Commander of Fiji Military Forces Completes UN Meetings
The Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Brigadier General Tikoitoga, has completed a five-day visit to the United Nations in New York, during which he attended a series of UN Peacekeeping meetings. The Brigadier General concluded his visit by meeting this morning with the Under-Secretary-General of the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Mr Herve Ladsous.
Under-Secretary-General Ladsous conveyed the sincere thanks of the United Nations to Fiji for the long and dedicated service that Fiji has given to UN Peacekeeping. During their meeting, Brigadier General Tikoitoga and USG Ladsous discussed recent developments in the field of UN Peacekeeping, including the ongoing demand for troop contributing countries to supply manpower for the UN’s peacekeeping missions in the world’s trouble-spots.
Brigadier General Tikoitoga assured USG Ladsous of Fiji’s unwavering commitment to UN Peacekeeping and said that Fiji was proud to be serving again with UNIFIL in Lebanon, given the deep significance to Fiji of its service in UNIFIL between 1978 and 2002.
Yesterday, Brigadier General Tikoitoga attended the first-ever United Nations Chiefs of Defence Conference, along with the chiefs of defence and senior military officials of more than 100 UN Member States. The conference discussed issues central to UN Peacekeeping with a view to expanding the peacekeeping partnership and promoting effective and efficient implementation of UN Peacekeeping mandates.
The UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, addressed the conference and appealed for more troop contributions from the UN Member States, along with greater political will and purpose in support of UN Peacekeeping. “The needs are rising,” he told the conference, “but the resources fall short.”
Secretary-General Ban told the conference that the role of peacekeeping was first and foremost to protect civilians from violence. He said UN Peacekeeping was helping stabilization, including the extension of State authority, strengthening the rule of law, addressing gender equality and protecting human rights.
During his New York visit, Brigadier General Tikoitoga also held bilateral meetings with the Chiefs of Defence of Italy and New Zealand. His visit provided the opportunity for the RFMF and Fiji’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations to hold meetings to review Fiji’s interaction with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the various peacekeeping missions in which Fijian personnel are deployed.