field visits to Mogadishu and will travel throughout Somalia. He will provide strategic advice on defence and military issues including the training and capacity building of the Somalia Defence Force and Police, as well as liaising with bilateral partners working on security sector and defence development in Somalia.
The fact that New Zealand has been asked to provide an officer to UNPOS is recognition of the high regard in which we are held by the United Nations, says COL Howie.
“This is a unique opportunity and I am very much looking forward to what will be a challenging role.
“Despite some progress, Somalia continues to be a failed state which makes it a particularly difficult UN mission.
“The security situation fluctuates and peacekeeping forces struggle with limited resources to create secure conditions for political reform. This is further exacerbated by the ongoing drought.
“It is important that New Zealand continues to support the United Nations in its work towards a more stable and secure world.”
The United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) seeks to support a temporary government transition to democratically elected government, and to assist in the development and delivery of basic services for the poverty stricken people of Somalia.
COL Howie has extensive military experience and has twice led overseas deployments in the Sinai in 1993 and in Iraq in 2004. He is a senior officer in the Army’s Reserve Forces and has been granted special leave from his current employer.
“I would like to thank my employer, the Department of Corrections for their continued support. They have a number of staff who are members of the Army and Navy Reserve Forces and a number have deployed overseas to various missions with the full support from Corrections,” adds COL Howie.
New Zealand makes a small but significant contribution to the United Nations. There are currently 18 Defence Force personnel serving with the UN in Sudan, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, and the Middle East.