Finland's participation in the UN's peacekeeping operations
The UN plays a pivotal role among the international actors engaged in crisis management. Finland will support the UN also in the future by taking part in operations led and authorised by the UN. Development of the UN’s peacekeeping activities is also supported by means of contributing to training.
At present, Finland is participating in four UN-led operations.
In addition to the UN operations, Finland participates in NATO- and EU-led crisis management operations in Afghanistan, the Western Balkans and the Horn of Africa. The total strength of Finland’s contribution to military crisis management operations at the start of November 2013 was 392, eighteen of them being women.
Finland’s participation in the UNIFIL operation in Lebanon starting from November 2013 will raise Finland’s total contribution and strengthen Finland’s input in the UN’s crisis management. Finland will take over command of the UNIFIL Finnish-Irish battalion and the number of troops will increase to at most 350.
Finland has deployed to UN operation not only soldiers but also policemen and civilian niche expertise. Finland supports comprehensive development of the UN peacekeeping activities. In the future, the aim is to also deploy experts trained in civilian crisis management.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is a peacekeeping operation in Lebanon, created by the UN in 1978. The operation’s original aim was to monitor Israeli forces’ withdrawal, restore international peace and security, and assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its effective authority in the area.
The operation’s mandate was changed because the situation in the area became different. In accordance with the current mandate, the operation’s key tasks are to monitor the cessation of hostilities, to support the Lebanese Armed Forces’ (LAF) deploymnet in south Lebanon, to assist in ensuring humanitarian access to civilian populations and the return of displaced persons and, if necessary, to protect local people.
The operation’s strength is about 11,000 peacekeepers and about 1,000 civilian staff. Finnish peacekeepers deployed to the area in May 2012. In the beginning of November 2013 the operation had 193 Finns. Their number will increase to at most 350 soliders at the end of November 2013 when Finland takes over command of the UNIFIL Finnish-Irish battalion.
- UNIFIL operation on the Finnish Defence Forces website
- UNIFIL (operations website)
The United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) monitors ceasefires in the Middle East. The military observation mission was established in 1948 to supervise armistice agreements concluded by Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria and to prevent the escalation of individual incidents into crises. The operation has a strength of about 150 military observers and about 230 civilian personnel. Finland has contributed to the operation since 1967. At the beginning of April 2013, the number of Finnish staff in the operation was 15. Major General Juha Kilpiä serves as Head of Mission and Chief of Staff of UNTSO.
- UNTSO (operations website)
India and Pakistan
The United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) is a military observer operation, launched by the UN in 1949, on the ceasefire line along the borders of India and Pakistan, in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The strength of the operation is about 40 military observers and about 70 civilian staff members. Finns have participated in the operation since 1961. At the beginning of April 2013, six Finns were participating in the mission.
- UNIMOGIP operation on the Finnish Defence Forces website
- UNMOGIP (operations website)
The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) is a peacekeeping operation in Liberia, launched in September 2003. In accordance with its mandate, the operation supports the implementation of the ceasefire agreement, the assistance work, human rights, the reform of the security sector, and the peace process, and protects the United Nations staff, installations, facilities and civilians.
The operation has a total strength of about 9,500 persons, of whom about 6,000 are peacekeepers, over 100 are military observers and 1,300 are police officers. UNMIL started the gradual reduction of forces in 2007 and the process will continue until the year 2015.
At the beginning of April 2013, two Finnish experts were participating in the operation.
- UNMIL operation on the Finnish Defence Forces website
- UNMIL (operations website - UN)
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