Press release | Date: 2017-11-03 | Ministry of Defence
– We are very pleased to announce that Denmark, Belgium, Norway and Portugal today signed a new Letter of Intent prolonging the air transport services to the UN mission in Mali from November 2018 till November 2020, says Norway`s Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen.
Based on a Norwegian initiative and consequent dialogue with partners five nations met at the Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN in 2016 to sign a Letter of Intent offering to the UN a two year long rotational concept on military transport aircraft to the UN’s peacekeeping operation in Mali, MINUSMA. So far Norway and Portugal have completed their tours, Sweden takes over after Denmark in the middle of November and the last and final country is Belgium, finishing in November 2018.
– The multi-national rotational concept was and still is novel concept in the UN but one that has received strong support and created a lot of interest and hopefully synergies. It has created predictability both for the contributing countries and for the UN to a mission. The concept has also been cost-effective for all participants. With the completion of the Norwegian, Portuguese and soon Danish contribution the concept has so far completed over 500 sorties and transported a little over 29 000 personnel and over 1 000 tons of cargo over 21 months. This is impressive, says Bakke-Jensen.
- I am very pleased that the participating countries have agreed to prolong this multinational rotational contribution arrangement until 2020. I would also like to thank, in particular, Norway for taking the lead in this arrangement and for maintaining camp facilities and services at Camp Bifrost for all partners. The camp and canteen infrastructure you deployed in Mali served as an inspiration for the change in the standards of accommodations across all peacekeeping missions that was approved by the General Assembly in July, says Khare Atul, Under-Secretary-General.
In June this year, the Norwegian government decided to offer to the UN another rotation with the Norwegian C-130 in 2019. We also decided to extend our camp facilities to all rotational partners out 2020.
The signing ceremony took place at the Permanent Norwegian Mission to the UN with the UN ambassadors from the four countries and representatives from the UN leadership present.
Defence Minister Bakke-Jensen will participate at the UN Defence Ministerial in Vancouver on the 14-15 November, where he will present the rotational concept.