United Nations Medals - The United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation Medal
About the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) Medal
During the winter of 1948 United Nations military observers were deployed to the Middle East under a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Arab-Israeli War. The following year, after the end of hostilities, the military observers of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) were reorganised into a stand-alone force and given the task of monitoring the 1949 General Armistice Agreements reached between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The UNTSO Medal was instituted in 1951 to recognise the service of the military observers supervising this truce. Since then UNTSO has continued to be involved in peacekeeping and monitoring duties in the region, including observation of the cease-fire in the Suez Canal area and the Golan Heights following the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
The first New Zealand military personnel to serve with UNTSO were two Army Territorial Force officers who arrived in the Middle East in July 1954. There has been continuous New Zealand military personnel involvement with UNTSO since this time. In 1993 New Zealand sent Colonel John Fisher to take up the post of UNTSO Deputy Chief of Staff in Jerusalem, and he later became Chief of Staff of UNTSO for several months. In late 2004, Major General Clive Lilley, became Head of Mission for UNTSO for 12 months.
The Sovereign has given approval for New Zealanders, who meet the eligibility criteria, to accept and wear the United Nations Medal for service with UNTSO.
About the ribbon
The ribbon comprises a United Nations blue background with a thin white stripe near each edge. These are the basic colours of the United Nations.
Further information on the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation Medal can be found on the United Nations website.
Clasps and Bars
Only a few clasps have ever been issued with United Nations medals. Very early
in the history of the United Nations, it was decided to recognise service on
different missions by the award of the United Nations Medal with distinctive
ribbons. Additional periods of service on the same mission are recognised by
silver numerals worn on the medal ribbon. The sole exception to this practice
is the United Nations Special Service Medal which
has the same ribbon with different clasps awarded for different service. A list
of all United
Nations missions since 1948 and
their ribbons can
be found on the Medals
of the World website.
Further details on each on these missions can be found on the United
Nations website and on the Canadian
Order of Wear
The position of this medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.
New Zealand Defence Force Officers who have held Senior Command Positions with UNTSO
Media Statements concerning service by New Zealand personnel with UNTSO
- 26 April 2013 - Defence Force Continues to Support Middle East Mission
1 November 2007 - An United Nations Military Observer (UNMO) in the Middle East
- 18 July 2006 - Eight NZDF Personnel based in Lebanon and Israel continue with their role