On October 18-19th, IPI co-organized a meeting of troop- and police-contributing countries in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with the Pearson Peacekeeping Center (PPC), ISIS Malaysia, and the Asia-Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence.
The roundtable event was the first regional meeting of the IPI-PPC joint “Being a Peacekeeper” series. Senior officials representing the military, police, and the MFAs of the ten ASEAN countries, plus Japan and China, participated in the roundtable.
In total, there were approximately 50 participants, including Ameerah Haq (Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste) who delivered the keynote address; Izumi Nakamitsu, head of UN DKPO’s Division of Policy Evaluation and Training; and Brig. Gen. Jean Baillaud, the Chief of Staff in DPKO’s Office of Military Affairs.
Participants reflected on their own countries’ experiences—both their successes and their challenges—in contributing to UN peacekeeping, which informed a forward-looking discussion on how best the countries of the region can contribute to international peace and security by improved cooperation within the region and increased collaboration with the United Nations.
Launched in New York in November 2010, the “Being a Peacekeeper” series brings together existing, emerging, and potential troop- and police-contributing countries in an informal setting to allow for an open and honest exchange of experiences, successes, concerns, and challenges. It seeks to facilitate initial and additional opportunities for networking among experienced contributors and countries aiming to become more actively engaged in peacekeeping. Finally, it provides a forum for interaction among contributors and other key elements in the UN peacekeeping system, such as the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and specific UN peacekeeping missions.
The impetus to hold regional roundtables came out of discussions at the global kick-off event of the series in NY in November 2010. Southeast Asia was identified as a priority, given both the available capacity of the states in the region, as well as their interest in increasing SE Asian contributions to UN peacekeeping.
Following this event, IPI and PPC plan to hold similar regional roundtables of the “Being A Peacekeeper” series in Africa, Latin America and Europe over the coming year.