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Kristin Lund of Norway became first-ever woman to head a UN Peacekeeping Force

May 14, 2014 14:14 IST

Major General Kristin Lund of Norway became the first-ever woman to head a UN Peacekeeping Force in its entire history. She was appointed as the Force Commander of UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) on 12 May 2014 to mark its 50th anniversary in 2014.

Major General Kristin Lund will assume the charge of Force Commander of UNFICYP on 13 August 2014. She will succeed the outgoing Force Commander, Major General Chao Liu of China who will retire on 13 August 2014.

Major General Kristin Lund previous assignment at UN includes

• Service with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
• Service with the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR)

She also has extensive experience in multinational operations which includes

• Deployment to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm in 1991
• NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters in Afghanistan

About UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP)

UNFICYP was established by the UN Security Council on 4 March 1964 with the purpose to contribute to a return of normal conditions after violence and bloodshed between the two communities on the island. The two communities involved in the conflict in Cyprus were
• Greek Cypriots, which was controlled by Republic of Cyprus
• Turkish Cypriots, which was controlled by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

The two Greek and Turkish Cypriots are recognised only by Turkey.

What is UN peacekeeping Force?

United Nations Peacekeeping Force helps countries torn by conflict to create conditions for lasting peace. United Nations Peacekeeping began in 1948 when the Security Council authorized the deployment of UN military observers to the Middle East.

UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles

• Consent of the parties
• Impartiality
• Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate

At present 17 UN peace operations are deployed in four continents of the world. The police and military professionals of 122 countries are the part of the UN Peacekeeping Force.  Peacekeeping Force comprises civilian, police and military personnel. International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is observed every year on 29 May.

The first UN peacekeeping operations were

• UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)
• UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)

The largest contributors in UN Peacekeeping Forces are India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

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