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NZDF Brigadier appointed to key UN position

NZDF Brigadier appointed to key UN position

New Zealand Defence Force Brigadier Clive Lilley has today been appointed as Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation, the UN’s oldest established peacekeeping operation.

Minister of Defence Mark Burton says this appointment reinforces New Zealand’s ongoing commitment to UN peacekeeping around the world.

“Set up in 1948, UNTSO today comprises 153 military observers in the Middle East. Their role is to monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other UN peacekeeping operations in the region.

“New Zealand has been part of UNTSO since 1954, making it our oldest UN mission. I am pleased that Brigadier Lilley has been chosen to head it. With a career that includes structuring the foundations of New Zealand’s involvement in the multi-national Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, strategic management of New Zealand’s commitment to Timor Leste, and strategic military advice for New Zealand’s participation in Operation Enduring Freedom, he is well qualified for the role.

“Historically, UNTSO military observers have been available for deployment at short notice, in support of Security Council decisions on new operations. Their role as go-betweens for hostile parties has often been the means by which isolated incidents are prevented from escalating into major conflicts. I’m confident that Brigadier Lilley’s skills and experience will equip him well for leadership with this organisation.”

Brigadier Lilley currently serves as Assistant Chief Strategic Commitments and Intelligence, and will take up his role at UNTSO later this year. New Zealand currently contributes 8 Military personnel to UNTSO at various locations in Israel, Lebanon, and Syria.

The UNTSO military observers are attached to the peacekeeping forces in the area: the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). A group of observers remains in Sinai to maintain a United Nations presence in that peninsula. In addition, UNTSO maintains offices in Beirut and Damascus.

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