Australian Peacekeepers Recognised

The Min­is­ter for Vet­er­ans’ Affairs, War­ren Snow­don is encour­ag­ing all Aus­tralians to recog­nise the ongo­ing con­tri­bu­tion of our peace­keep­ers on Aus­tralian Peace­keep­ers Day.

Today marks 64 years of Australia’s con­tri­bu­tion to peace oper­a­tions around the world, start­ing with the first Unit­ed Nations peace­keep­ing mis­sion in 1947.

Lay­ing a wreath dur­ing the ser­vice at the site of the future Aus­tralian Peace­keep­ing Memo­r­i­al on Anzac Parade in Can­ber­ra today, Mr Snow­don said Aus­tralia has a proud record of peace­keep­ing and peace­mak­ing, par­tic­i­pat­ing in more than 50 Unit­ed Nations and mul­ti-nation­al oper­a­tions.

“Cur­rent­ly, almost 600 Aus­tralian Defence Force and Aus­tralian Fed­er­al Police per­son­nel are deployed in oper­a­tions across the globe in loca­tions includ­ing the Mid­dle East, Tim­or-Leste, Solomon Islands and Sudan,” Mr Snow­don said.

“Today is an oppor­tu­ni­ty for Aus­tralians to reflect on the impor­tant role of our peace­keep­ers and peace­mak­ers in pro­vid­ing sup­port and assis­tance to vic­tims of con­flict, often in unsta­ble and dan­ger­ous loca­tions.”

Australia’s peace­keep­ing roles have includ­ed mil­i­tary obser­va­tion, logis­tics sup­port, cease­fire mon­i­tor­ing, land­mine clear­ing, sup­port­ing demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­tions, human­i­tar­i­an aid and repa­tri­a­tion of refugees.

“Men and women from the Aus­tralia Defence Force, the fed­er­al and state police forces and Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment agen­cies have all been involved in our long his­to­ry of peace oper­a­tions,” Mr Snow­don said.

The Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment is con­tin­u­ing its sup­port for our peace­keep­ers and peace­mak­ers by fund­ing a Uni­ver­si­ty of Mel­bourne study that inves­ti­gates the long-term effects on men­tal health and qual­i­ty of life of ex-serv­ing Defence Force peace­keep­ers deployed from the 1990s to 2002.

It will con­sid­er Aus­tralian involve­ment in places such as Rwan­da, Soma­lia, Cam­bo­dia, Namib­ia, West­ern Sahara and East Tim­or. It is expect­ed to be com­plet­ed by the end of 2012.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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