PM Signs UN Peacekeeping Memorandum
PM Signs UN Peacekeeping Memorandum Of Understanding
Prime Minister Helen Clark signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations today on peacekeeping arrangements. The signing took place during the Prime Minister’s call on the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Louise Frechette, in New York.
“New Zealand is a long time supporter of United Nations peacekeeping. Signing the Memorandum of Understanding formalises our commitment and underlines our support for the UN’s peacekeeping work,” Helen Clark said.
“The Standby Arrangements System enables the UN to plan and deploy peacekeeping forces rapidly. The UN has identified the first three months following a ceasefire or peace accord as the most critical period for establishing stability.
Helen Clark said that today’s signing was a fitting way to mark the fiftieth anniversary of New Zealand’s first contribution to a UN peacekeeping operation.
“In January 1952 three New Zealand Defence Force officers were deployed to Kashmir as part of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan. Fifty years on, the UN is still calling for international peacekeepers and New Zealand is still prepared to play its part.”
Today there are some 770 New Zealand personnel participating in 13 peacekeeping operations around the world. The commitment to East Timor has been New Zealand’s largest ever contribution to a UN peacekeeping operation.
New Zealand is the 37th signatory of the Memorandum of Understanding. Other countries to sign include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Singapore, and Malaysia.