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'Lessons Learned' Conference Reinforces NZDF Reputation in Region

20 May 2017

The 10th International Lessons Learned Conference (10ILLC), which has just concluded in Queenstown, has provided an opportunity for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to share with partners the skills and experience it has acquired on a variety of operations and in Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR).

Army Lessons Manager and lead co-ordinator for 10ILLC Kristy Hill said the event, hosted this year by the NZDF, has strengthened the NZDF’s and Army’s reputation as a trusted partner in leading defence regional co-operation. About 150 delegates from 15 countries took part in a programme which included keynote speakers, discussion panels and tabletop activities.

“This conference is an internationally recognised biennial event where professionals from governments, international organisations, academia, non-government agencies and private institutes get the opportunity to review lessons learned best practices,” she said.

“Our Defence Force can offer lessons learned based on our experience both on operations and in HADR responses. 

“Our recent experiences in the Pacific reacting to the cyclones in Vanuatu and Fiji, as well as the earthquakes in Kaikoura, allowed us to provide contemporary experienced speakers and knowledge. We were able to offer examples of wide-ranging co-operation, problem-solving and support.”

Main conference themes included innovation and learning, and the changing nature of conflict and its effects on populations. Of particular focus was the invaluable role women play in a military context, with discussion highlighting the UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security and the supporting resolutions’ roles in both HADR and operations.

“It is an important international mandate covering the full and equal participation of women in all peace and security initiatives. At a strategic, operational and tactical level, there are military activities that translate the Resolution concepts into practical tasks to protect civilians and increase the participation of women in the peace and security agenda.”

In closing remarks Deputy Chief of Army Brigadier Chris Parsons highlighted the range of professionals, military, emergency response, government, non-government agencies and academia in attendance.

“It is not sufficient to use timeworn ways to solve today’s problems. We need to form partnerships, and not just with those we traditionally feel comfortable with. We need to embrace the full range of partners from the relevant sectors to learn ways to build the genuine trust which enables the information flow to gain success,” he said.

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