Navy Lieutenant Commander Lana Knaapen observing the Area of Limitation while on patrol in Israeli Occupied Territory of the Golan Heights (WN10-01170-001)
28 May 2010
Saturday 29 May is International UN Peacekeepers Day.
The New Zealand Defence Force currently contributes to UN missions in Timor Leste, Afghanistan, the Sudan, Middle East, Iraq and Korea.
“Peacekeeping is an indispensable part of the UN’s work for a more stable and secure world. While our contribution on a world scale is small our people do make a significant contribution,” said the Commander of Joint Forces New Zealand, Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell.
“Our people have a versatile skill set, and are highly regarded for what they do. Also, working with defence force personnel from around the world provides invaluable experiences.”
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, has also paid tribute to the more than 122,000 military, police and civilian personnel who serve with distinction in UN operations across the world, as part of International UN Peacekeepers Day.
He also acknowledged the sacrifices of 121 men and women who lost their lives while serving under the UN flag last year.
The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti lost 96 peacekeepers in the recent earthquake – the biggest single loss of life in peacekeeping history.
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers was established in 2002 as a day to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
There are currently 768 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed on 14 peacekeeping operations, UN missions and defence exercises across 10 countries.
For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group 04 496 0273 or 021 569 130