Under the motto “Working for Peace”, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and Federal Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière will, for the very first time tomorrow (12 June), together honour the German participants in peace missions for their engagement in war and conflict zones. The three Ministers are honouring three soldiers, police officers and civilian experts each from three different missions, who will represent all Germans involved in operations of this nature. These men and women are being recognized jointly in order to emphasize that the work done by soldiers, police officers and civilian experts is equally important for the stabilization of countries hit by crisis.
In 2012, Germany contributed around 6000 soldiers, approximately 450 police officers and just under 200 civilian experts to internationally or bilaterally mandated peace missions. The number of German participants in international peace missions has markedly risen during the last ten years. Germany has thus taken on responsibility for peace and security around the world.
German military, police and civilian experts have been participating in international peace missions since the early 1990s. The first deployment was in 1989/1990 under a United Nations mandate in Namibia. Today, German participants are engaged in almost fifty missions around the world. Their tasks are diverse: they are advising the Government of South Sudan on police reform, training Afghan troops or acting as specialists on human rights issues in Kosovo. They are all making an important contribution towards crisis prevention and crisis management.
More than 500 guests are expected to attend the ceremony at the Federal Foreign Office. They will include active and former participants in UN, EU, NATO and OSCE peace missions, as well as Martin Kobler, Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, and Stefan Feller, since recently the United Nations Police Adviser in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UN DPKO). The event is being supported by the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF).
Joint press release by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Ministry of Defence, the Center for International Peace Operations and the Federal Foreign Office.