TOMORROW is the International Day of United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers, which provides an opportunity for all Australians to show their respect to those who have served and contributed to global peacekeeping.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, police and civilians have been involved in more than 50 multi-national peacekeeping operations for more than 70 years.
“Australian men and women have made a significant contribution to worldwide peace, with peacekeepers in the field with the UN since 1947, where in the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) they were part of the very first group of UN military observers anywhere in the world,” Mr Chester said.
“Tragically, 16 Australians have died while serving as peacekeepers striving for peace in regions around the world and tomorrow we will honour their memory and thank all those who have served in UN operations.”
Over the past 55 years members of Australia’s police services have also served in peacekeeping operations around the world.
“Peacekeeping operations in which Australia has been involved have lasted months, years or even decades, and have seen small to large deployments, often at short notice.”
“I would encourage Australians to pause tomorrow on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, as we honour all peacekeepers and their contribution to making the world a safer place.”
Australia has made significant contributions to peace operations, including commanding operations in Kashmir, Cambodia, the Sinai, Iraq and East Timor. Currently, Australians are deployed on operations in South Sudan, the Middle East and Cyprus.
To learn more about Australia’s UN Peacekeeping history, go to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Anzac Portal.