MINDEF receives vehicle from UNDP Malaysia to train UN peacekeepers

Aug 2, 2011

Kuala Lumpur, August 2, 2011 – The Ministry of Defence, Malaysia (MINDEF), on behalf of the Malaysian Peacekeeping Training Centre (MPTC) received a left hand four wheel drive vehicle to train future United Nations peacekeepers under the ‘Capacity Building Support for Malaysia’s Role in Multidimensional Peacekeeping Training’ project.

YB Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Bin Hamidi, Minister of Defence Malaysia accepted the vehicle, on behalf of the Government of Malaysia from Mr. Kamal Malhotra, Resident Representative, United Nations Development Programme Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam and Ambassador Shijeru Nakamura, of Japan, during an official ceremony held during the MINDEF monthly assembly.

The availability of the training vehicle was made possible as part of a USD1 million grant from the Government of Japan to implement the project. The vehicle will be used by The Malaysian Peacekeeping Training Centre (MPTC) to train UN peacekeepers on left hand driving skills for peacekeeping missions in Africa and elsewhere requiring such skills.

The ‘Capacity Building Support for Malaysia’s Role in Multidimensional Peacekeeping Training’ project is being jointly implemented by UNDP Malaysia and MINDEF through the MPTC in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. The project seeks to support the strengthening of the MPTC and its transformation into an international training centre. Through this project, MPTC is providing training for peacekeepers from countries in Asia and Africa, emphasising the multidimensional aspects of 21st century peacekeeping operations, focusing particularly on civil-military coordination, gender related issues, sexual violence, and the security of women in situations of armed conflict.

YB Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Bin Hamidi said, “Last year marked our 50 years of our involvement in peacekeeping missions. For the last 50 years, the peacekeeping operation demands are changing. To fulfil those requirements, the Malaysian Peacekeeping Training Centre or MPTC has been working with UNDP Malaysia to create new modules and trainings for our future peacekeepers and also peacekeepers from Asia and Africa Region.

This project, named UNDP-MinDef Project on the Capacity Building Support for Malaysia’s Role in Multidimensional Peacekeeping Training were realised through the contribution of funding from the Government of Japan. I hope that the Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Shijeru Nakamura could convey my sincerest gratitude to the Government of Japan for the USD1 million fund that were given to UNDP to make this project a reality.”

Malaysia has been supporting United Nations peacekeeping operations for the past 51 years starting with the Congo in 1960. Malaysia has since participated in more than 25 UN peacekeeping operations in over 20 countries, involving more than 25, 000 of its military personnel and approximately 1,000 civilian police personnel.

International peacekeeping operations have evolved from the traditional role of maintaining ceasefires and limited peace agreements to a broader mandate of ensuring the implementation of comprehensive peace agreements and laying the foundation for sustainable peace. Today’s peace operations have highlighted the need for better preparedness by peacekeepers to address issues related to sexual and gender based violence as well as the need to strengthen the civil-military cooperation dimensions of these operations.

Mr. Kamal Malhotra said, “Malaysia has been consistent in its commitment to United Nations peacekeeping operations with the most recent example being the mission to Lebanon. Its sense of responsibility and realization that an increasingly globalised world poses an increasing number of global challenges and calls for global solutions underpins Malaysia's commitment to the United Nations’ mission of maintaining global peace and security.

UNDP believes that a strategic value-added of this critical project is that it also further demonstrates Malaysia’s strong commitment to South-South cooperation as it allows the country to share its experience and expertise with Asian and African countries, which are the highest contributing countries to UN peacekeeping operations.”

Shijeru Nakamura, Ambassador of Japan said, “I would like to remind all of you that Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, has acknowledged his appreciation towards the said project through the Japan-Malaysia Joint Leaders’ Statement titled “Enhanced Partnership for a New Frontier” signed in April 2010 in Tokyo. Both Prime Ministers of Japan and Malaysia shared the view then that the two countries will continue to promote cooperation in the area of peace building. Japan contributed USD$1 million to this Project, through the UNDP-Japan Partnership Fund. We also dispatched three Japanese instructors from the Secretariat of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters of the Cabinet Office of Japan for the CIMIC Courses held at MPTC, believing that contribution in personnel, in addition to funding, is meaningful. And with the hand-over of the left-hand drive vehicle, which was requested by the Government of Malaysia, Japan hopes it will contribute effectively to practical PKO training which is quite often required in the case of current PKO missions, especially in Africa.

Japan further wishes to express its sincere hope that the tripartite cooperation provided by Japan-Malaysia-UN with participants from Africa and Asia will continue to be implemented efficiently and effectively, contributing to peace building efforts in the international community.” A first roundtable stakeholder discussion on “Capacity Building Support for Malaysia’s Role in Multidimensional Peacekeeping Training” was held from October 27 to 28, 2010 and this was followed up with the inaugural five-day Civil-Military Coordination (CIMIC) course held from April 25 to 29, 2011 at the Malaysian Peacekeeping Training Centre which allowed Malaysia to share its expertise in peacekeeping with 26 peacekeepers from Botswana, India, Zimbabwe, Cambodia and the Philippines. Subsequently, a 10 day course was held from 30 May to 10 June 2011 with participation from Malaysia, Bangladesh, Philippines, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea. Guest trainers from Japan also participated in these courses to lend their expertise to the training courses.

Another three of these courses will be held this year, consisting of one additional CIMIC train-the-trainer course and two CIMIC courses for peacekeepers. A gender and peacekeeping seminar will also be held later in the year.

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