Hon­our­ing Aus­tralia’s peace­keep­ers

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NEWS -

FOR more than 70 years, Aus­tralian peace­keep­ers have played an im­por­tant role in pro­vid­ing sup­port and as­sis­tance to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

On 14 Septem­ber each year, Na­tional Peace­keeper and Peace­maker Day, we hon­our the courage and pro­fes­sion­al­ism of Aus­tralian ser­vice and po­lice per­son­nel who have served in more than 50 multi-na­tional peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions since 1947.

While the first Aus­tralian Peace­keep­ers worked as un­armed mil­i­tary ob­servers, bring­ing vi­o­la­tions to the at­ten­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, over time the na­ture of peace­keep­ing has evolved to in­clude the man­age­ment of more com­plex and multi-di­men­sional is­sues.

These have ranged from op­er­a­tions as mil­i­tary ob­servers, pro­vid­ing lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port, and mon­i­tor­ing cease­fires to land­mine clear­ance op­er­a­tions, sup­port­ing demo­cratic elec­tions, pro­vid­ing polic­ing sup­port func­tions, and fa­cil­i­tat­ing the de­liv­ery of hu­man­i­tar­ian aid.

Trag­i­cally, 16 Aus­tralians have died serv­ing as peace­keep­ers. This Na­tional Peace­keeper and Peace­maker Day, I en­cour­age Aus­tralians to re­spect and hon­our their sac­ri­fice.

It is also im­por­tant to re­mem­ber and re­flect on all those who have served in peace­keep­ing missions, and those who are cur­rently serv­ing in the Mid­dle East UN Truce Su­per­vi­sion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (UNTSO), and the UN Mis­sion in the Repub­lic of South Su­dan (UNMISS).

Thank you for your ser­vice. Darren Ch­ester MP, Min­is­ter for Veter­ans’ Af­fairs

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