Report on IAB meeting, 5-6 November 2013
On Tuesday 5 November 2013, an external event for interested audience in Addis Ababa was co-hosted by the Norwegian embassy and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), where the ISS Executive Director, Jakkie Cilliers, gave a lecture on "African futures, conflict trends and African Union's (AU) response". The session functioned as an outreach for the TfP Programme, as also the ACCORD Executive Director, Vasu Gounden and the Research Director at KAIPTC, Kwesi Aning, participated in a discussion panel. Dir. Cilliers first explained the methodological basis for his "forecasting" of Africa's future, which is not the same as prediction. He gave a rather optimistic scenario for the continent, based on Africa's huge economic growth prospects (increase 9 times within 2050) if current growth rates continue. The population on the continent could at the same time reach a total number of 2 billion and thus constitute one quarter of the world's population. Violence and fragility will continue, but very unevenly distributed on the continent. Based on these forecasts, he gave several recommendations to policy makers and planners. A lively discussion ensued, where both basic parameters of forecasting in Africa and hic conclusions were questioned. The two panellists underlined the need for strong governments, good governance, wise politicians, honest partners and a robust civil society to overcome negative trends, like crime and corruption etc.
In the Chair's opening of the IAB meeting, attention was drawn to last year's meeting, recent developments in peace and security in Africa and relevant activities and initiatives by the TfP, as well as the recent change of government in Norway. It was also underlined as to why the IAB meeting was held in Addis Ababa this year: 1) to mark the transfer of the Norwegian management of the programme from Pretoria to Addis Ababa, and 2) to connect the programme closer to the AU as the Pan-African institution responsible for peace and security on the continent. The importance of partnership and cooperation between the UN, AU and the RECs as a major theme for the meeting was emphasised.
Dr. Cedric de Coning from the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) gave participants a highlight of the review of the African Standby Forces (ASF), where he serves as the Deputy Head of the review team (Head of team: Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who also recently joined the IAB). The review is being delivered to the AU at the end of the year and then serves as an important input for the next AU summit on this issue. The ASF is an important mechanism within the wider African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), where the recently proposed rapid deployment mechanism is intended to be included. The relations between the two is still to be decided. The ASF was planned to reach Full Operational Capacity (FOC) in 2015, but the review has shown that this is far from the case. Of the five standing brigades (total no. of 12.500 personnel) three may reach FOC with an increased effort [Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF)], whereas the north and central brigades will not make it. The review is proposing a number of recommendations for the realization of the ASFs. The review will also propose that the AU establish a high-level panel to look into the African response to peace and security issues beyond 2015. Points from the discussion: more clarity is needed on the working relations between the AU and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on the ASF (and on peace and security in general); the civilian sides including police are still weak; are the listed capacities really ready?; status and function of the rosters; the ASFs are delinked from the on-going peace operations; new types of security threats will demand new types of responses.
Enhanced partnership between the United Nations (UN), AU and the RECs was highlighted by Abdel-Kader Haireche from the United Nations Office to AU (UNOAU). The recent political "up-grading" of the UNOAU headed by the USG Haile Menkarios must be considered as an acknowledgement by the UN of AU's increased ambition and will to take responsibility for peace and security on its own continent. The UN also acknowledged the AU framework for conflict management (APSA), with a wide variety of approaches and mechanisms (e.g. preventive diplomacy, conflict management and post conflict reconstruction etc.). Mr. Haireche underlined the need to define the relationship between the two organizations more closely based on commonalities of goals and priorities, especially to agree on a joint methodology on how to address conflicts in Africa. A joint task force (UN-AU) has been approved. The discussion also pointed to the need to cooperate with the RECs and structure the AU's own work in New York towards the UN and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The working relations and roles between the UN, the AU and the RECs must be more structured and clearly defined based on clear responsibilities, respect and partnership.
Mr. Andrew Carpenter, Head of Strategic Policy and development section in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO), Police Division, gave an overview of the status for the UN Strategic Guidance Framework (SGF) leading to a new policy for policing in UN peace operations. He saw a need for much more specialized policing, female police and enhance mission-specific training in a new and changing security environment. The SGF aims at consolidating an international shared understanding of policing in peace operations, specific and detailed job descriptions, standardized training and evaluation. He acknowledged the development of AU's increased policing capabilities and the establishment of the AU Strategic Support Group where African police chiefs could cooperate. He welcomed programmes like the TfP, which support African policing capacities, but reiterated that training courses should follow UN standards.
Engaging the AU was on top of the agenda for this year's IAB meeting on Wednesday morning. The IAB met with the Deputy Chairperson, Erasmus Mwencha, the Director of the Peace and Security Department, El-Ghasim Wane and the Chief Adviser to the Chairperson, Basu Sangqu. The dialogue with the AU leaders provided key insights into AU's comprehensive approach to peace and security, which is interlinked with its agendas on development and good governance. The AU leaders underlined that the AU clearly acknowledges UN's global responsibility for peace and security, but is now calling for a closer partnership based on mutual respect, comparative advantages and division of labour. A closer collaboration between the two security councils is needed. The AU is calling for a recalibration of the UN charter's chapter 8 to fit the new situation, where the AU may take certain responsibilities, acknowledged by the UN SC and financed through UN assessed contributions. The longest serving member of the IAB, Dr. Ramesh Thakur, responded positively to the "clear message" from the AU and said that the TfP Board will give its advice to the TfP programme accordingly. His statement is attached to this mail.
