"Gender sensitive peacekeeping leads to more effective peacekeeping", according to Col. Fernando Izquierdo, who directed a recent course on Gender Perspective in Peace Support Operations, supported by ACCORD's Training for Peace (TfP) programme.
The African Union Commission (AUC) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) have been developing a civilian standby roster since its conceptualisation in 2010. To date, significant progress has been made to improve the roster in order for the RECs and RMs to initiate the population of the roster to allow full operational capability. To achieve this, the AUC, the RECs and RMs in close collaboration with the German Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) are further working on key priority areas regarding the development of the roster.
The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) participated in an Expert workshop on Impact of Peacekeeping Training on Peace and Security in West Africa. The workshop forms part of a research on peacekeeping training which was carried out in 2014 in eight West African countries.
Since its establishment, the AU has played an increased and expanded role in addressing conflicts in the African Continent, including in Darfur, Burundi, Mali, the Central Africa Republic and Somalia. As part of its intervention, the AU has developed policies and directives as well as established systems, structures and mechanisms to ensure that African PSOs are undertaken in accordance with internationally accepted norms and standards. These norms and standards relates to protection of civilians, observance of international humanitarian law and adherence to the highest standards of conduct by AU personnel. To further support the AU processes on conduct and discipline, the Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) co-hosted with the AU an Expert Roundtable in the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 15 – 17 December 2014.
The Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) has co-organised and participated in the Seminar on the future of African Peace Operations. Noting that African peace operations have developed a great deal over the last decade, partnerships with the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and others have also evolved and matured. As a result, Africa now has a rich sample of cases that can be used as a basis from which to chart a future course for the next decade of African peace operations. The Seminar provided a platform for discussions about the strategic policy options facing the AU and its Member States, and reflected on past experiences to extract best practices as well as critical challenges, and to generate strategic options for the next generation of Africa Peace Support Operations (PSOs).
The Seminar was held in Cape Town, South Africa from 17-18 December 2014 and was organized by TfP/ACCORD, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), other TfP partners and Nordic Africa Institute (NAI). The workshop brought together 63 participants representing the EU, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), African Union (AU) and its missions, Regional Training Centres of Excellence, Academics and Researchers, Government Ministries, Regional Economic Communities, Practitioners and Humanitarian Personnel. The participation of these experts provided different understanding with varying views and critical concerns that underpin each dimension of contemporary peace operations. This led to practical recommendations on how to improve future African PSOs.
The Seminar discussed critical themes such as Stabilization Mission and Mandates – Implications for the African Standby Force (ASF); Responding to New Asymmetric and Hybrid Security Challenges: Terrorism, Organized Crime, Piracy, and Pandemics; AU PSO Partnership: Strategic Considerations; AU PSOs Partnerships: Mission Support; Operationalization of the ASF & RDC (Rapid Deployment Capability) and harmonization with the African Capacity for the Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC); Role of Civilian and Police Personnel in African PSOs; The Relationship between the UN, AU, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) & Regional Mechanisms (RMs) and the Principle of Subsidiarity; and the Way Forward: Strategic Options for African PSO 2015-2025.
The goal of the Training for Peace (TfP) in Africa Programme is to build sustainable African civilian and police peacekeeping capacities that are needed in order to implement multidimensional United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) peacekeeping mandates. The TfP Programme was launched in 1995 with the current phase ending in 2015. To further understand the impact of the Programme during this phase (2010-2015), an evaluation of the Programme was conducted and its findings, conclusions and recommendations were presented by the evaluation team and thereafter discussed by all the stakeholders who attended the IAB Meeting together with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The IAB meeting therefore provided an opportunity to engage with the evaluation team in commenting on the 'Building Blocks for Peace: An Evaluation of the Training for Peace in Africa Programme' report.
The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) have participated in the TfP Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Oslo, Norway. The AGM's purpose was to highlight the TfP Programme's main achievements and developments in 2014, and present its work plans for implementation in 2015. The AGM also provided a platform for partners to discuss and fine-tune the TfP joint initiatives for 2015.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon established a 17 member High-Level Independent Panel in October 2014 to undertake an assessment of the state of UN peace operations, and the emerging operational needs of the future" 'Understanding the relationship between the United Nations and Regional Organizations'. As part of the ongoing assessment, the Panel intends to engage widely with Regional Organisations, Member States, Academics, Think Tanks and Civil Society globally. In February 2015, the Panel's focus was in 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.
The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) participated in a United Nations (UN) Protection of Civilians (PoC) Coursefor civilian, military and police personnel who are serving, or may potentially serve in peace missions. The course helps to build the foundational knowledge and skills of participants to effectively support the PoC mandate of UN and African Union (AU) peace missions. The overall purpose of this annual course is therefore to prepare the individual participants for assignments relating to PoC in UN and other missions. The course is implemented through lectures and a series of syndicate work, where the participants are tasked to come up with solutions to mission specific case studies.
The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) has organized a Roundtable with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) & Regional Mechanisms (RMs) on Civilian Rostering Processes. The roundtable sought to generate recommendations on how to further strengthen Africa's civilian capacity and ensure coherence and coordination between all the stakeholders within the civilian rostering process.
