United Nations marks 75 years of peacekeeping

Since the first UN peacekeeping operation, UNTSO in the Middle East, was established on 29 May 1948, the UN has led 71 peacekeeping operations. There are currently 12 active operations. Norway has participated in 47 operations, providing more than 43 000 personnel.

‘The UN’s peacekeeping operations have played, and continue to play, an important role in contributing to international peace and security,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

1948 Ole Helge Bakke
Ole Helge Bakke was a Norwegian UN official. He was killed on Mount Scopus on 13 July 1948 while on a mission of mercy. He was the first UN Peacekeeper killed while on UN duty. Credit: UN

In 1949, Norway sent its first representatives to the monitoring mission on the border between India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). For a long time, however, Norwegian contributions were primarily focused on the Middle East. The UNIFIL mission in Lebanon stands out in this context: more than 22 400 Norwegian men and women participated in the operation.

1978 Unifil
A Norwegian cargo plane bringing in supplies for the Norwegian Battalion in 1978. The Norwegian contribution to the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon stands out, with over 22 400 Norwegian men and women participating. Credit: UN

Norway currently has personnel in the Middle East, Mali and South Sudan. The peacekeeping operations in which Norway has participated are listed below.

Ms Huitfeldt recognises that UN operations are contending with a wide range of challenges.

‘Peace processes are often flawed and the security situation in many host countries is becoming increasingly volatile. This makes it more difficult to carry out operations, where protection of civilians is often a key task,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

Highly qualified personnel from Norway

‘Norway seeks to strengthen operations by providing highly qualified personnel and innovative solutions. The recently concluded rotation scheme for providing military transport aircraft in Mali is an example of this. Schemes such as this enable smaller countries to provide the UN with reliable access to much-needed resources over time,’ said Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.

2020 Minusma
Norway currently has personnel in the Middle East, Mali and South Sudan. Among other things, Norway contributed with a unique rotation scheme for transportation aircrafts in Mali (MINUSMA). Credit: Norwegian Armed Forces

‘Norway has been at the forefront when it comes to establishing specialised police teams. The team model allows individual countries to provide relevant specialist expertise more effectively over a given period. Norway is currently participating in two such teams,’ said Minister of Justice and Public Security Emilie Enger Mehl.

More women

2020 Minusma Norway politi
Norwegian police contribute to several UN operations. Norway has been a pioneering country for the establishment of specialized police teams. Credit: Norwegian Police

Norway has long given priority to increasing the proportion of women participating in peacekeeping operations, including in leadership positions. Former Minister of International Development, Hilde Frafjord Johnson, led the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) from 2011 to 2014. In 2014, Major General Kristin Lund was the first woman to be appointed Force Commander of a UN peacekeeping force, in Cyprus (UNFICYP), and Major General Ingrid Gjerde was appointed to the same position in 2020.

Former Norwegian police chief Christine Fossen has served as the Police Commissioner of the UN mission in South Sudan since November 2022. This is one of the UN’s largest peacekeeping operations. Credit: UN

Former Norwegian police chief Christine Fossen has served as the Police Commissioner of the UN mission in South Sudan since November 2022. This is one of the UN’s largest peacekeeping operations.

Participation of personnel is only one way in which Norway supports UN peacekeeping operations. Norway’s overall contribution also includes provision of expertise and financial support to strengthen the UN’s ability to plan and lead operations. Norwegian support is used among other things to strengthen the capacity of operations to protect civilians, to counter disinformation, to enhance the efforts of the UN Police and the intelligence-gathering capacity of operations, and to increase the recruitment of women from countries in the Global South.

‘Norway’s contribution to UN operations is also an integral part of Norway’s support to multilateral cooperation. This is crucial at a time of increasing international tensions and instability. Norway is working to promote increased cooperation between the UN and regional organisations, particularly with the African Union, given that the majority of active UN peace operations are currently in Africa’, said Ms Huitfeldt.

