In the press
East Timor leadership to open park built by UN Volunteers
Dili, East Timor: During the past three years of transition towards independence for East Timor, the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) has built up its largest single presence ever. Some 3,000 UN Volunteers from more than 100 countries have supported the East Timor Public Administration, including electoral processes, and carried out a range of activities nationwide as part of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). No other UN operation has made such extensive use of UN Volunteers and their expertise.
UN Volunteers have been essential in preparing for the East Timor's Independence Day ceremonies and celebrations. UNVs designed and built the International People's Park and Football Field (IPP) in Dili. The IPP will be officially opened on the occasion of the VIP reception, six hours before the UN flag will be lowered and the new East Timorese national flag will be raised. The reception, hosted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, will be attended by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta, president-elect Xanana Guzman and many other senior East Timorese, United Nations and diplomatic delegation officials.
During the Opening Ceremony of the IPP, Senior Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Jose Ramos-Horta, will present a "Distinguished Service Award" to the UNV Executive Coordinator, Ms. Sharon Capeling-Alakija, and three members of the UNV team - on behalf of all UN Volunteers who have served in East Timor. The team will consist of Kevin Gilroy, the Head of the UNV programme in East Timor, and two UN Volunteers, Ms. Thandi Mwape, from Zambia, who has worked as a Public Information Officer (PIO) in the Publications Unit of the Office of Communication and Public Information (OCPI / UNTAET), and Dr. Chana Opaskornkul, a UNV Agricultural Specialist from Thailand, who has been serving with the Ministry of Agriculture / ETPA as an adviser to the Ministry.
After the award ceremony, Jose Ramos-Horta will officially inaugurate the International People's Park by unveiling a stone monument in its centre with an inlaid marble plaque, which honours the contribution, commitment and achievements of the thousands of international peacekeepers, UN Police, UN civilian staff, UN Volunteers, humanitarian workers and the international community at large who have assisted the people of East Timor on their journey to Independence.
Engineering and landscaping of the park began in early April and was supervised by UNV Binod Paudel from Nepal, a civil engineer who has overseen all activities on the site. UNV Chana Opaskornkul, prepared the appropriate landscaping for the park. All materials used for the renovation of the International People's Park and Football Field (IPP) were locally made, purchased or provided.
Journalists are cordially invited to the event:
Location: International People's Park and Campo "Nobel du Paz" Football Field
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