The board was briefed on the status of the evaluation of the TfP towards the end of the meeting by the Head of the evaluation team, Dr. Elling Tjønneland (CMI). Some improvements had been noted on partner cooperation, training being closer adapted to mission needs, gender balance and focus on results rather that activities. The team is currently mid-way in the evaluation, and the last half will be used to assess impact and results of the different programme elements, especially training. Case studies will be conducted in AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The team also wanted to find out more about the inter-linkages between various programme elements, for instance: has the research contributed to an improvement of the training courses? Preliminary advice to the programme would be to find the right balance between flexibility and fixation on results, stay focused on the main objectives, align with the AU and UN priorities, especially to link up to the AU through the embassy in Addis Ababa, strive for more programme coherence and better and more cooperation among partners.
The meeting ended by a summary discussion, where the development from last year's IAB meeting and its focus on transition and changing security environments to this year's focus on holistic approach on peace and security and enhanced partnerships between the UN and AU, RECs and programmes like the TfP were referred. IAB members agreed that the meeting had been very useful and timely, based on the TfP management move from Pretoria to Addis Ababa. The AU is in transition and has an increased ambition and capability and the right comprehensive approach to peace and security. The relations between the UN, AU and the RECs are not streamlined and structured, and the lack of clarity is creating frustrations at all levels. This cooperation must be more clearly defined. The TfP could identify gaps where the programme can assist in improving on the situation. Mr. Carpenter underlined that the UN can "consume" much more African peacekeepers, but reiterated that training and UN standards must prevail. The AU office to the UN in New York must be strengthened, especially in relation to the cooperation with the UNSC. Another weak link is the AU-REC cooperation, and the board advised that TfP should pay more attention to this issue. The advice from partners was therefore that the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the programme be held in Abuja to meet with ECOWAS and look closer at the situation in West Africa and the Sahel. (The AGM will take place in Abuja during the last week of March next year.)
Report of Project Mangers meeting, 4 November 2013
The TfP partners met on Monday 4 at Hilton hotel to discuss the progress on certain programme elements and recent TfP initiatives, such as communication and information; TfP research cooperation; evaluation of the programme, and further programme cooperation with the AU Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD). We hope to improve on the internal and external communication and information with ACCORD in the lead and responsible for the TfP home page and newsletter. Target audience and messaging were discussed. All of the partners will have to use these channels of communication actively in order for the new initiative to work properly. The partners were requested to name point persons for follow-ups and cooperation with Ms Barbara Mohale (firstname.lastname@example.org
) in ACCORD, who will regularize and set deadlines etc. for news items with partners and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign (MFA). The renewed TfP Home page will be launched soon. ISS will start using multi-media packages in connection with and from training courses, and hope to share media clips with the group through the TfP home page.
The research network, currently chaired by NUPI up to the next AGM (March 2014), agreed to concentrate on policing in peace operations, which still is heavily under-researched. ISS explained how a new focus on research had helped the institute to improve on its training activity based on field visits to UN missions. Partners underlined the need for integrating monitoring and evaluation as a part of the training cycle. Civilians and police in peace missions are far from trained sufficiently, especially on how missions translate strategic mandate goals into tactical level operations. An important emphasis will therefore be put on applied research relevant for the improvement of training courses (pre-deployment and in mission). Some TfP partners cooperate well already, but much more can be achieved through improved collaboration. A tentative research plan was agreed for the coming 6-9 months, starting with joint field visits to some of the missions (UNMISS, African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS)). NUPI will hold a seminar in Oslo early next year (March) as part of the Challenges Forum and in support of the UN Strategic Guidance Framework for policing in UN peace operations. All partners will be invited.
The head of the evaluation team, Dr. Elling Tjønneland (CMI) briefed partners about the state of the evaluation process and its preliminary observations and findings. He explained the purpose of the evaluation, which is looking at all the main elements of the programme with a view to assess the relevance of the TfP. The team is focusing on results of the various activities, especially training. Is the programme achieving its objectives and reaching the targets – giving value for money? He emphasized that it is too early at this stage (mid-way) to draw any firm conclusions and thus only outlined some preliminary observations and findings. The team will pay a special attention to the impact of training of police in the last part of its work. Findings and observations were discussed with Dr. Tjønneland.
In the last session, the partners met employees at the AU PSOD to discuss further cooperation and how the TfP programme can support the work of the department. A lack of well-trained critical civilian personnel in AU-led peace missions was highlighted. Training must be closely linked to the needs in missions in accordance with their mandates. New types of specialized personnel are needed, and training must be more tailor-made, as e.g. for mission administration, financial management, HR, etc. The PSOD sees a strong need to cooperate more closely with programmes like the TfP and other partners who conduct relevant training, including through the African Peace Support Training Association (APSTA). A frank and open discussion took place on critical issues relating to planning and management of peace missions, including cooperation between the UN, AU and regional economic communities. The participants agreed to cooperate more closely, especially in relation to the annual and regular planning of training needs.