Peacekeeping Finland, an exhibition portraying Finnish peacekeeping was opened at the UN Headquarters on 30 April 2012. The Permanent Mission of Finland has organised the exhibition in order to showcase Finland’s contribution to UN peacekeeping over seven decades. The exhibition also traces the history and highlights the importance of UN peacekeeping in general.
Ever since Finland became a member of the United Nations, she has been committed to UN peacekeeping. Finland has a distinguished history of participation in numerous UN operations: in the Middle East, the Balkans, the Indian subcontinent and various regions of Africa. Some 50 000 Finnish men and women have served as peacekeepers since 1956.
Currently, Finland contributes troops to three UN peacekeeping operations: United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) and United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). As of May 2012, Finland will contribute a mechanised infantry company of 177 soldiers to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). In addition, Finland has recently contributed military observers to the United Nations Supervisory Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).
Over the years, several high-ranking Finnish military officers have led UN peacekeeping missions. General Ensio Siilasvuo was Commander of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) II in the Sinai Peninsula. In August 1975, he was appointed Chief Coordinator of the UN Peacekeeping Missions in the Middle East, an assignment he held until a peace treaty was concluded between Egypt and Israel in 1979. General Gustav Hägglund served as commander of UNIFIL in 1986–88.
Major General Juha Kilpiä currently serves as Head of Mission and Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO). He was appointed to his position on 25 March 2011. Colonel Pekka Holopainen serves as Deputy Chief Military Observer in United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). His tour of duty began on 4 November 2011.
The exhibition will be open at the United Nations Delegates Entrance Lobby from 30 April until 11 May 2012.