Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert, on behalf of the Prime Minister, today attended the Australian Peacekeepers Commemorative Service at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial site on Anzac Parade in Canberra.
Mr Robert, a veteran peacekeeper who deployed to Bougainville in 1998 as a member of the Peace Monitoring Force following the civil war, said Australians have been undertaking peace operations for more than 68 years.
“Australia has a proud history in global peacekeeping having been part of the first United Nations peacekeeping deployment to the then Dutch East Indies in 1947,” Mr Robert said.
“Australia continues to provide important contributions to peace operations around the world, but our support for peacekeeping extends beyond just the boots on the ground.
“Through our bilateral relationships and multilateral engagements, Australia is also involved in a range of other activities to strengthen the global peacekeeping system, including boosting the capacity of other nations in the region and beyond through the provision of training and advice.”
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the end of the ADF contribution to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR II).
Peacekeepers, past and present, attended the service to remember the personal sacrifice of not only UNAMIR II veterans, but the nearly 90,000 Australians who have given of themselves in the service of global peace since 1947.
The Australian Peacekeeping Memorial recognises the difficult and dangerous work that Australian military, police and civilian peacekeepers have undertaken around the world to protect civilians and assist with developing a peaceful environment in countries emerging from conflict or disaster.
For further information on the Peacekeeping Memorial, or to make a donation, please visit www.peacekeepingmemorial.org.au.
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert’s office) (02) 6277 7730 or 0477 391 174
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999