Fiji Ranks High In UN Peacekeeping Contributions
Fiji Ranks High In U.N. Peacekeeping Missions Contributors
By Andreas von Warburg, for Scoop.co.nz - For More, See... The Gstaad Project
UNITED NATIONS - While the United Nations fact-finding mission to Fiji is still drafting its report for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, it's still not clear whether the UN will ask Suva's government to withdraw its troops from UN peace operations, as asked by Australia and New Zealand.
Last February, Fiji's government announced it was deploying 92 soldiers to UN missions in Sinai and Sudan. The decision caused a flurry of activity at the United Nations – as previously reported by Scoop – and forced the Secretary-General to act quickly with a fact-finding mission. But all the frenzy has not yet produced an official decision on Fiji'standing as a contributor in UN operations – the fact-finding mission ended its work on April 27.
But what is Fiji's real standing as a UN contributor? According to a recent report by the United Nations' Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), published April 30, 2007, Fiji contributes with a total of 292 units to UN peace missions, more than Australia and New Zealand together – Australia counts 107 units, while New Zealand only 40.
The island ranks 48th in DPKO's Raking of Military and Police Contributions to UN Operations, well above Australia (67th) and New Zealand (80th).
As per DPKO's report, Fiji has a total of 223 troops, 37 police units, and 8 military observers. They are deployed in Iraq (United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, UNAMI), Liberia (United Nations Mission in Liberia, UNMIL), Sudan (United Nations Mission in Sudan, UNMIS), and Timor-Leste (United Nations Mission Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste, UNMIT).