Mt Albert MP David Shearer’s appointment as head of the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan is a huge credit to him and to New Zealand, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.
“The Labour Party congratulates David on what will be a demanding role, but one that has a humanitarian focus which he’s passionate about.
“We’re very proud of David who is the only New Zealander to ever be appointed to run a UN peace keeping operation. We’re sad to see him go; he would have made a fine Foreign Affairs Minister in a Labour-led government.”
Shearer, Labour’s leader from 2011 to 2013, is expected to take up the role of Special Representative and head of UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) early in the New Year.
UNMISS is the UN’s third largest peacekeeping mission with 17,000 uniformed and almost 2,000 civilian personnel. It is charged with building peace and stability in what is the youngest country in the world.
“David has made a significant contribution to Labour during his time in Parliament and we’ll miss his strong voice, particularly in the foreign affairs area.
“We wish him all the best,” says Andrew Little.