Syria’s 18-month-old civil war has reached a stalemate. With neither of the multiple conflict parties
strong enough to dislodge the other, fighting has turned into a costly war of attrition and is threatening to
spill across Syria’s borders. In this situation, Lakhdar Brahimi’s ceasefire initiative is providing a glimmer
of hope. Two months after the departure of the last UN Supervision mission (UNSMIS), there are
renewed talks about a UN peacekeeping operation. However, what are the prospects that any new mission
will succeed where the last one has failed? What lessons are we able to draw from the UNSMIS experience?
And what options remain for the international community in case the Brahimi initiative fails?
Speaker: Robert Mood, Major General, Norway
Major General Mood was the Head of the UNSMIS until 20 July 2012 and supported
closely the Kofi Annan -led peace mediation process. He became the Chief of Staff of the
Norwegian Army in 2005. In 2009 he left the post to serve as Head of Mission/ Chief of
Staff in the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) covering the regional Middle
East until February 2011. He was deployed in Lebanon in 1989 to 1990, and in Kosovo in
1999 and 2001. Major General Mood was educated in Norwegian military institutions,
at the United States Marine Corps University and he also attended NATO Defence College in Rome in 2001.
Leading the Discussion:
Dr Mika Aaltola, Programme Director, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Dr Timo Behr, Research Fellow, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs