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Hercus Joins UN Peacekeeping Panel

Media Release
Hon Phil Goff

8 March 2000


HERCUS JOINS UN PEACEKEEPING PANEL

Dame Ann Hercus has been appointed to a panel of international experts to study the United Nations’ peace operations, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

“This is a signal honour for Dame Ann and reflects the high regard in which she and New Zealand is held by UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan,” Mr Goff said.

The new study, launched by the Secretary-General today, would undertake a major review of the UN’s experiences in peacekeeping and would examine the full range of UN activities in peace and security.

“The panel will examine the complex mix of military, humanitarian and economic tasks which the UN is increasingly undertaking, as well as the nuts and bolts of planning and organisation on the ground."

The panel, which includes seven other experts from around the world, is to report back in July with a set of recommendations on how operations can be improved in the future.

“Mr Annan’s initiative is very timely from New Zealand’s point of view, as peacekeeping is playing an increasingly important role in the work of our defence forces, and we strongly support all efforts to make UN operations more focused and effective.

"We are proud that Mr Annan described New Zealand as an active and exemplary member state when he was here just two weeks ago. At present we have 907 Defence Force personnel deployed in thirteen separate peace support and mine action missions around the world," Mr Goff said.

Dame Ann was until recently the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Cyprus and the Head of the UN peacekeeping force, UNFICYP, on the island. She has also served as New Zealand’s Ambassador to the UN.

“Dame Ann has extensive knowledge and experience of the UN, and I am confident she will make a valuable contribution to the panel’s work. She has my best wishes for this important endeavour,” Mr Goff concluded.

ENDS

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