Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Gender Issues: Norwegian General becomes first woman commander to head UN peacekeeping force

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Major General Kristin Lund of Norway, whom he has appointed as Force Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). On assuming her duties in August, General Lund will become the first-ever female Force Commander in UN history. UN Photo/Mark Garten

UN - 12 May 2014 – Major General Kristin Lund, of Norway, has become the first woman ever to serve as Force Commander in a United Nations peacekeeping operation, it was announced today.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson today confirmed the appointment of the Norwegian who will lead the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) which marks its 50th anniversary this year.

UNFICYP was established by the Security Council on 4 March 1964 to contribute to a return to normal conditions following violence and bloodshed between the two communities on the island.

With over 34 years of military command and staff experience at national and international levels, the Major General heads the Veteran Affairs section of the Norwegian Defense.

In 2009, she was the first female army officer to be promoted to the rank of Major General and was appointed Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Home Guard.

Her previous experience with the UN includes service with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR).

Major General Lund has extensive experience in multinational operations, including deployment to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters in Afghanistan.

Major General Lund will replace the outgoing Force Commander, Major General Chao Liu of China on 13 August.