New York

12 May 2014

Secretary-General's remarks at photo-op with Major General Kristin Lund of Norway as Force Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, and first female Force Commander of any UN Peacekeeping Operation

Hei!  God Dag. [“Hello! Good day.”]

I congratulate Major-General Kristin Lund on her appointment as the new Force Commander of our peacekeeping operation in Cyprus. Today, she makes history at the United Nations.

In our six and a half decades of UN peacekeeping operations, we have had scores of male force commanders – but she is our first woman in that position.

Today we shatter another glass ceiling – and we do it with commanding force!

Our operation in Cyprus today becomes the first in the world to have dual female leadership. It is just one of five peacekeeping operations led by women – the highest proportion in our history.

Force Commander Lund deserves this assignment. She has a long history of dedicating herself to UN peacekeeping going back to 1986 when she was deployed with the UN in Lebanon.

I have found time and again that the best person for the job is often a woman.

I am confident that today’s breakthrough is just the beginning – and we will not have to wait another 66 years for our next female Force Commander.

To Major-General Lund, I say: Gratulerer, og lykke til! Thank you, congratulations and good luck to you.