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Being a Peacekeeper

The Being a Peacekeeper Series (BAPK) is an ongoing initiative of the International Peace Institute, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support (DPKO/DFS). Initiated in 2010, Being a Peacekeeper is a series of high-level roundtables organized in each region bringing together existing, emerging, and potential troop- and police-contributing countries (TCC/PCCs) and senior UN officials for an exchange of lessons, concerns, and future opportunities.

The objective of the Being a Peacekeeper Series is to increase the quantity and improve the quality of contributions to UN peacekeeping. It seeks to facilitate networking at a regional level among experienced contributors and countries wanting to be 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 DPKO/DFS, interested member states, and the policy research community. For new contributors, the series aims to demystify the experience of contributing to UN peace operations, stimulate knowledge-sharing, create learning opportunities, and develop productive partnerships between countries within a region. For new, old and potential contributors alike, the regional roundtables provide an opportunity for focused discussion around peacekeeping issues most relevant to the countries of each region, and a forum for interaction with each other and with senior UN officials. Being a Peacekeeper also aims to assist policy development within the UN Secretariat and facilitate DPKO/DFS outreach to peacekeeping contributors.

Rationale

Peacekeepers continue to deploy at record levels with complex mandates and in challenging contexts. Capability gaps in UN peace operations persist and new challenges are on the horizon. According to the UN, “A globally representative mix of contributors is a critically important strength of UN peacekeeping. Broad-based, global participation underpins legitimacy and strong partnership, offering both greater depth and flexibility to deploy the right combination of actors and capabilities in a particular situation. Greater participation enables more collective burden-sharing and helps build a shared understanding of the challenges to be met.” In its most recent reports, the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) has continued to emphasize the need to broaden the base of troop and police contributing countries, recommending that “coordinated initiatives be taken to reach out to new contributors, that former and existing contributors be encouraged to contribute further and that support to emerging contributors be provided.” Being a Peacekeeper is a response, in part, to that recommendation.

Series History

In 2010, IPI hosted the kick-off global roundtable in New York City where the decision was made to hold roundtables with contributing countries of separate regions. In 2011, Kuala Lumpur was the site of the first regional roundtable, a meeting of Southeast Asian states plus Japan and China. In 2012, a Western European roundtable was co-hosted in Berlin by the Centre for International Peace Operations (ZIF). In 2013, the third Being a Peacekeeper regional roundtable was held in Buenos Aires with eleven Latin American TCC/PCCs. Belgrade, Serbia will be the site of the fourth regional roundtable, to be held 20-21 October 2014 and focused on the states of the Western Balkans region.

Program Staff

Adam Smith
Senior Fellow
Head of IPI’s Center for Peace Operations
Lamii Moivi Kromah
Research Fellow
Center for Peace Operations