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NZ to lobby UN on banning Fijian peacekeeping Print

The New Zealand Government will continue to lobby the United Nations to ban Fiji soldiers from taking part in peacekeeping operations around the world, said New Zealand official Tuesday.

New Zealand's Scoop Media reported that a spokesperson for Prime Minister Helen Clark said New Zealand remains opposed to the United Nations using Fijian peace keepers in its operations, and will continue to strongly press the point with the UN on this matter.

The response follows an earlier report that the UN Secretary General's Office stated Fiji's military contributions to the UN peacekeeping operations would be now considered on a case by case basis.

New Zealand and Australia have been objecting to the use of Fiji military personnel on UN peacekeeping operations following the military coup last December.

The United Nations did strongly condemn last year's coup in Fiji and has continued to push for a return to democratic rule there.

However, the United Nations also struggles to recruit professional and well-trained troops for peacekeeping duties in areas where those soldiers are potentially preventing civilian deaths from conflict. As a result they have been forced to accept deployments from nations whose domestic human rights records are questionable, said the spokesman.
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