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NZ Soldier to fill key UN role in Timor Leste

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence

22 September 2006
Media statement

New Zealand Soldier to fill key UN role in Timor Leste

A New Zealand Army officer has been appointed to the position of Chief Military Liaison Officer with the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor Leste (UNMIT).

"Colonel Graeme Williams will take up his appointment in October," Defence Minister Phil Goff announced today.

"As the Chief Military Liaison Officer, his role will be vital to the UN mission. Colonel Williams will be a key source of military advice to the head of the UN mission.

"He will be responsible for the operational organisation, functioning and effective conduct of up to 34 UN military liaison officers assigned to UNMIT," said Mr Goff.

"The selection of Colonel Williams for this appointment reflects the high regard in which New Zealand defence personnel are held internationally.

"It reflects particularly well on the capabilities, skill level and operational experience of New Zealand's senior defence personnel.

"New Zealand has made a significant contribution to security in Timor Leste since 1999. Filling this appointment is consistent with our long-standing commitment to regional peace and security.

"Colonel Williams will join a New Zealand Defence Force officer attached to UNMIT and a light infantry group with the Australian-led Combined Joint Task Force already deployed to Timor Leste," said Mr Goff.


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