Auckland, New Zealand – CCCPA handed over the presidency of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (IAPTC) to the New Zealand Armed Forces. The handover took place on the last day of the 24th IAPTC Conference from 1-4 October 2018, under the theme “Innovative Capacity Building for Effective Peace Operations”.
The conference brought together representatives from military, police, and civilian peacekeeping training centers, representatives from the UN and regional organizations, peacekeeping missions, and academics engaged in peacekeeping research.
During the four-day conference, and through a combination of plenary and breakout sessions, participants tackled several topics related to capacity building, contemporary peacekeeping environments, protecting culturally-significant property, community engagement, dealing with radicalisation and extremism leading to terrorism, the police strategic guidance framework on training and security, ethics and conduct, and the role of female peacekeepers.
During the conference, CCCPA moderated a session on the overview of peacekeeping environment, featuring the UN Police Advisor Luis Carrilho and Eustace Chiwombe of the African Union Commission. In addition, Director Swelam was a keynote speaker on a plenary session on the high-risk environments, with a particular focus on preventing radicalization and extremism. The session presented an opportunity to share the results of CCCPA’s research and its unique approach to improving community resilience to radicalization and extremism leading to terrorism.
In his capacity as President of the IAPTC, Swelam addressed the opening ceremony of the Conference (opening speech). He highlighted the importance of the IAPTC and its members’ efforts to enhance peacekeeping performance, at a time when the world is celebrating the 70th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping. The speech addressed the ever-evolving nature of conflict and its implications for the future of peacekeeping. “peacekeeping is coming under increasing pressure, with a growing gap between operational realities and political expectations, made all the more steeper by the increasing pressure, sometimes realistic, other times not, for peacekeeping missions to do more with less; to achieve better outcomes with less resources”, he noted.
Swelam referred to major initiatives that are already underway to enhance the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations, at the UN, but also elsewhere. These include the ongoing reviews of eight UN peacekeeping operations, and the UN Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative, “which have already resulted in a Declaration of Shared Commitments, one that calls for a quantum leap in our collective engagement to make peacekeeping fit for the future”, he added.
To contribute to this important discussion, CCCPA will be hosting a High-Level Regional Conference on “Enhancing the Effectiveness of Peacekeeping Operations: From Mandate to Exit”. The conference will provide a platform for officials from top troop- and police-contributing countries from Africa and the Arab World to share their views on strengthening UN Peacekeeping, by addressing key strategic and operational dimensions of performance across the various components of missions, including planning, leadership, readiness and capacities. It will also provide an opportunity for an exchange of views between these officials, and their counterparts representing partner countries, the United Nations Secretariat, international and regional organizations, as well as mission leaders (concept note and tentative conference agenda).
The IAPTC is an association of individuals, centers, institutions, agencies, and programs working on peace operations research, education, and training. The aim of the Association is to contribute to more effective peace operations, by promoting and exchanging information on peacekeeping, its goals, objectives, and training methods.
The objectives of the association include: disseminating UN training standards to advocate for their implementation, educating participants about peace operations and policy making, identifying emerging training requirements relevant to policy matters, and exchanging experiences among training institutions and their training methodologies. Other objectives include promoting gender mainstreaming in peace operations and encouraging different institutions and organizations to reach a mutual understanding among military, police, and civilian components in peacekeeping operations.
As the Secretariat of the IAPTC from 2017-2022, CCCPA will continue to be responsible for institutional memory, advice and support to the presidency, organizing the annual conference, upgrading and updating the IAPTC website, and working with the consolidation and development committee.