Enhancing the Participation of the Western Balkans Countries in UN Peacekeeping Operations

Helmet and flack jackets of the members of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (UN Photo/Marie Frechon)

On October 20th-21st, 2014, IPI co-organized the latest Being a Peacekeeper Series roundtable, this time for the Western Balkans region. The meeting was hosted by the Government of Serbia and included senior participants from the Governments of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia as well as partner countries from the larger region, key development partners, the EU, NATO, OSCE, and the UN. The two-day meeting increased the understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing UN peacekeeping and clarified the types of support the UN needed from Western Balkan countries. Participants highlighted the opportunity for work within the region to enhance cooperation in support of peacekeeping around principles of complementarity, specialization, and non-competition. Ultimately, the discussions led to offers of additional peacekeeping participation from several countries as well as an offer by Bosnia-Herzegovina to host a follow-up meeting in Sarajevo in 2015.

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