliar with the role of peacekeepers” and were inspired to learn about the significance of peacekeeping, as well as to reflect on the notion that “peace begins with ourselves, from inside us.”
In Valencia, UNGSC’s Chief of Service for Geospatial, Information and Telecommunications Technologies and Head of Premises of the UN Information and Communications Technology Facility, Michel Bergeron, brought the commemoration to the iconic City of Arts and Sciences, inaugurating the peacekeeping photo exhibition “Peace Begins with Me.”
The ceremony was open to the public and included a minute of silence in honor of Peacekeepers who have given their lives. It also featured remarks from high-level Valencian authorities, who emphasized Valencia and Spain’s commitment to United Nations peacekeeping efforts and to the expansion of the UN’s presence in Valencia.
Speakers underscored the life-changing nature of working in Missions, whether in military or civilian capacity, and called on young people to pursue careers in the field and gain unique experience and exposure to diverse cultures.
Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences, a venue that hosts upwards of four million visitors annually, is the first stop on the exhibition’s European tour following its premiere at UN headquarters in New York.