The Training for Peace (TfP) Programme at ACCORD participated at the 2014 Annual Challenges Forum. The Challenges Forum is a platform to discuss the strategic and dynamic exchange of experiences, ideas, best practices, and proposals to positively influence the peacekeeping practice and approaches through debate and research. The purpose of this year's Challenges Forum is to discuss the emergence of non-traditional threats in peacekeeping missions.
These threats have become a worrying concern for stakeholders, as they may potentially undermine the efforts and achievements of peace operations. Noting that TfP/ACCORD's strategic goal is to significantly improve the civilian capacity of the AU and the UN to prepare, plan, manage and monitor multi-dimensional peace operations in Africa, the Programmes participation was aimed at contributing the future of Peace operations. The theme on the Forum was focused on building capacity for peace operations in response to diversified threats.
The 2014 Annual Challenges Forum was held from the 14-16 October 2014 in Beijing, China, and was hosted by the China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS). In attendance were the Director of the Forum's Secretariat - Ms Annika Hilding Norberg; the Senior Colonel Zhang Li - Deputy Director General Peacekeeping Affairs Office Ministry of National Defence China; H.E. Mr Wang Xuexian, Former Ambassador of China to South Africa; Mr. David Haeri - Director, Policy, Evaluation and Training Division, Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support, United Nations; and Major General Li Tian - Director General, Peacekeeping Affairs Office, Ministry of National Defence, China. The Forum was attended by 120 participants from thirty (30) countries, across five continents.
During the three days deliberations, the TfP Programme contributed to identifying emerging challenges related to the need for strengthening of norms and concept of peacekeeping; the development of strategies to engage and deal with EBOLA; increased internally displaced persons; Cross Boarder and Transnational Crime; capacity building for peace operations; effective of the Operational Doctrinal and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of peacekeeping operations; and the growing attacks on UN peacekeeping missions in Mali, Central Africa Republic (CAR), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Further, matching the capabilities of the military, police and civilian component of peace operations to be able to respond to the patterns of threat was also discussed, thus citing the relevance of training in this regard.
The 2014 Challenges Forum also touched on existing key peace operations challenge that continues to affect the smooth running of peace support operations. This include, the absence of peace in trying to keep the peace; operational difficulties in high risk environment; strengthening cooperation with regional actors close to the conflict; and the emergence of cyber threats. From the deliberations, it came our clearly that the above mentioned challenges can be addressed through rapid response, mobility survivability and active engagements amongst partners. Increased research on peacekeeping operations was identified as integral to the improvement in the implementation of peacekeeping operations as it informs policies for deployment. At the end of the Forum, vital recommendations were drafted which will be captured in a report that will be presented to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations for consideration by the UN Secretary General for Peacekeeping. This initiative will contribute in shaping the efficient conduct of peace operations globally.
TfP ACCORDs participation contributed to strategic and dynamic exchange of experiences, ideas, best practices, and proposals to positively influence the peacekeeping practice and approaches through debate and research. This initiative is in line with the Programmes goal which seek to significantly improve the civilian capacity of organisational structures within the Regional Economic Communities/mechanisms (RECs/RMs), AU and UN, in preparing, managing and monitoring multidimensional peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations in Africa.
The TfP Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For more information on ACCORD's work through the TfP programme, please contact Ms. Irene Limo - Peacekeeping Unit Senior Programme Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org.