NZ renews commitment to peace support operations in the Middle East and Africa

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare today announced that the Government has extended New Zealand’s commitment to three peace support deployments to the Middle East and Africa – the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) mission.

“New Zealand is an active and committed contributor to peace support operations. Our continued deployment of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel to these operations demonstrates New Zealand’s steadfast commitment to promoting peace and stability around the globe,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“New Zealand’s commitment to peace support has been an important element of our defence and foreign policy since we joined the United Nations as a founding member in 1946,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“One of my priorities as Minister of Defence is to develop the people of the NZDF. These deployments offer unique opportunities and experiences for NZDF personnel to grow and advance their skills alongside our partners. Through these deployments, our NZDF personnel are better prepared to respond to the challenges we face at home, in the Pacific and abroad,” Peeni Henare said.

The United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) monitors the borders between Israel and its Arab neighbours. NZDF personnel have been deployed to UNTSO since 1954. The Government has extended New Zealand’s current contribution of eight personnel.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) supports the peace process in South Sudan and provision of humanitarian aid. New Zealand has supported peace efforts in South Sudan since 2011. The Government has extended the NZDF’s current contribution of three personnel.

The Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) mission supervises the implementation of the security provisions of the Treaty of Peace between Israel and Egypt on the Sinai Peninsula. New Zealand has contributed NZDF personnel to MFO since it was established in 1982. New Zealander Major General Evan Williams also currently holds the position of MFO Force Commander. The Government has extended the NZDF’s current core contribution of 28 personnel.

The mandates for all three of these deployments have been extended by two years to 30 September 2024.