NZ backs UN mission, extends refugee support

  • Jonathan Coleman
  • Murray McCully
Foreign Affairs Defence

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced further support for international efforts in Syria, including an offer to deploy additional military observers.

New Zealand has offered the UN’s Supervision Mission in Syria a team of five New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel. Should the offer be accepted, the team will replace two NZDF personnel temporarily redeployed to the mission.

“New Zealand welcomes the UN Security Council’s decision to authorise a team of up to 300 unarmed military observers to monitor the ceasefire in Syria,” Mr McCully says.

“This mission must make the most of the window of opportunity provided by the ceasefire to help stabilise the situation.”

New Zealand will also provide $1 million to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to help support more than 30,000 Syrians who have fled to Turkey.

The Defence Minister, Dr Jonathan Coleman, says the five NZDF personnel are already undergoing pre-deployment training which will be completed by the end of week.

“From the weekend they will be placed on stand-by ready to deploy on 24 hours’ notice. Their exact duty locations as military observers have yet to be determined,” he said.