This year’s event held in Cairo, Egypt, was the 23rd Annual Conference of this huge global association that brought together 110 Organisations from 55 countries all together accounting for 270 participants. These events are carried out under a different theme to facilitate the galvanization of efforts to standardise training for peacekeeping capacity enhancement.
The theme for the 2017 was “Integrated Peacekeeping Training for Complex Environments”. ISS and ACCORD participated at this year’s conference. Riana Paneras, from ISS, participated as a speaker in a panel on “New approaches to peace operations training in terms of neuroscience, changing mindsets and psychological aspects”. She also performed her duties as part of the EXCOM and coordinated the police participation in the programme and will serve in the same capacity during 2018. Riana also attended side events and meetings arranged by the Challenges Forum and the African Peace Support Training Association (APSTA).
Within this theme, were targeted discussion topics that were tackled in breakaway sessions either by component affiliation or in groups formed around the various topics. The conference uses these platforms to contextualise the peacekeeping discourse in order to help make those involved in the conduct of operations or decision making in relation to peacekeeping, to examine the current methodologies while assessing their fitness to purpose to enable a look beyond the current challenges, suggest reform measures on existing systems in use, adjust current approaches and or offer innovative responses to the contemporary asymmetric threats that continue to destabilise societies. In these platforms, practitioners exchange experiences and share knowledge acquired, share research findings and build networks that allow assisting each other when need arises.
The Peacekeeping focused topics discussed were: The Future of Peacekeeping in complex Environments and Implications for Training, Preparing Peacekeepers for Complex Environments, Leadership competencies, Development and Performance and Building Bridges for Success that outlined a move Towards a People Centered Approach of Peacekeeping and these included a visit to the Egyptian Police Academy. On the 14th September, the 3rd day of the conference, regional associations gave briefs on what, how and why they are committed to participating in UN peacekeeping operations. The APSTA CEO also gave an elaborate account of the African Chapter of the IAPTC and its pursuits. A report on the conference will be published and posted on the IAPTC’s website.