NZDF

Defence Force personnel serving overseas commemorate United Nations Peacekeepers Day

Photo caption: LTCOL Rob Krushka (left) with Iraqi Federal Police Liaison Officer to UNAMI, Col Kalhid, outside the UNAMI HQ.

Photo caption: LTCOL Rob Krushka (left) with Iraqi Federal Police Liaison Officer to UNAMI, Col Kalhid, outside the UNAMI HQ.    

27 May 2011

May 29 is International Day of UN Peacekeepers and NZ Defence Force personnel serving with the UN will today honour the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping missions.

New Zealand makes a small but significant contribution to the United Nations work towards a more stable and secure world and there are currently eighteen Defence Force personnel serving with the UN. 

This Sunday also marks the anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in 1948 to monitor the cease-fire after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The UNTSO mission is the Defence Force’s longest overseas deployment. New Zealand’s Lieutenant Colonel Helen Cooper, Chief of Observer Group Lebanon, UNTSO, says marking International Peacekeepers day in one of the oldest peacekeeping missions will be a proud occasion.

“While we are a small nation with a small military, we should be very proud of the reputation our service personnel have within the UN and the importance of the work they undertake. Our thoughts will be with all New Zealanders serving with the UN on this day.”

Defence Force personnel are currently serving in Sudan, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, and the Middle East.

Lieutenant Colonel Rob Krushka, New Zealand’s sole Military Advisor to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), says the UN continues to help rebuild Iraq.

“One of the best things about being part of the UN mission in Iraq is interacting with the Iraqi people, and realising you’re making a difference to their lives and the rebuilding of their nation.”

ENDS

The 29 May International Day of UN Peacekeepers was established in 2002 as a day to pay tribute to the more than 122,000 military, police and civilian personnel who serve with distinction in UN operations across the world, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

This year’s International Day pays particular tribute to UN personnel who work to strengthen the rule of law – the work of UN Police, Corrections and Judicial Affairs officers. 

As the day falls on a Sunday commemorative activities at UN Headquarters in New York and other UN offices around the world will be held on 27 May.

Contact Kirsty Taylor-Doig, 021 806 926.  

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This page was last reviewed on 27 May 2011.