UN Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA)

The official description, eligibility, criteria, and history of the UN Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA).

UN Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA)

UN Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA)


Established in December 1989 to conduct on-site verification of termination of aid to irregular forces and insurrectionist movements, and the non-use of the territory of one State for attacks on other States in the countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The Mission terminated in January 1992.

Eligibility and criteria

Awarded for 90 days consecutive service between 07 December 1989 to 31 January 1992.

The UN strictly applies their medals policy and will not consider requests for initial issue of the UN medals that are submitted more than one year after repatriation from the mission area.

The qualifying service is not required for members killed or presumed killed while on assignment. In such cases, the medal may be awarded posthumously.


A circular bronze alloy medal, 1.4 inches (35mm) in diameter:

  • On the obverse, the representation of the UN symbol surmounted by the straight letters UN, both in bas-relief.
  • On the reverse, an inscription bearing the words "IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE" in English (and only in English).

A 0.5 inch (12mm) bronze ring, which holds the ribbon, passes through a small hollow ball at the top of a claw joined to the top of the medal.

The ribbon contains five narrow green stripes to represent the five countries involved. These five green stripes are separated by four equal white stripes. The central group is flanked by two broad bands of UN blue to represent the United Nations’ presence in the area and two equal bands of sea blue to represent the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.


There is no bar to this medal.


The medal shall be worn in sequence prescribed in the Canadian Orders, Decorations and Medals Directive, and in the following manner:

  • on the left breast, suspended from the ribbon described above, after the UNTAG medal and before the UNIKOM medal.


The use of a post-nominal is not authorized for this medal.

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