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

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries:
Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

If you’re not enrolled now, you need to hurry or you won’t be able to vote in this Saturday’s general election.

“Election day is almost here, and it’s your last chance to enrol,” says Murray Wicks, National Manager, Enrolment Services. “It’s not too late, but you need to do it right now.”

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news