“I am proud to serve the United Nations and I keep my head high and upright in my mission – which is not easy. But this is the United Nations, and all of you here are my friends and serve with as much determination as I do.”
Sergeant Claude Foudral spoke these words of reflection about his more than 35-year UN career in Geneva and abroad, at the Long Service Awards recently held at UN Geneva.
Colleagues, families and friends gathered to recognize the outstanding contributions of nearly 500 staff at two Long Service Awards ceremonies, on Friday 31 January and Tuesday 4 February 2020 respectively. The ceremonies were co-hosted by the UNOG Staff Coordinating Council and the United Nations Office at Geneva.
Director-General Ms. Tatiana Valovaya presented the awards on behalf of the Secretary-General, to those who had served the UN for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 or 35 years. She said it was a great honour to do so and expressed gratitude on behalf of the UN and the Secretary-General for the decades of service.
“You have all followed different paths, work in different capacities and are of different nationalities, but each of you has made a conscious decision to contribute your skills and expertise to the United Nations.
“The Organization has evolved and overcome many challenges over the decades, and the reason it has been able to do so is because we have you, the staff, who are indeed the United Nations’ most valuable resource,” said the Director-General.
The long serving staff received certificates, and those celebrating 25, 30 or 35 years of service also received medals (silver, gold and platinum respectively, awarded by the Staff Coordinating Council). They were photographed with the Director-General and were congratulated by Nataliya Myronenko, Chief of HRMS, staff representatives, Ian Richards and Prisca Chaoui, along with their many other colleagues present at the ceremony.
The Long Service Awards followed a new format in 2019. The event had previously been hosted by the UNOG Staff Coordinating Council and included awards for 25-, 30- and 35-years of service. This year, the awards were standardized Secretariat-wide, and the Secretary-General established awards as of 10 years of service, to further recognize the efforts of staff in achievement of the Organization’s mandates.
As one of the longest-serving staff, Sgt. Foudral – a member of our Safety and Security Service – was invited to speak. He shared about the experiences and people that had both marked and motivated him; from inspiring leaders and devoted colleagues, to a defining encounter with an abandoned child whilst serving on a field mission. These were the things that made him so proud to work for the United Nations, he said.
“Thank you for this honour. This work, this environment have helped shaped me as a person, and I hope sincerely that this noble mission still makes a difference and that, despite the challenges, it eases suffering.”
With special thanks to the Division of Conference Management for their support in producing the Long Service Award certificates and taking photographs at the event.
*Olivia Starrenburg is Internal Communications Officer at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).
You can find all the photos in high resolution through the following links:
20, 25, 30 and 35 years: http://bit.ly/2ShLW7B
10 and 15 years: http://bit.ly/31L2E2k