About Us

Who and What is UNOPAA?

The United Nations and Overseas Policing Association of Australia (UNOPAA) is a social organisation based in Australia. Its members are serving or former police officers of police forces throughout Australia who have or are currently serving with United Nations Peacekeeping Forces or on other overseas police missions or operations. UNOPAA organises social events and promotes the welfare and care of its members.

UNOPAA was previously the United Nations Police Association of Australia (UNPAA). The Association formally changed its name to UNOPAA at the 2012 Annual General Meeting. Download a copy of the UNOPAA Constitution (314 kB) updated as at October 2017.

A bit of history

UNFICYP (the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) was established in March 1964. It was the eighth UN peacekeeping operation to be founded, and is currently the fourth-oldest UN peacekeeping operation in the world.

Cyprus became independent in 1960 with a constitution that was intended to balance the interests of both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom entered into a treaty to guarantee the basic provisions of the constitution and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus.

A series of constitutional crises resulted, however, in the outbreak of intercommunal violence in December 1963. After all attempts to restore peace had failed, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 186 (1964), which recommended the establishment of UNFICYP.

During 1964, Australia's first civilian police officers were sent to join the United Nations Civilian Police (UNCIVPOL) in Cyprus, who to this day, though in a much smaller number (roughly 20), are still present serving in an indispensable capacity of observers, negotiators and investigators.

Their main duties included inquiries and settlement of disputes between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, maintenance and restoration of law and order, as well as patrolling three sectors of the UN buffer zone.

Recent years have seen continued international police peacekeeping intervention requests escalate. 1992 saw officers deployed to the United Nations Transitional Authority (UNTAC) in Cambodia as part of Australia's commitment to assist the Cambodian people to take control of their own affairs and return to peaceful and productive lives.

Specialist investigations were required during the 1999 Balkans Kosovo and the 1999 East Timor crisis, amidst human rights violations and mass genocide reports.

Read more about Australia's role within international policing.