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Eight Slovenian police officers: Ale┼í Kolenc, Danilo Kranjc, Dean Marko Pretnar, Gorazd Dreisiebner, Marko ┼ákorjanc, Robert Kova─Źi─Ź, Sandi Kru┼ínik and Tomaz ┼Żnidar, who completed their one-year term in the UNMIK CIVPOL mission in Kosovo at the end of April 2005, received United Nations medals at a ceremony held in Grand Hotel Pri┼ítina on 18th April 2005. Also decorated for their six-month work in the mission were the officers Matej Brajnik, Matjaz Komeri─Źki, Robert Mastnak Mlakar, Matja┼ż Novak, Robert Podgorelec and Bojan Trupi, who have been in the mission since November 2004.

odlikovani april05 1A three-member delegation of the Slovenian Police, led by Bojan Lune┼żnik, Advisor to the Minister, attended the ceremony. The delegation met with all the Slovenian police officers in Kosovo and thus obtained first-hand information about their work and life there and the problems they encounter. The officers have been carrying out their mission with a great sense of responsibility and honour. They do not have any major difficulties in their working and living environment. They are thankful for all the logistic and other help that is provided to them by individuals and services of the Slovenian police. Among other things they are very satisfied with electric generator sets, a recent acquisition of the SLOPOL contingent in Kosovo. Nevertheless, they still cannot avoid frequent and long-lasting blackouts.

odlikovani april05 2The delegation also visited Kai Vittrup, Police Commissioner of UNMIK CIVPOL, and talked to him about his evaluation of the work of Slovenian officers, perspectives, problems, work programmes and the future personnel needs of the mission in Kosovo. Mr Vittrup highly praised the Slovenian officers, their professionalism and work in the mission. His view was confirmed by his deputy Mr Martin Zimmermann's complimentary speech at the Medal Parade. Despite the gradual decrease in the number of international personnel in the mission, which is moving into the phase of supervising the work of the Kosovo Police Service, the management of the mission wants continued presence of Slovenian officers as they enjoy a high level of trust among the management, colleagues and local population.

odlikovani april05 3In his address at the decorations ceremony Mr Dusan Klobasa, Slovenian coordinator for peacekeeping missions at the Security Planning and Peacekeeping Missions Section of the General Police Directorate, said that Slovenian officers do their job honourably and responsibly, just like their predecessors, despite difficult conditions. "We are aware that the success of your tasks depends on your everyday efforts and that you must work far away from your families and loved ones." Since October 2000, when the Slovenian police joined the mission in Kosovo, more than 57 officers have taken part in it. "At the moment our police officers are active in three missions of the United Nations, EU and OSCE; in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo, and as police instructors also at JIPTC in Jordan." Mr Klobasa congratulated the decorated police officers for their efforts, wished them every success in the future and assured them that he would make sure people at home know about their excellent performance.

The delegation used the reception for decorated officers and guests after the medal ceremony for talks with the MHQ UNMIK CIVPOL and police heads and representatives of other countries participating in the mission (46 in total). The members of the delegation talked to the head of Slovenian economic mission, military and other Slovenian representatives of OSCE, KFOR, various international institutions and Slovenian economic and other representatives and organisations in Kosovo. They presented the guests with some leaflets on Slovenia courtesy of the Public Relations and Media Office and a short video on the sights of Slovenia was shown during the ceremony.

 

From the address to Slovenian police officers at the decorations ceremony:

Hans Martin Zimmermann, assistant to the Police Commissioner of CIVPOL, said in his address to Slovenian police officers that despite their small number their contribution to the successful work of the mission was enormous. Slovenia has proved itself extremely valuable in peacekeeping missions, and this is not only because of its geographical position and membership in the European Union. There is something special in Slovenian contribution to the mission in Kosovo, and in his opinion and the opinion of everybody in the Kosovo Police Service he has spoken to, it is more than just being familiar with the culture. It is because the Slovenian police provide an excellent organisational model for the Balkan countries. Besides, Slovenian police officers play an important role in establishing institutional policing capacity in Kosovo. In this crucial time for Kosovo Slovenian police officers are highly regarded in Kosovo and can be role models for the developing Kosovo police. Each member of the mission possesses expert knowledge, talents and skills so Slovenian government can be proud of them. Mr Zimmerman concluded by saying that their work in the mission is so good not only because they know the local culture, language and legislation better than other members of the mission but also because their work is truly professional.

 

Prepared by: Dusan Klobasa