Currently Fiji has 882 peacekeepers deployed on eight missions overseas, which includes the Republic of Fiji Military Force, the Fiji Police Force and the Fiji Corrections Service.
This was highlighted by the President Jioji Konrote in his statement on the Fiji-UN 40th Anniversary on Peacekeeping.
Konrote says that the Fijian peacekeepers are currently deployed to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in Syria, at the United Nations Mission South Sudan, the Multinational Force and Observers in Egypt/Sinai, the United Nations Assistance Mission Iraq, the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon, and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation in Jerusalem.
He says Fijian forces have also been deployed closer to home in operations such as the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor.
Konrote says Fiji has one of the world’s smallest militaries and this commitment represents a significant contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security and at any given time, half of Fiji’s military is either deployed overseas or training to replace those deployed overseas.
He says present soldiers are all too aware of the legacy that they have to uphold and it is good to share with the public in this 40th Anniversary year.
Konrote says the reputation of Fiji’s peacekeepers is based on the highest standards of professionalism and honour and Fiji’s peacekeepers are emissaries for the nation and just as with the diplomatic corps, they need to strive for the highest standards of discipline and personal ethics.
He says the second element of Fiji’s Peacekeeping strategy relates to how nation building benefits have been localised from international to national and village levels.
The President says the involvement of RFMF in Peacekeeping operations provided significant local benefits that addressed some of the key challenges the government was facing.
He says key benefits included employment and labour mobility, skills development and transfer to local communities, producing the leaders of tomorrow, and military remittances.
Konrote says the benefits of peacekeeping grew over time and had a direct impact on building Fiji from the village to the nation.ADVERTISEMENT Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.