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Peacekeepers Honoured

New Zealand Defence Force

Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

Thursday May 26, 2005

Peacekeepers Honoured

The worldwide contribution made by New Zealand Peacekeepers will be marked this Sunday (May 29), the International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers.

The day pays tribute to all United Nations Peacekeepers who have and continue to serve in operations around the globe.

Commander Joint Force New Zealand, Major General Lou Gardiner says the NZDF continues to maintain a high operational tempo and is committed to peace support operations.

“As a small but professional, versatile and adaptable defence force, the NZDF stands ready to play its role in helping the Government respond to pressing regional and international security issues,” he said.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) currently has 550 personnel deployed on UN missions and overseas exercises.

Ends

BACKGROUND

New Zealand – Significant Operations

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has maintained a very high level of operational tempo over the past year that has seen the NZDF committed to traditional peace support operations and the international war on terror. The current environment continues to present a growing number of non-conventional security challenges that have implications for New Zealand’s strategic interests.
The NZDF trains for conventional military operations but retains the flexibility and versatility to contribute to international efforts to counter terrorism, to contain the fall-out from increasing intra-state conflict, to respond to the breakdown of law and order in failing states and to provide support to counter transnational criminal activity.

The NZDF has served and is serving in numerous locations around the globe including Bosnia, Cambodia, East Timor, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone, Iraq, and Afghanistan. As a small but professional, versatile and adaptable defence force, the NZDF stands ready to play its role in helping the Government respond to pressing regional and international security issues.

Today, on United Nations Peacekeeping missions, the NZDF has personnel from the Navy, Army and Air Force serving in the following countries.

Kosovo UNMIK, (1)
Afghanistan UNAMA, (1)
Israel UNTSO, (8)
Iraq UNAMI, (1)
Korea UNCMAC, (1)
Timor-Leste UNMISET, (3)
Sierra Leone UNAMSIL, (1)
Sudan UNMIS, (2) shortly to deploy

Terrorism remains a significant and serious threat in the region; the tragedy in Bali and the bombing at the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta were two very graphic examples. For this reason a significant focus for the NZDF over the past 12 months are counter-terrorism missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Other operations include European Union Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula between Egypt and Israel, and security support in the South Pacific region.

Total numbers deployed on overseas UN missions and international security operations as at May 29, 2005 is 196 with a further 354 overseas on NZDF exercises or training.

International and regional security trends indicate that the professional expertise of the NZDF will continue to be a vital requirement for maintaining New Zealand’s credibility as a good international citizen through its support of the United Nations and the rule of international law.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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