The Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres, has announced the appointment of the ADF’s Brigadier Cheryl Pearce, on promotion to Major General, as Force Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
Brigadier Pearce has a distinguished record of service, including operational service with the UN in East Timor in 2002 where she was awarded a Chief of Defence Commendation for bravery, and as Commander Task Group Afghanistan in 2016. Her most recent appointment was as the Commandant of ADFA.
The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus was established in 1964 to prevent a recurrence of fighting between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. The force monitors the ceasefire and provides a buffer zone between the two groups.
The force consists of over 1000 personnel from 10 contributing nations, including the UK, Argentina and Slovakia. Australia has provided police officers to this mission for 53 years.
Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne congratulated Brigadier Pearce and said this was a great opportunity for Australia to contribute to global peacekeeping efforts, and to mark its commitment to the UN.
“Australia has a long and proud history of contributing to international peacekeeping and peace building efforts,” Minister Pyne said.
“The UN’s selection of an ADF officer to lead its force in Cyprus is testimony to the high regard in which our contribution is held by the international community."
“This is only the second time the UN has appointed a woman to lead a peacekeeping mission, and it is an important mark of our commitment to enhancing the participation of women in peace and security activities.”
“I welcome the appointment of Brigadier Cheryl Pearce as Force Commander of the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said. “The involvement of women in peacekeeping operations, especially at senior levels, enhances the prospects of reaching sustainable peace. I wish her every success in her role.”
Australia currently has a number of ADF personnel serving in peacekeeping roles in the Middle East and Africa.