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10 JANUARY 2009
RP PEACEKEEPING DEPLOYMENTS AT ALL TIME HIGH
NEW YORK—Philippine deployments in support of United Nations peacekeeping operations is at an all-time high with more than a thousand military and police peacekeepers serving in various conflict areas worldwide, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations reported today.
In his report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said the Philippines had a total of 1,056 Filipino peacekeepers serving in nine UN peacekeeping missions at the end of 2009.
Ambassador Davide said the figure, which represents a 40 percent surge in troop deployments compared to the end of the previous year, pushed the Philippines up to the 23rd position in the list of the top troop and police contributing countries. The Philippines was 29th in the list with 626 military and police peacekeepers deployed at the end of 2008.
“The 656 officers and enlisted personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the 415 officers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) currently serving with the UN represent the largest number of Filipino peacekeepers deployed overseas since the Philippines participated in its first UN peacekeeping operation during the term of President Diosdado P. Macapagal,” Ambassador Davide said.
The Philippines first participated in UN peacekeeping operations in 1963 when it contributed a 40-member squadron from the Philippine Air Force to provide air support for the UN mission in the Congo. Since then, Filipino peacekeepers have made their presence felt in UN operations in Afghanistan; Cambodia; Burundi; Cote d’ Ivoire; Darfur; Georgia; Golan Heights; Haiti; Iraq; Liberia; Kashmir; Kosovo; Nepal; Sudan; and Timor-Leste.
According to the Philippine Mission, prior to 2009, the highest number of Filipino peacekeepers deployed abroad was in 2000 when the Philippines had 807 military and police personnel supporting UN operations in Timor-Leste.
The Philippine Mission attributed the surge to the assumption in October by a 336-man infantry battalion of peacekeeping responsibilities in the Golan Heights; the deployment in November of additional police officers to support UN humanitarian efforts in Darfur; and the deployment of military officers to augment the UN military observer group in Kashmir.
In addition to the Philippine peacekeeping contingent serving with the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights (UNDOF), the Philippines has a 157-man headquarters company with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and a 139-man unit with the UN Mission. Other AFP officers serve as military observers, liaison officers and staff officers in Sudan (11); Cote d’ Ivoire (7); Kashmir (3); and Timor Leste (3).
In his report, Ambassador Davide also said that the Philippines remains on the list of the top contributors of individual police officers to UN peacekeeping operations.
He said most PNP peacekeepers are deployed in Africa with 169 serving with the UN-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID); 29 with the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS); and 26 with UNMIL. Another 153 officers are deployed in Timor-Leste; 22 in Haiti; and one in Afghanistan.
“The present deployment accounts for the biggest number of PNP officers serving with the UN since the Philippines first sent police peacekeepers to serve with the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia in 1992,” Ambassador Davide said.
The Filipino envoy said the latest deployments more than made up for the peacekeeping slots the Philippines lost as a result of the pullout of the PNP contingent from Kosovo following the assumption by the European Union of UN peacekeeping responsibilities there. The Philippines also lost some slots with the closure of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia and the downsizing of UNMIL.
“We are proud of the fact that despite our limited resources, we were still able to fulfill our obligations as a member of the family of nations,” Ambassador Davide said, as he assured the UN that it can continue counting on the Philippines as a responsible and reliable peacekeeping partner.###
ELMER G. CATO First 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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