OF FIJI IN INTERNATIONAL PEACEKEEPING – GOOD OR BAD FOR FIJI?
Fiji soon after gaining independence
from Britain was admitted to the United Nations UN General Assembly as the
first Pacific Island State on 13th October 1970. According to the Fijian Foreign Affairs
article, Fijian Peacekeepers since the 1970’s have served in Angola, Bosnia
& Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Darfur, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia,
Sinai, Namibia, Solomon Islands, Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia, Southern Sudan and
The article further stipulates that –
a small country like Fiji, the international rule of law and peace is a guarantee
for independence and survival for the smaller Member State of the UN. Fiji’s
involvement in the peacekeeping and peace-building worldwide is thus a prime
manifestation of Fiji’s commitment to good global citizenship through the
multilateralism of the United Nations2”.
The main contribution made by Fiji in
the peacekeeping arena is the motivation it gets as being the signatory to the
United Nations Charter. The peacekeeping missions by Fiji has assisted UN
create a political, social-economic and security conditions necessary for peace
in war-torn regions.
Through peacekeeping duties, the Fijian
troops gain huge experience of what needs and what needs not be done in a war –
torn country. They also gain experience in multinational forces and campaigns
together with knowledge of skills learnt from other regions peacekeepers. The
peacekeepers are also introduced to the latest and advanced technology provided
by the UN that may not be available in Fiji.
The capture of 45 Fijian peacekeepers
serving in the Golan Heights in Syria 2014 highlights the severe challenges
that Fiji as a contributing country faces in global peacekeeping efforts.
Meanwhile, the successful negotiations that led to the safe release of the
peacekeepers invigorated Fiji’s belief in relations with key strategic partners
both within and outside the region.