25 March 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed new force commanders for the United Nations missions responsible for helping to foster stability in the Middle East and in Haiti.
Major General Juha Kilpia of Finland has been appointed as Head of Mission and Chief of Staff of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which was set up in 1948 as the world body’s first peacekeeping mission.
Over the years, UNTSO military observers have remained in the Middle East to monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other UN peacekeeping operations in the region.
Maj.-Gen. Kilpia brings to his new position extensive experience in peacekeeping and crisis management, including with UN operations in Lebanon and the Golan Heights. He was Chief of Staff of the Army Command Finland since 2009 and earlier served as Finland’s Military Representative to the European Union and NATO in Brussels.
He succeeds Major General Robert Mood of Norway, who completed his assignment in February at UNTSO, which is headquartered in Jerusalem.
Mr. Ban has also appointed Major General Luiz Eduardo Ramos Pereira of Brazil as Force Commander of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which has been on the ground since mid-2004 when violence erupted in the small Caribbean nation.
Maj.-Gen. Ramos has had a distinguished military career, holding a number of senior command and staff positions. He was most recently commander of the 8th Light Infantry Brigade in Rio Grande Do Sul, from 2010 to 2011. He has served with the UN before in the early 1990s with the UN operation in the former Yugoslavia.
He will replace Major General Luiz Guilherme Paul Cruz, also of Brazil, who will complete his assignment on 31 March.