Acting on a request from the UN, the Danish Government will contribute to the UN monitoring mission in Syria with unarmed Danish military observers. Initially, the UN will have up to 10 Danish observers, already deployed in the region, at its disposal. On a longer term, the Danish Defence is exploring the options of providing additional Danish observers.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs says: “We have pushed for the UN Security Council to act for quite some time. Last week, a unanimous council finally approved a resolution to send observers to Syria. Clearly, we did not hesitate to accept when the UN asked Denmark to contribute to the monitoring mission. Our contribution sends a strong signal to Annan, that we fully support his efforts to finding a peaceful way out of this unfortunate situation in Syria”.

The Minister of Defence says: ”The purpose of the mission is first and foremost to observe and confirm the cessation of violence. We are determined to hold the Syrian Government to its promises.”

On April 14 2012, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution to send a vanguard of 30 unarmed UN-observers to Syria to monitor the cessation of violence. Cessation of armed violence is a prerequisite to deploying the UN monitoring mission.

The UN has asked for a Danish contribution to the vanguard as well as to a potential main force to be deployed later on.

For the sake of rapidity in generating the monitoring team as well as the need for experienced personnel with regional expertise, the UN plans to remobilize personnel from its UNTSO mission (United Nations Truce Supervision Organization) currently operating in Syria, Jordan, Israel/Jerusalem and Lebanon. At this time Denmark has 10 persons deployed in UNTSO.

Denmark will provide the UN the option of remobilizing Danish personnel from UNTSO to Syria. On a longer term, Denmark will continue working to appoint an additional 10 persons to the mission in Syria or as replacements for other missions, so that the total contribution in the region can potentially add up to 20 persons, based on the specific demand by the UN, 10 of which will be a supplement to number of already deployed Danish personnel.