Australia and Thailand are co-hosting a regional peacekeeping exercise this month.
Since 1998, the militaries of the two countries have hosted PIRAP-JABIRU, a biennial desk-top exercise co-sponsored by their peace operations centers which seeks to facilitate regional peace operations collaboration, networking and capacity-building. The exercise, which initially involved only the two nations, is now conducted with regional military, police and civilian training audience participation.
This month, from 9-20 May, over 100 participants from 22 Asia-Pacific militaries, police forces, and non-governmental organizations are involved in PIRAP JABIRU 2016 in Bangsaen, Thailand.
According to Australian Defense College Commander Major General Simone Wilkie, who opened PIRAP JABIRU 2016 in Thailand, during the exercise participants are tested by realistic scenario-based problems that reflect contemporary United Nations operations, including how to protect vulnerable populations such as women and children, understanding peacekeepers’ rights and obligations under international and domestic law and how to maintain logistics support in austere environments.
Participants will attempt to work together to devise comprehensive solutions to these difficult problems, Wilkie said in a statement issued by Australia’s defense ministry, adding that today’s missions involve a broad array of objectives including promoting good governance and human rights, providing humanitarian assistance and assisting in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants.
“The true value of the PIRAP JABIRU series is that it enables participants to develop a much deeper understanding of contemporary multi-dimensional UN Missions and most importantly how we can work together to achieve optimal results,” Wilkie said.
He added that the exercise was also a reflection of Australia’s close bilateral ties with Thailand, which includes a strong history of peacekeeping cooperation. He said Thailand was a “very important security partner” for Australia, given the similar approaches both share in regional security as well as their track record of cooperation in actual operations in East Timor, the Gulf of Aden, Sudan and South Sudan.