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  • Unpol / Uncivpol

    What are forum members experiences serving with UN or multi-national peacekeeping roles in a policing capacity as UNPOL/UNCIVPOL or other?

    Without Nation bashing, how did you find other nationalities and their standards?

    What suggestions would you make in relation to the way peacekeeping ops are carried out in a policing sense and what did you find rewarding.

    Do you think enough recognition is given for those who served as with the Military?

    Looking forward to reading your comments and adding more of my own on this topic.

  • #2
    Working with other nationalities is a complicated issue. I found some to be particularly competent. Canadians, Brits, Irish, Scandinavians, and Hungarians stood out in my experience. Please note this is not a complete list. Some countries surprised me with their abilities, several former Soviet Union countries for example. My biggest criticism of many contingents was driving ability, with language ability a second concern. There were certain nationalities (which I will not name) that amazed me with their incompetence and overall bad performance.

    As far as recognition, my experience was there is very limited recognition at home, and it may even hurt the career as oppose to help it. This opinion has been expressed to me by colleagues from other countries as well.

    What did I find rewarding? The work in Bosnia was pretty mind numbing, much of the time. A second problem was that everybody is there for a year, assuming they do not get transferred within the mission. That provides a limited time frame when somebody has learned the job but is not counting down to go home. Having said that, I did enjoy the year. The most rewarding aspect profesionally was the colleagues I worked with as opposed to the work we did.


    • #3
      Good points Jnhdrac.

      The national balance thing that the UN is an interesting albeit frustrating notion that operates in UN mission and is indicative of the problems associated with working alongside other nationalities.

      In the mission area I worked in, namely East Timor I found Canadians, the Irish, Swedes, Chilean contingent, the Spanish, US and my fellow Australians had an excellent work ethic. Some individuals let down others on their contingents but in the main, I was proud to work alongside those nationalities. Other nations were suspect in relation to their competencies and motivations.

      I also found the lack of Standards (in terms of S.O.P.s) in the different regions throughout the mission area beyond belief.

      Recognition is a big issue for policing in terms of peacekeeping contributions. I think the Canadians do it very well. However in Australia several related associations have been spourned or built upon to encourage recognition, namely the Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Veterans Association, the United Nations Police Association of Australia and the Returned Services League.

      A list of their web sites for your information is provided here:

      Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans' Association Home

      RSL Australia advocates for benefits, treatment and welfare of ex-service and serving members of the Australian Defence Force and has led commemorative services since 1916.

      I think paridy in terms of veteran benefits is a real issue here and something we are trying to rectify.

      The nature of peacekeeping is an honourable one and one that I think cannot be allowed to be misused or taken advantage of.

      The other thing that in the past was frustrating was that we only served in the mission area for 6 months which was problematic in terms of succession planning. Also when the majority from our contingent wanted to extend we were prohibited from doing so. However other nationalities seemed to abuse their ability to extend and their work ethic was dare I say indicitive of this. However with the establishment of the IDG, this may change to varying periods of extension, I for one have put my hand up.

      Mate, its good to hear from another veteran of another mission area.


      • #4
        I found the six month posting way too short. I had a great time with most nationalities, but the inconsistancies between districts was ridiculous.

        It appeared to me that every man and his dog posted in Dili had a take home vehicle whilst we spend half our time sitting on our butts due to lack of transport.

        Found that some of the senior posting were more political then based on compentence.

        My district had a D/Dist Commander and a Station Commander who were relatively junior constables in Canada and appeared out of their depth in their UN Positions, nice people, just out of their depth.

        I think we could all write a book on UN postings!



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