Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download PDFDownload PDF 

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

    13   INTERNATIONAL DAY OF UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPERS

The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the motion of Ms Parke—That this House:

(1)    notes that:

(a)    by resolution 57/129 of 11 December 2002, the General Assembly designated 29 May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers to:

(i)    pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations;

(ii)   recognise their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage; and

(iii)  honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace;

(b)   on 29 May 2011 Australia joins with other nations to commemorate United Nations workers who provide life-saving assistance to millions of people around the world; who work in conflict zones and areas of natural hazards; and who place their own lives at risk in the line of duty;

(c)    Australia has been a strong supporter of United Nations peacekeeping operations since the first mission in 1947, and is one of the top 20 contributors to the United Nations peacekeeping budget;

(d)   the United Nations’ total peacekeeping budget is US$7.8 billion, or half of one per cent of global military spending, indicating that building and keeping the peace is overwhelmingly cheaper than the pursuit of war;

(e)    there are over 122,000 military and civilian men and women working in 15 different United Nations missions around the world, who are not there for personal gain, rather, they are engaged in maintaining peace and security and in building the political, social and economic infrastructure required to ensure conflict zones can make the transition to peace on a sustainable and lasting basis;

(f)    in the last decade, more than 1,100 United Nations peacekeepers have died while striving to help those most in need in some of the world’s most hostile environments, with recent examples being in April 2011, when:

(i)    28 United Nations staff and 5 non-government organisations workers were killed in a plane crash in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and

(ii)   7 international United Nations staff were killed in an attack on a United Nations compound in Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, which was the third direct attack against United Nations personnel in Afghanistan in the past 18 months; and

(g)   United Nations and other humanitarian workers are increasingly being targeted for political and ideological reasons; and

(2)    commends the vital work carried out by United Nations peacekeepers and other humanitarian workers and calls upon all United Nations member states to ensure the safety and security of United Nations peacekeepers and other humanitarian workers, and to appropriately punish perpetrators of violence against such workers ( see item No. 2, Votes and Proceedings )—

Debate resumed.

Debate adjourned, and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting.