Foreign Affairs: NZ Govt To Continue To Seek UN/Fiji Peacekeeper Ban
By Selwyn Manning and Kevin List
The New Zealand Government will continue to lobby the United Nations seeking a ban on Fiji's soldiers taking part in peacekeeping operations
around the world.
The response followed a Scoop Media investigation that reported the United Nations secretary general's office stating
Fiji's military contributions to UN peacekeeping operations would be now considered on a case-by-case basis. See... STATE OF IT by Selwyn Manning - UN To Consider Fiji On "Case By Case Basis"
A spokesperson for New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, said: "New Zealand remains opposed to the United Nations
using Fijian peace keepers in its operations, and will continue to strongly press the point with the UN on this matter."
In communications between Scoop Media and the United Nations secretary general's office, spokesperson, Yves Sorokobi,
said: "The United Nations is grateful for the service provided by Fijian personnel to UN peacekeeping operations over
many years and for the Fijian personnel currently serving in dangerous UN assignments, including in Iraq.
"Any new contribution," Yves Sorokobi said "will be evaluated on a case by case basis, as with all troop-contributing
The Scoop investigation revealed Fiji now has 17 extra personnel taking part in peacekeeping operations than it had in
December 2006 when the Pacific island republic's military conducted a coup, overthrowing the democratically elected
government. Fiji also has more soldiers committed to UN peacekeeping operations than Australia and New Zealand.
In response, a spokesperson for the New Zealand foreign minister, Winston Peters, told Scoop: "New Zealand believes it
is inappropriate for troops from Fiji to take part in UN operations at a time when the Fiji military has overthrown a
democratically-elected government. We are also aware of the financial value of peacekeeping duties for Fiji's military,"
the spokesperson said.
He said: "However we also understand the difficult balancing act that the United Nations faces.
"The United Nations did strongly condemn last year's coup in Fiji and has continued to push for a return to democratic
"However, the United Nations also struggles to recruit professional and well-trained troops for peacekeeping duties in
areas where those soldiers are potentially preventing civilian deaths from conflict. As a result they have often been
forced to accept deployments from nations whose domestic human rights records are questionable," the spokesperson said.
For more on this issue, See…
State Of It: - by Selwyn Manning, Scoop Co-Editor - The New Zealand and Australian governments have suffered a set-back in moves to have the United Nations ban Fiji's
military-led government from deploying its soldiers to UN peacekeeping operations. In response to Scoop's questions the
United Nations secretary general's office said it will consider Fiji's contributions on a "case by case basis". Yves
Sorokobi, spokesperson for the Secretary-General's office of the United Nations, told Scoop: "Any new contribution will
be evaluated on a case by case basis, as with all troop-contributing countries." More >>
Also:(KiwiFM Audio): Wallace n Manning:
Scoop's Selwyn Manning joins Wallace Chapman to discuss how UN reveals it will consider Fiji's soldiers for
peacekeeping operations on a case by case basis.New Zealand Bloggers - NZ Bloggers Offer Support For Fiji Counterparts
Fiji Blogs - Military Pressures FINTEL To Block Access To Blogs
Andreas von Warburg - Fiji Ranks High In UN Peacekeeping Contributions
Background Report - UN Conundrum Over 92 Fiji Soldiers For Peacekeeping Op