By Stefanos Evripidou
President Nicos Anastasiades received the new Force Commander of UNFICYP Major General Kristin Lund at the Presidential Palace on Friday.
After the meeting, Major General Lund, 56, told the press that “it has been a very interesting meeting. This was a courtesy call and I am very honoured that the president could see me. I know he is very busy, so I am happy to be here and happy to get this position and I will do my utmost to support the process that is ongoing.”
Asked how she feels to be the first female commander of a UN peace keeping force, she said: “You are more motivated and hopefully other women will see that it is possible to become commander of a force.”
Lund, from Norway, replaced Major General Chao Liu of China last month, who served as Force Commander from February 2011 to August 2014.
Her compatriot, Espen Barth Eide, will also be visiting the president later today, after having been appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s new special adviser on Cyprus.
Lund has had a distinguished career, with more than 34 years of military command and staff experience at national and international levels. As a Brigadier General, she served as Deputy Commander of the Norwegian Army Forces Command from 2007 to 2009. In 2009, she became the first Norwegian female officer promoted to the rank of Major General, and was appointed Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Home Guard. In 2014, she was appointed to the Norwegian Defence Staff as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Veteran Affairs.
Her previous experience with the United Nations includes service with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Bosnia. Lund has extensive experience in multinational operations, including deployment to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s SFOR in the Balkans and ISAF Headquarters in Afghanistan.
Lund graduated from the Norwegian Defence Command and Staff College, the Norwegian Defence University College and the United States Army War College, where she earned a Master of Strategic Studies degree.