Military Observers on the UNTSO-mission. Photo: Danish Defence.
United Nations Military Observers
The Danish Defence contributes continually with around 20 to 50 persons to the United Nations (UN) Military Observer Missions. The UN Military Observers (UNMOs) can be described as the eyes and the ears of the Mission, since their observations and assessments help provide a real-time picture of the situation in the area of the mission.
Danish UNMOs are deployed to UN missions in South Sudan
and in the Middle East. Additionally, the Danish Defence has also sent out two observers to the Republic of Korea, where the UN Command Military Armistice Commission (UNMAC) was transferred to become a US-led mission back in the 1950's.
What is the mission's task?
The UNMO-missions have different tasks and assignments in different countries. They can consist of different professional components, such as a civil part, a military component and a police response.
The goal of a mission may include the following tasks:
Expectations for the observer
- To monitor and supervise armistice agreements.
- To prevent a resurgence of violence and disturbances.
- To support the reconstruction of democratic institutions in war-ravaged countries.
- To secure humanitarian help to the local population.
- To monitor and assist refugees and displaced persons to their homes.
- To support demining and human rights initiatives.
UNMOs are deployed for 6-12 months. During that period, the UNMO gets a thorough knowledge of the culture of the local people and of the country in which the mission operates.
Since UNMOs work close together with observers from other countries, an UNMO must possess diplomatic sense and patience and show respect for others while working on resolving difficult situations in conflict areas.
This article in Danish