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General Timo Kivinen’s Christmas Greetings to Peacekeepers

23.12.2020 9.00
Press release

Finnish peacekeepers,

The corona pandemic has impacted the life of all peacekeepers on an everyday basis.  For example, due to the pandemic, changes had to be made to rotations and leave periods reduced.  In addition to the pandemic, the security situation in the areas of operation remained challenging the whole year.  The operations in particular in Mali, Somalia, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan have been characterised by political instability. 

You have been faced with old and new challenges, yet you have fulfilled your task with honour, and  based on the feedback from foreign partners as well, you have performed your work in an exemplary manner.  You have also shown considerable adaptability by being flexible with regard to the above challenges involving leave periods and rotations.  We have survived it all, and I owe my thanks to you.

Your work in the operation areas is an important part of the implementation of Finland’s foreign and security policy.  Your participation in military crisis management increases your and the Defence Forces’ ability to act in crisis situations and supports the development of capabilities.  At the same time, you show other countries the operability of our reservist-based system and the high professional competence of our personnel in challenging circumstances. 

Peacekeepers, I thank you for the past year and for the valuable contribution that you have made for international peace and stability.  I wish you and your families a peaceful Christmas and a successful year 2021. 

Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces
General Timo Kivinen