Speaking at a first-ever conference of UN chiefs of defense, the Estonian Commander-in-Chief Lt. Gen. Riho Terras said more focus should be given to gathering intelligence and advanced warning systems at UN peacekeeping missions, citing the success of the mission in Mali.
“The new concept used in Mali, which helps gather and analyze information from different sources, has proven to be very effective. Implementing a similar concept in other peacekeeping operations is essential,” he said.
Terras also said Estonia plans to send a platoon of up to 50 men to Lebanon as part of UNIFIL.
Estonian troops have participated in UN missions since 1995 in Croatia. Currently Estonia has soldiers under the UN in Mali and in the Middle East.
The conference, which brought together over 100 defense chiefs, is part of a wider process of engagement by the UN and its members to expand peacekeeping partnerships and promote the more effective and efficient implementation of mandates.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said peacekeepers face ever greater danger, with number of peacekeepers killed on the increase. That figure has been over 100 per year in 11 of the past 12 years. There are currently 130,000 UN soldiers in 16 missions.
Editor: J.M. Laats