Since joining the U.N peacekeeping operations, Mongolia has successfully pushed forward a foreign policy aimed at developing the state’s military capacity through multilateral cooperation in international military operations. Since 2002, Mongolia has deployed more than 19,000 peacekeepers to the U.N. peacekeeping operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Chad, Sudan, West Sahara, Congo, Ethiopia, and Georgia. Moreover, Mongolian military observers are working in Congo, West Sahara, and South Sudan. As of August 2021, Mongolia ranked 24th among 117 U.N. troop-contributing countries and had sent 62 female and 824 male soldiers to U.N. operations.
In 2013, G.Bolor (one of the authors of this piece) served as the first female Section Head (Chief J6) in the FHQ in UNMISS, South Sudan. After serving in UNMISS, she was the first woman to be deployed as a Peacekeeping Affairs Officer in U.N. headquarters in New York. The same year, Mongolia deployed the first female contingent Commander of Level II hospital to the UMAMID in Sudan. The following years saw an increase in Mongolian female participation in global forces such as in Sudan. In 2019, the first female troops from Mongolia also participated as a member of the German Joint Forces, who took part in Operation Enduring Support in NATO in Afghanistan.
As of 2021, more than 900 Mongolian women have served as military observers, staff officers, and military contingent members in both U.N. peacekeeping operations and NATO coalition forces. The successful deployment and the completion of their missions has a significant influence and promotes women’s participation in the military and the security forces. These accomplishments must be recognized at an international level.
As the next step, female peacekeepers should be considered for senior-level posts within the U.N., not only as contingent members. However, several challenges prevent women from accelerating into higher-level positions or posts within U.N. peacekeeping operations.
Even though Mongolia joined the U.N. in 1961, it was not until 1996 that Mongolia expressed an interest in contributing to U.N. peacekeeping operations. In 1999, Mongolia and the U.N. signed a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Contributions to the United Nations Standby Arrangements. In 2002, Mongolia adopted a “Law on participation of Military and Police personnel in the United Nations peacekeeping operations and other international operations” and began sending military observers to U.N. peacekeeping missions.