PNG, Fiji  collaborate on trainings for UN Peacekeeping Duties

Wednesday 27 March 2024

A collaboration initiative has been discussed and agreed between the Minister of Defence Hon. Dr. Billy Joseph and his Fijian counterpart Hon. Pio Tikoduadua at the margins of the 2nd Japan Pacific Islands Defence Dialogue in Tokyo.

 The agreed initiative involves training of PNGDF soldiers at the Black Rock UN training facility, in Nadi Fiji.

This training will prepare the PNG soldiers to be engaged for any regional and international security and peacekeeping operations as well as to train and prepare them to respond to any natural and man-made disasters in the region.

“With the current size and capability of our Defence Force, I have proposed to my Fijian counterpart to train at least 1000 of our soldiers progressively at the Black Rock training facility, which will prepare them to be dispatched for any UN Peacekeeping operations as well as to respond to the security challenges in our region,” Minister Joseph said.

The Minister will lead a delegation comprising senior PNGDF officials to visit the Black Rock training facility in the first week of April 2024 to iron out the finer details of the proposed arrangement.

“After we conclude the training arrangements with Fiji, we will be requesting assistance from our bilateral partners like Australia and NZ to support this agenda and for them to allocate a quota for PNG to participate as part of its international obligations, which is a function prescribed in Section 202 of our Constitution”, Minister Joseph said.

Fiji has long been a consistent contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, sending more than 300 peacekeepers to global hot spots every year. Other countries in the Pacific have been far less engaged.

 Besides Fiji, only PNG has a sizeable military from which we can draw soldiers to become UN Peacekeepers.

 “When the current proposed training arrangement comes into place, PNG will have the capacity to contribute more soldiers for UN Peacekeeping operations and Observer roles around the world like Fiji,” Minister Joseph said.

Leave a Comment