Fijian Ambassadors Meet with UN Truce Supervision Organization Leadership in Jerusalem
Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, and Ambassador-at-Large, Major General Naivalurua, met in Jerusalem today with the leaders of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), Major General Finn of Ireland and Colonel Johnsen of Norway.
Set up in May 1948, UNTSO is the UN's first peacekeeping operation. It has remained operational ever since in order to monitor cease fires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other peacekeeping operations in the region to fulfill their respective mandates.
UNTSO provides experienced military observers, all of the rank of Captain or above, where required in the region. UNTSO's area of operation covers Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Accordingly, UNTSO officers work alongside the Fiji Contingent in UNDOF in Golan.
The history of Fiji's Middle East peacekeeping was of great interest to the UNTSO leaders, with Major General Naivalurua's background of peacekeeping leadership in the region of particular interest. He has in the past served as Fiji Contingent Commander in UNAMI, Iraq, and in the MFO in the Sinai, Egypt. He has also served in many leadership roles in UNIFIL in Lebanon.
The Ambassadors departed the meeting with a greater understanding of how UNTSO and UNDOF integrate their responsibilities, and how Fiji might further cooperate with UNTSO.
The UNTSO meeting was the last in the series undertaken during the Ambassadors' visit to the Middle East, during which time they visited the Fiji contingents in UNAMI in Baghdad and UNDOF in Golan. They are now returning to their respective posts in New York and Suva to report on their findings and take action on matters arising.