Major General Kristin Lund visits Vienna
Major General Kristin Lund visited Vienna this week to discuss issues related to Women, Peace and Security in the OSCE and participate in the Blue Helmet Forum Austria 2016 on Women in Peace Operations.
Until 29 July 2016, Kristin Lund was the Force Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and has 38 years of military service experience. She is the first woman ever to serve as Force Commander in a United Nations peacekeeping operation.
In the OSCE, Lund participated in discussions on Women, Peace and Security in the Forum for Security Cooperation, and in ODIHR’s Human Rights Discussion Series for the FSC "Boosting the reporting on the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda". In her interventions, Major General Lund emphasized her own practical experience in implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in the field. She underlined that women’s participation in armed forces must be increased not because of political correctness or solely to protect women’s right to equal participation, but also because it acts as a force multiplier. Women contribute with other perspectives, improves relations with the local community, and boosts the legitimacy of the mission in the host country. Under Lund’s leadership, the proportion of women in UNFICYP had increased to twice the average of UN peacekeeping missions. Through insisting on women being part of every patrol, the mission’s outreach and image as a role model for the local society had improved. Through hands-on leadership, Lund had also contributed to increased awareness of proper conduct within the mission.
Lund emphasized that implementation of the SCR 1325 agenda must be anchored at the top leadership level to be effective, and that implementation was first and foremost a leadership issue.