UN peacekeeping operations – Norwegian participation

  1. UNTSO - UN Truce Supervision Organization, May 1948 - Present (M)
  2. UNMOGIP - UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, January 1949 – Present (M)
  3. UNEF I - First UN Emergency Force, November 1956 - June 1967 (M)
  4. UNOGIL - UN Observation Group in Lebanon, June 1958 - December 1958 (M)
  5. ONUC - UN Operation in the Congo, July 1960 - June 1964 (M)
  6. UNYOM – UN Yemen Observation Mission, July 1963 - September 1964 (M)
  7. UNFICYP - UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, March 1964 - Present (M)
  8. UNIPOM - UN India-Pakistan Observation Mission, September 1965 - March 1966 (M)
  9. UNIFIL - UN Interim Force in Lebanon, March 1978 - Present (M)
  10. UNIIMOG - UN Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group, August 1988 - February 1991 (M)
  11. UNAVEM I - UN Angola Verification Mission I, January 1989 - June 1991(M)
  12. UNTAG - UN Transition Assistance Group (Namibia), April 1989 - March 1990 (P)
  13. UNIKOM - UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission, April 1991 - October 2003 (M)
  14. MINURSO - UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, April 1991 – Present (P)
  15. UNAVEM II - UN Angola Verification Mission II, June 1991- February 1995 (M)
  16. ONUSAL - UN Observer Mission in El Salvador, July 1991 - April 1995 (M, P)
  17. UNPROFOR - UN Protection Force, February 1992 - March 1995 (M, P)
  18. UNTAC - UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, March 1992 - September 1993 (P)
  19. UNOSOM I - UN Operation in Somalia I, April 1992 - March 1993 (M)
  20. ONUMOZ - UN Operation in Mozambique, December 1992 - December 1994 (P)
  21. UNOSOM II - UN Operation in Somalia II, March 1993 - March 1995 (M)
  22. UNAVEM III - UN Angola Verification Mission III, February 1995 - June 1997 (M)
  23. UNCRO - UN Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia, March 1995 - January 1996 (M)
  24. UNPREDEP - UN Preventive Deployment Force, March 1995 - February 1999 (M)
  25. UNMIBH - UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, December 1995 - December 2002 (M, P)
  26. UNTAES- UN Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium, January 1996 - January 1998 (M, P)
  27. UNMOP - UN Mission of Observers in Prevlaka, February 1996 - December 2002 (M)
  28. MINUGUA – UN Verification Mission in Guatemala, January 1997 - May 1997 (M, P)
  29. MONUA - UN Observer Mission in Angola, June 1997 -February 1999 (M)
  30. UNCPSG - UN Civilian Police Support Group/Croatia, January 1998 - October 1998 (P)
  31. UNOMSIL - UN Observer Mission in Sierra Leone, July 1998 - October 1999 (M, P)
  32. UNMIK - UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, June 1999 - Present (M, P)
  33. UNAMSIL - UN Mission in Sierra Leone, October 1999 - December 2005 (M, P)
  34. UNTAET - UN Transitional Administration in East Timor, October 1999 - May 2002 (M, P)
  35. MONUC - UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, November 1999 - June 2010 (M)
  36. UNMEE - UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, July 2000 - July 2008 (M)
  37. UNMISET - UN Mission of Support in East Timor, May 2002 -May 2005 (M, P)
  38. UNMIL - UN in Liberia, September 2003 - March 2018 (M, P)
  39. MINUSTAH - UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, June 2004 - October 2017 (P)
  40. UNMIS - UN Mission in the Sudan, March 2005 - July 2011 (M, P)
  41. UNAMID – AU/UN Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, July 2007 – December 2020 (M, P)
  42. MINURCAT - UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad, September 2007 -December 2010 (M, P)
  43. MONUSCO - UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, July 2010 – Present (M)
  44. UNISFA - UN Organization Interim Security Force for Abyei, June 2011 - Present (M)
  45. UNMISS - UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan, July 2011 Present (M, P)
  46. UNSMIS - UN Supervision Mission in Syria, April 2012 - August 2012 (M)
  47. MINUSMA – UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, April 2013 - Present (M, P*)


  • The dates indicate the duration of the operation
  • Active operation with Norwegian participation
  • M = military personnel
  • P = police advisers
  • *from 2019 to 2022