The roster is a platform for the generation, retention and utilization of civilian capacities on a standby basis for deployment across a range of peace and security operations. The Roundtable aimed at identifying gaps in relationships within the rostering process and sought to strengthen these relationships for an effective and efficient rostering system, a system that seeks to provide for predictability on civilian deployment in peace operations in Africa. The discussions encouraged RECs and Planning Elements (PLANELMs) within the African Standby Force (ASF) to effectively link training to the rostering process.
The Roundtable was held from 1 - 2 December 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It brought together representatives from Southern African Development Community (SADC), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), North Africa Regional Capability (NARC), East African Standby Force (EASF) Secretariat, the African Union, African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA), Kofi Anan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC), and United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC), Centre for Conflict Resolution & Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA), Ecole de Maintien de la Paix (EMP) Mali, the Ethiopian International Peacekeeping Training Centre (EIPKTC) and the National Defence College (NDC), Nigeria. These representatives included civilian rostering officers within the PLANELMs, the civilian national focal points as well as representatives from training centres responsible for civilian training and rostering.
The Roundtable focused on discussions related to an overview of progress on the roster implementation at the regional and continental level; gaps and challenges in the civilian rostering process; challenges and opportunities for RECs/RMs, PLANELMs and Member States' engagement with the Training Centres of Excellence (CoEs) and other Training Institutions; strengthening national infrastructures for civilian participation in peace missions; lessons learnt in linking training and rostering and; good practices in the harmonization of the training standards for effective and sustained civilian capacities. There were also strong recommendations that standardization and harmonization or training is important in ensuring a common understanding of the course content, concepts and operations by the future civilian peacekeepers placed in rosters for ASF deployments.
A good practice identified was ensuring that all trainees are screened before training and placement into regional and continental rosters using common minimum standards to ensure coherence and consistency in the rosters. The training should also be done continuously and it should be informed by the needs unique to each region. This is all geared towards training the right people with the right skills required for response to the different crisis situations in the different regions. The roundtable thus provided a forum for stakeholders to strengthening coordination on the civilian rostering process by focusing on the recruitment process starting from identification, screening, training and availability for peace support operations in Africa.
The discussions also noted that the operationalization of the civilian rostering process involve contributing factors like continued engagement, commitment cooperation, collaboration and coordination amongst partners for effectiveness. These factors needs more strengthening at the regional and member state level for a more coordinated support to the AU continental roster.
The discussions were in line with the Programme's strategic goal which is to significantly improve the civilian capacities of RECs/RMs to prepare, plan and monitor multidimensional peace operations in Africa. The Roundtable reflected on ACCORD's objective towards contributing to generating civilian capacities with the aim of supporting the AU in strengthening the process of operationalizing the AU integrated continental roster.
The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC) is a training and research institution, focused on capacity building at strategic, operational and tactical levels for peace operations within the context of the African Peace and Security Architecture. As an organisation that shares similar objectives, ACCORD was invited to attend IPSTC's annual symposium for 2014, in Nairobi, Kenya.
- TfP/ACCORD trains on the Gender Perspective to Peace Support Operations: A Comprehensive Approach
- TfP/ACCORD participate in 10th Regional Senior Mission Leaders Course
- TfP/ACCORD participate in 2014 Challenges Annual Forum in Beijing
- ACCORD/TfP participates in Civilian Rostering Seminar on lessons learned Northern Africa
- TfP/ACCORD participate in Integrated Gender and Sexual and Gender Based Violence Course for Police Advisors in Peace Missions
- ACCORD/TfP co-ordinate Leadership Capacity Building and Strategy Formulation Workshop on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse for AMISOM
- TfP/ACCORD participate at AUC-OHCHR Joint Consultative Meeting on Cooperation on Human Rights in Peace Operations
- TfP/ACCORD participate in Integrated Mission Planning and Mission Support Training Harmonization and Standardization Workshop
- TfP/ACCORD undertakes research on role of the Civilian Component in AU Peace Support Operations
- TfP/ACCORD participates in TfP field research on policing in peace operations in Africa, focussing on UNAMID
- Training of Trainers in International Humanitarian Law for Somali National Army Officers
- ACCORD trains SADC military, police and civilians in mediation, negotiation and gender in peace support operations
- TfP/ACCORD train UNMISS civil affairs officers on conflict analysis and reporting
- TfP/ACCORD serve as panelists at peace operations workshop in Malawi
- ACCORD/TFP take part in 20th IAPTC annual conference and host training methodologies bilateral meeting
- ACCORD participate in Peace Capacities Network 2014 annual meeting in Istanbul
- TfP ACCORD participates in European Union Police Service Training – Exercise LOWLANDS GRENADE
- TfP/ACCORD participates in Stakeholders Validation Workshop on the ECOWAS Standby Force Civilian Dimension Policy Framework
- TfP/ACCORD participate in ECCAS/FOMAC Civilian Component Workshop
- ACCORD attends TfP AGM and ECOWAS meetings in 2014