Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 4 2017 Contents ently fostered cooperation, trust and transparency
between regional powers. And it’s promoted a rules-
based regional and global order and a strategic cul-
ture that is based on global norms and international
The Minister particularly welcomed the focus of
the Experts’ Working Group on Women, Peace and
“We’re proud to be doing our part to increase
the number of women serving in peace and security
operations and to support inclusive peace process-
es,” she said.
“We believe, and we try to exemplify this in our
deployments, that women are critical to improving
the operational effectiveness of UN peacekeeping
The meeting was the second in Australia
and Indonesia’s 2017-2020 co-chairing cycle.
Co-chairing this multilateral forum broadens and
deepens existing bilateral cooperation. It is also an
opportunity for Australia and Indonesia to share
peacekeeping experiences with the region.
The close ties between our two countries were
also evident at the Indonesia-Australia Defence
Alumni Association dinner the night before the
working group. The alumni association, which is
known as Ikahan and has 1400 members, strength-
ens personal links between the Australian and
Indonesian defence forces through seminars, cultur-
al and sporting events, and publications.
The Graduate Policy Officer Indonesia, Matilda
Middleton, said the Ikahan dinner was a great way
to welcome our Indonesian counterparts, reconnect
old friends and form new bonds.
“The friendly relationship between the
Australian and Indonesian delegates shows just how
successful Ikahan is and how important it is to build
these networks,” Matilda said.
“Experience is one thing, but it’s our personal
and cultural understanding that really helps us work
together. So, when our Indonesian friends got curi-
ous about Vegemite, we decided to share some with
them. They loved it!”
The Project Officer at the Peace Operations
Training Centre, Lieutenant Colonel Matt Nash,
said he was encouraged by the strong level of rep-
resentation at the conference.
“Collectively, the countries represented actively
contribute 14,998 military personnel to UN peace-
keeping missions, as well as many more civilian
personnel and other agencies to support peace oper-
ations globally. As a result there was a wealth of
experience at the table.”
The conference included presentations from
two UN representatives – the Director of African
Operations, Jack Christofides, and the Chief of Staff
of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Vivian van de Perre.
The experts, who also spoke at the Peace
Operations Training Centre Gender and Protection
Workshop the week before, addressed delegates on
the challenges of contemporary peacekeeping.
They spoke about the unique operational
demands of implementing gendered perspectives
in conflict prevention, ensuring participation of
all genders in nation-building and security sector
reform, and protecting civilians in highly complex
Delegates also took an Indigenous cultural bush-
walk tour of Mount Majura, led by Ngunawal Elder
The Policy Officer Regional Architecture, Alice
Courtenay, said the bushwalk was a fantastic way
to show off Canberra and to demonstrate the impor-
tance of Aboriginal cultural heritage.
“The guided bushwalk provided international
participants with an understanding of the impor-
tance of land, flora and fauna, sky and natural
features to Aboriginal communities. The only thing
missing was kangaroos, which had fled, much to
the disappointment of our international delegates,”
Behind the scenes, planning and executing the
Experts’ Working Group harnessed expertise from
across Defence. Months of policy and logistics
preparation by teams at Peace Operations Training
Centre, International Policy Division, Military
Strategic Commitments and Post Jakarta ensured
the conference and cultural program were a success.
Australia’s co-chair of the ADMM-Plus Experts’
Working Group, Brigadier Robert March, said the
efforts of all of those who worked on the conference
“Teams from across Defence came together
seamlessly to host this important multilateral event.
This working group is a key forum for strengthening
practical peacekeeping cooperation in our region
and I applaud the dedication shown by all those who
helped make it such a success,” Robert said.
Marsh and Brigadier
General Rizerius Eko,
of Indonesia, meet the
Minister for Defence,
Photo: Phillip Vavasour
Issue 4 2017 Defence
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