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03 DECEMBER 2007
UN ASKS RP TO SEND MORE POLICE PEACEKEEPERS
NEW YORK--The United Nations is requesting the Philippines to consider sending more police officers to help meet the growing demand for peacekeepers in conflict areas abroad, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations said today.
The request from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) comes in the wake of the deployment of the initial batch of the 176 officers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) who will support UN peacekeeping efforts in Timor Leste and Darfur.
In his report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, Ambassador Hilario G. Davide Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said the DPKO has requested the Philippines to contribute more police officers to Haiti, Chad and the Central African Republic.
According to Ambassador Davide, UN Police Adviser Andrew Hughes is asking Manila to consider sending more PNP officers in addition to the police officers the DPKO had earlier requested to replace those who would soon be ending their tours of duty with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
This follows an earlier DPKO request for the Philippines to nominate possible candidates for deployment to the new UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT).
The UN request for the Philippines to commit more PNP officers was an offshoot of the meeting in New York last month between Secretary Romulo and UN Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Jean Marie Guehenno.
During that meeting, Undersecretary General Guehenno requested Philippine assistance in helping the UN meet the continuing surge in the demand for peacekeeping operations worldwide.
On 29 November, the Philippines, which is already the No. 1 contributor of indivudual police officers to UN peacekeeping missions, deployed the first batch of 50 PNP officers who will replace the 145 officers who ended their one-year tour of duty with the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).
UNMIT is the biggest peacekeeping operation the Philippines is taking part in. Its police component is led by retired PNP Director Rodolfo Tor who sits as UN Police Commissioner.
The Philippines is expected to finish the deployment to UNMIT of 80 other PNP officers by Saturday, 1 December after which it will send off another batch of 45 officers to support the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Peacekeeping Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
This deployment will bring to 714 the total number of PNP peacekeepers serving abroad and will also raise to 10 the number of peacekeeping missions the Philippines is presently involved in. Aside from MINUSTAH, UNAMID and UNMIT, the Philippines is represented in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Cote d' Ivoire (UNOCI), Georgia (UNOMIG), Kosovo (UNMIK), Liberia (UNMIL), Nepal (UNMIN), and Sudan (UNMIS).###
ELMER G. CATO Second Secretary & Press Officer Philippine Mission to the United Nations 556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor New York, New York 10036 Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38
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