A Peek Into Several European Countries
By: Devon Fasbinder
Finland has been a country known for peacekeeping and has been part of United Nations since 1955 according to Peacekeeping Finland. The UN has various peacekeeping operations in various countries and Finland backs many of those. Right now, Finland is an active member in several UN-mandated operations across the world.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland reports four major UN peacekeeping operations that Finland is currently backing.
1. United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
This operation was originated in 1978 by the UN. The Finnish Defence Forces says the current operation focuses on three tasks – monitoring the Blue Line, supporting the Lebanese armed forces, and assisting Lebanese civilians. According to UNIFIL, the original purpose was to confirm Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon and restore peace. But the goal had to be adjusted twice due to developments in 1982 and 2000.
2. United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO)
This operation monitors ceasefires in the Middle East. The Ministry reports the UN created it in 1948 to supervise armistice agreements concluded by Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria and to prevent the escalation of individual incidents into crises. According to the Finnish Defence Forces, Finland has 14 military personnel stationed in different parts of the area. Finland is said to be the country contributing the most to this operation.
3. United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)
This operation began in 1949 as a military observer operation monitoring the ceasefire line along the borders of India and Pakistan. According to UNMOGIP, after some hostility in 1971, the operation remained to observe developments and monitor ceasefire.
4. United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
This operation is the most recent beginning in September of 2003. The Defence Forces says 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. UNMIL says their mandate includes promoting human rights, supporting those in conflict like security forces and women, and working on an overall peacekeeping mission in Liberia.
The Ministry also reports that Finland participates in NATO- and EU-led crisis management operations in Afghanistan, the Western Balkans and the Horn of Africa.