Remarks by Colonel Craig Tippins at the GPOI Peacekeeping Instructor Training Course Closing Ceremony

As Prepared for Delivery
Kompung Speu
April 10, 2015

Your Excellency General Sem Sovanny, distinguished guests, peacekeepers, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. On behalf of the Embassy of the United States of America, it is my honor to congratulate the students of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Instructor Course for completing this valuable training.

I applaud all the graduating students before us today first because of their involvement in the cause of international peacekeeping operations, but also because of their having earned a place at this particular course to be peacekeeping instructors. As those entrusted with training their nations’ future peacekeepers, I am sure these students represent some of the finest personnel in their militaries.

To the new graduates I would like to say that I appreciate the time and effort that you have invested in learning here, and I strongly encourage you to share the information you took from this course and implement it in the training in your countries. Your personal involvement in peacekeeping operations and the willingness to support and train others on them reflects great character.

Peacekeepers undertake great personal danger to help people to survive in the midst of conflict they cannot escape. The training and knowledge received at this course may help some future peacekeeper to know to do the right things to help a mother without a home, a child with nothing to eat, or a dying grandfather with no money for medicine. The United States recognizes the value and potential impact of this course and is honored to support the task of training and preparing forces to deploy on peacekeeping missions.

We have students present from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, and Vietnam, making this graduation an especially important occasion with truly international significance. For their roles in making the course a success, I would like first to thank on behalf of the United States our Cambodian hosts, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and in particular the National Center for Peacekeeping, Mines and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC). They made their facilities available, did much of the invaluable work that made plans into reality, and are graciously sharing Cambodia’s famous warmth and hospitality at today’s ceremony.

I would also like to thank our instructors from Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, and Sweden for sharing their knowledge and expertise in peacekeeping operations. The involvement and contributions of so many countries in this course showcases what is possible through international cooperation, and the United States is proud to be among the sponsors.

In conclusion, I want to wish the Cambodian participants a happy, successful, and prosperous New Year. For those traveling back to their homes abroad, I wish you safe travels. For all participants, best of luck in your peacekeeping training and in whatever future peacekeeping missions you might participate.

Thank you.