RP deployment to UN peacekeeping mission hits all-time high

January 11, 2010 12:35 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, Jan. 11 — A total 1,071 Filipino military and police peacekeepers are currently serving in nine peacekeeping mission in various conflict areas worldwide, an all-time high in Philippine deployments in support of United Nations peacekeeping operations, it was reported on Monday.

In a report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, Philippine ambassador to the United Nations (UN) in New York Hilario G. Davide Jr. said this represents a 40 percent surge in troop deployments compared to 2008.

The current group is composed of 656 military and 415 police personnel. This places the Philippines at 23rd position in the list of the top troop and police contributing countries. In 2008, the Philippines was at 29th with 626 peacekeepers.

“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,” Davide said in his report as he assured the UN of continued Philippine support “as a responsible and reliable peacekeeping partner.”

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, according to Davide.

The surge is due to the assumption last October by a 336-man infantry battalion of peacekeeping responsibilities in the Golan Heights, the deployment last 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.

The Philippines first participated in UN peacekeeping operation during the term of President Diosdado P. Macapagal, with a 40-member squadron from the Philippine Air Force providing air support for the UN mission in the Congo.

Filipino peacekeepers are in UN operations in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Darfur, Georgia, Golan Heights, Haiti, Iraq, Liberia, Kashmir, Kosovo, Nepal, Sudan, and Timor-Leste.

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).

Most police 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. (PNA)

scs/GJB

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