This force, numbering 300 people, in addition a component of civilian experts, will be available for deployment to Syria for a period of 90 days once UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon finds Syrian authorities to be in compliance with their obligations.
"The mission of the observers may be risky. The situation in Syria remains fragile, and one will be completely dependent on both parties respecting the integrity of UN personnel. We therefore have to have realistic expectations in terms of what the observer force can achieve. Still, our hope is that the presence of the observers may help reduce the level of violence in the country," says Norwegian Minister of Defence, Espen Barth Eide.
The Norwegian Major General has been a military advisor to Kofi Annan, Special Representative of the UN and the Arab League. In this role, Major General Mood has supported Annan in his efforts to secure a lasting cessation of hostilities in Syria, and in preparing the ground for the establishment of an observer mission.
Major General Mood was previously the head of the UN observer mission to the Middle East (UNTSO - United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation), a position he held until the spring of 2011.
"I am pleased that Major General Mood has been asked to act as the Force Commander for the UN observer mission to Syria. Major General Mood is very familiar with the region, and his long experience and close relationship with the UN means that he will be able to make a strong contribution to an issue that has become central to international peace and security," says Norwegian Minister of Defence, Espen Barth Eide.