Norwegian general the first female UN force commander
Major General Kristin Lund has been appointed military commander of the UN peace keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), – the first female force commander of a UN peacekeeping operation.
Major General Lund received her appointment during a meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday. She will formally accept military command of UNFICYP on August 12, 2014. Her posting has an initial duration of 1 year, with the possibility of an extension.
-The Norwegian Government wants to contribute to UN peacekeeping operations, and I am proud of the fact that a Norwegian officer has been asked to lead the UN operation in Cyprus, says Norwegian Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide.
No previous UN operation has had a female force commander. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security emphasizes the need for increased female participation in international operations.
-Major General Lund is first and foremost an able and experienced officer. However, we also see that the number of women in UN peace operations remains low. That Major General Lund will be a force commander is therefore an important signal and a milestone for UN peacekeeping operations, said the Minister of Defence.
Norway aims to provide military personnel to key positions within United Nations operations. Examples of such positions include Norway’s chief of staff positions with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) (in rotation with the United Kingdom) and the UN observer mission in the Middle East (UNTSO). In addition Major General Robert Mood served as head of the UN mission in Syria (UNSMIS) in 2012.
Norway currently also contributes a military vessel to the UN/OPCW-operation to extract chemical weapons from Syria. In addition, Norway provides staff officers, liaison officers and observers to UN operations in South Sudan (UNMISS), Mali (MINUSMA), Middle East (UNTSO), Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Kosovo (UNMIK).