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MEDALS NEWS

16 February 2002

INTERFET Medal accepted

Hon Mark Burton

Defence Minister Mark Burton announced today that New Zealand would accept the Australian International Force East Timor (INTERFET) Medal for qualifying personnel.

Mark Burton made the announcement while speaking at the demobilisation parade for NZBATT4 at Linton Army Camp today.

“Acceptance of the INTERFET Medal is recognition of New Zealand’s significant contribution to the international peacekeeping force that was critical to the stabilisation of the situation in East Timor” Mark Burton said.

“It also recognises the service of individual New Zealand members of INTERFET in what was a risky and difficult environment”

“Approximately 1,300 New Zealand Defence Force personnel served with INTERFET, and approximately 900 will now be eligible to accept and wear the INTERFET Medal which has a qualifying time of 30 days service”, said Mark Burton.

INTERFET was an Australian-led, United Nations sanctioned, multinational force established on 16 September 1999 to restore peace and security in East Timor.

The New Zealand Defence Force contributed naval, ground and air elements to INTERFET between 20 September 1999 and 22 February 2000. New Zealand personnel in East Timor passed under the control of the United Nations Transitional Administration (UNTAET) on 23 February 2000.

Mark Burton also announced that the Queen had approved the wearing, by qualified personnel, of four peace support operations medals; the NATO medal for service with the Stabilisation Force in Bosnia (SFOR); the United Nations medal for service with United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance Afghanistan 1989 – 1991 (UNOCHA); the United Nations medal for service with the United Nations Special Commission based in Iraq (UNSCOM); and the United Nations Medal for service in the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC).

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