Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Statement: Nato-Isaf Defence Ministers’ Meeting

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Defence


22 February 2013 Media statement

Statement: Nato-Isaf Defence Ministers’ Meeting

BRUSSELS, 22 February, 2013

Mr Secretary General, Colleagues

This morning I am pleased to be able to confirm New Zealand’s continuing support for Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force.

New Zealand has stood side-by-side with our ISAF partners in Afghanistan since December 2001. We have deployed New Zealand Defence Force personnel in a range of roles in support of the ISAF mission to first stabilise and then build up the capacity of the Afghan National Security Forces.

Bamyan Province, where New Zealand has led the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) since 2003, was the first province to formally begin transition, in mid-2011. With the lives of the people of Bamyan having improved dramatically, and with Afghan police forces now responsible for security across the province, the New Zealand PRT will soon depart Bamyan after ten years of continuous service. In Bamyan as with the rest of Afghanistan, only the Afghan people can lead it into the future.

Progress has come at the cost of 5 New Zealand lives in the past year and a total of 10 across the country over the past decade. The sacrifices of the dead and wounded right across ISAF and the Afghan forces must not be in vain.

Bamyan has not been immune from its share of challenges. Access to major markets in Kabul and building Bamyan’s tourism industry have been challenging because of criminal networks and insurgent operations targeting travellers along the Bamyan-Parwan Highway.

New Zealand has built links with Bamyan’s neighbouring provinces and worked hard to build the capacity of Bamyan’s police force, including the training of a Police Quick Reaction Force, to ensure that the improvements made in security during the PRT’s involvement in Bamyan do not slip away when we depart.

New Zealand salutes the oustanding leadership efforts of Bamyan Provincial Governor, Dr Sarabi. Her example should be the standard for Afghan governance and leadership.

However sustaining success will require more than just the continued good work of the Bamyan police and provincial government. It requires further improvements in the governance and security of Afghanistan more widely.

New Zealand recognises that Afghanistan continues to require a strong partnership with the international community through the work of ISAF, international development agencies, NGOs, and the United Nations. We are committed to supporting that work.

Four days ago New Zealand’s Prime Minister announced that we will be contributing trainers and support personnel to the Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy from later this year, as well as intelligence and planning personnel to staff positions in Kabul.

We will also play our part in funding Afghanistan’s National Security Forces, as well as provide on going development support in line with the commitments made at the 2012 Tokyo Development Conference.

New Zealand welcomes - and continues to encourage – the efforts of the government of Afghanistan to redouble its efforts to improve the rule of law, reduce corruption and ensure that the treatment of detainees under its control are afforded all the rights due to them under Afghan and international law.

In this regard, I acknowledge the response of the Afghan Government to the recent UNAMA detainees report. This remains an important issue for New Zealand and the international community.

New Zealand recognises that Afghanistan continues to require a strong partnership with the international community through the work of ISAF, international development agencies, NGOs, and the United Nations.

We welcome the work that has been done by NATO to develop plans for a suitably resourced, follow-on mission from ISAF after 2014 – Operation Resolute Support – which supports the ever-increasing capacity of Afghan Forces to provide for the security of their own country.

New Zealand remains committed to playing its part, working with the Afghan Government and our ISAF partners, to ensure that Afghanistan becomes a more prosperous nation and is never again used as a haven for international terrorism.

We thank General Allen for his efforts as Commander of ISAF, and extend our congratulations and support to General Dunford as he assumes the ISAF leadership.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news