German government celebrates Peacekeepers' Day 2018: three ZIF experts rewarded

Photos: René Bertrand/BMI, ZIF


On June 26, 2018, nine German peacekeepers with experience in Afghanistan, the DR Congo, Mali, Niger, Kosovo, Syria, the Mediterranean and Iraq have been rewarded for their commitment and contribution to international peace operations. They stand for over 3.000 German civilian experts, police and military serving in peace operations worldwide. Since 2013, the German government, respresented by the Federal Ministries for Foreign Affairs, for Defence and of Interior, yearly celebrates its contribution to peacekeeping by honoring its staff.

This year, the Federal Ministry of Interior hosted the ceremony, its state secretary Dr. Helmut Teichmann underlined in his opening remarks the high reputation of German police serving in UN missions. Key to success was, in his eyes, the comprehensive approach of all components of peace operations. State secretary Andreas Michaelis (Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs) thanked the peacekeepers, working as global players and contributing to the surccesful German candidature for the UN Security Council. "Today, peacekeeping is a cross-party issue and accepted as integral element of German foreign policy." State Secretary Dr. Peter Tauber (Federal Ministry of Defence) mentioned the commitment to peace and human rights as written down in the German Grundgesetz. Europeans had the right to be proud of peaceful reconstruction after World War II, but in the same time had the responsability to share experiences and contribute to peace worldwide.

All nine rewarded peacekeepers were invited on stage to share insights of their field experience. All were grateful for the experience to serve in conflict areas and closely work together with uniformed and civilian colleagues from all over the world.

The following ZIF experts have been rewarded:

Herta Eckert, monitor for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine: "We try to help with basics like mediating local ceasefire agreements to repare infrastructure. But the people keep on asking us: When there will be peace?"

Matthias Plum served as advisor and analyst to the prosecution support cell for the UN mission to the DR of the Congo, MONUSCO. Their goal was to offer and further develop plans on that matter instead of waiting until needs were announced.

Michaela Ragg is advisor to the Ministry of Interior in Niger for the EU mission EUCAP Sahel: "The reputation of the mission is quite good, but there are too many actors on the ground. There is need for better coordination."

The other rewarded German peacekeepers 2018 are:

Hauptmann Carolin Kiefer, Einsatzkontingent Ausbildungsunterstützung Nordirak

Oberfeldwebel Theresa Lindloff, Einsatzkontingent Counter DAESH

Obermaat Christian Pink, EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia

Polizeidirektor Thomas Gütlein, EULEX Kosovo

Polizeihauptmeisterin Tamara Pfeuffer, GPPT Afghanistan

Polizeihauptkommissarin Martina Störmer, MINUSMA Mali

The Peacekeepers' Day has been an initative by ZIF and the Federal Foreign Office to honor German mission staff and was celebrated for the first time in 2013.