First Female Chief of UN 'Blue Helmets' Appointed

Major-General Kristin Lund (L), of Norway, shakes hands with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R), after being appointed as the new head of the United Nations military peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), at the United Nations headquarters

Norwegian Major General Kristin Lund became the first woman to head a United Nations peacekeeping force after the was appointed to command a mission in Cyprus.

Lund, who was appointed by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday, will be responsible for about 1000 peacekeepers deployed on the island. She will assume the office on August 13, when she is to replace outgoing Chinese Major General Chao Liu.

Speaking of her forthcoming task, she expressed her commitment to maintaining the ceasefire between Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and to dealing with issues such as minefields, unaccounted people and property disputes.

The new Cyprus mission commander has had experience in places such as Lebanon, Bosnia and Afghanistan. She first joined the Norwegian army in 1979 and went on a UN overseas mission in 1986.

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