Christmas message from the President of the Republic to Finnish peacekeepers

Peacekeeping and military crisis management have played an important role in Finland’s efforts to safeguard international security for more than sixty years.

Crises are challenging and complex situations, and resolving them always takes more than a single solution or actor. It takes cooperation. And it is their cooperativeness and constructive approach that Finnish peacekeepers are known for.

The work that you do in the crisis hotspots of the world is highly significant not only for the regions in which you operate but also for Finland. Your work promotes security and stability in the target regions and reduces human suffering in many different ways. It also improves Finland’s security. Peacekeeping missions offer an opportunity to build up crisis management personnel’s competence and the Defence Forces’ capacity for international cooperation. This also reinforces our national defence capability.

The competence and fairness of Finnish peacekeepers are widely known in crisis areas. The backdrop to an individual peacekeeper’s work always is the values and learning they have picked up in the home country – an equal society, good general education and high-quality conscript training. These factors have prepared the ground for the effective operation of our soldiers in foreign countries.

This is the tradition that you are currently carrying forward on third continents and in duties that are extremely demanding, both physically and mentally. I would like to thank you for your valuable work for keeping and building peace in crisis hotspots across the globe.

I wish you a peaceful Christmas and a safe future in your challenging and vital duties.

Sauli Niinistö
President of the Republic of Finland