AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION
IN LINE WITH the PNG government’s recent signing of the International Obligations Bill, the PNG Defence Force has made its first step to fulfilling the intent of deploying personnel overseas for service with the United Nations.
Fifteen PNGDF students, four female Australian Defence Force students, and five Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary officers are participating in the course at the PNG Defence Academy at Igam Barracks in Lae.
The UN accredited course will focus on the skills required for employment as a UN Military Observer. It covers topics such as negotiation skills, observation techniques and verification of demobilisation and disarmament procedures.
Upon successful completion of the course, the students will receive UN accreditation allowing them to be employed as a military observer anywhere in the world.
“PNG stepping up to peacekeeping is a bit like PNG’s bid to enter the National Rugby League competition in Australia. It needs funding and commitment in order to bring credit to PNG,” Australian Defence Advisor to PNG, Colonel Mark Shephard, said.
PNGDF Lieutenant Colonel Ray Numa thanked Australia and the ADF for their support saying, “The course is an important step, but only the first step in getting PNGDF and RPNGC officers into UN missions. A lot will depend on individual commitment and attitude from the officers.”
The instructors at the course include ten instructors from the Australian Defence Force Peace Operation Training Centre, and two Australian Federal Police instructors. There are also two instructors from the Malaysian Armed Forces Peace Keeping Training Centre.
Photo: Colonel Mark Shephard addressing the participants at the opening of the course