NICOSIA, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Twenty officers serving with the United Nations police force in Cyprus have been granted awards for their dedicated service at a special ceremony on Thursday.
At a medal presentation held in Nicosia, the officers, including two from China, received their UN Medal with the inscription "In the Service of Peace."
In remarks to the gathering, Colin Stewart, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), extended his congratulations to the officers as well as his appreciation for their dedicated service.
The inscription on the medal is "an acknowledgment by the United Nations of your commitment and contribution to peacekeeping, which on behalf of the Secretary General, I am proud to participate in presenting to you today," he said.
He added that the work of the UN policemen is crucial to the preservation of peace on the island.
The police force -- known as the United Nations Police (UNPOL) -- has been part of UNFICYP since 1964. Officers hail from thirteen different contingents, including Bulgaria, Serbia, Ireland, China, Italy, Jordan, Sweden and Finland.
The force currently boasts 68 officers contributing to the maintenance of law and order in the buffer zone, with a focus on promoting trust between the estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
In an interview with Xinhua before the ceremony, Satu Koivu, Senior Police Adviser and the head of UNPOL, praised the "strong commitment" of the Chinese police officers serving with UNPOL.
She noted that all Chinese UNPOL officers are well-educated and extremely competent police officers. They are also able and willing to show their competencies through their daily work, she added.
"As their UNPOL commander I would like to express my gratitude to all Chinese UNPOL officers for their expertise, professionalism, integrity, and duty, in your service for peace on this island," she said.
Shen Yuan, Chinese police officer who received a medal at the event said he is "extremely excited," because receiving the medal is not only recognition of his four-month work in Cyprus, but also of his contribution to maintaining world peace. ■