TfP Partners support the African Regional Consultation Seminar on UN High Level Panel on Peace Operations Review
6 Mar 2015
In late October 2014, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon established a 15 member High-Level Independent Panel in order to provide the UN with recommendations on how to enhance its peacekeeping operations. In February 2015, the Panel’s focus was on Africa after completing the consultations with key relevant actors in Asia. To this end, the UN, with the support of partners including the Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme, the British Government, working closely with the Panel Secretariat and the United Nations office to the Organisation of the African Union (UNOAU), hosted an African Regional Consultation Seminar from 11-13 February in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Seminar aimed to support and enhance the outcome of the African Consultation of the UN High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and attend to the experiences and concerns of Member States, civil society and think tanks about peace operations – and what is referred to here as peace support operations - and to solicit suggestions for the Panel’s consideration. The Seminar provided the opportunity for Member States, African Think Tanks, Civil Society and Academics to provide direct inputs to the High Level panel. During the meetings it was clear that the challenges of harmonising approaches between UN and AU are present. While on the surface there was an understanding for the need to strengthen partnerships between the different organisations, when the discussions became more specific it showed a critical challenge in understanding the differences between them. The review came at a time when the nature of conflicts are changing and the tasks undertaken by UN as well as the African Union (AU) peace operations continue to evolve and cause significant concern among international peacekeeping stakeholders. The number of UN missions on the ground, i.e. peacekeeping operations and special political missions, have increased over time. Further, issues of Strengthening Cooperation and operational Effectiveness; African Troop Contributing Countries' (TCC's) Recommendations for Improving UN Peacekeeping Operations; Women Peace & Security: Progress to Date, Remaining Challenges, Recommendations for women inclusion in Peace Operations were discussed in the consultations. Other issues discussed include African Police Contributing Countries (PCC) Recommendations for Improving UN Peacekeeping Operations; Lessons Learned from UN-AU- RECs Transitions; and Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Peacebuilding: The Peace, Human Rights and Development Nexus in post conflict environments. The overall goal was to produce a report with recommendations that can serve as the basis for effective and efficient transformation of UN, AU, RECs/RMs peace operations in the African context. This activity was in line with the TfP Programme's strategic goal for contributing to improved and sustainable capacity for peace operations on the continent, and to ensure that functional organizational systems are in place in the UN, AU and RECs that are able to use relevant policy frameworks mandated by the UN, AU and RECs.