IPI Hosts Foreign Ministers, UN Peacekeeping Head in Discussion on Future of Peace Ops

More than 30 foreign ministers and high-level officials, as well as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, gathered at IPI on September 29, 2015 for a candid and pointed discussion on the challenges facing UN peace operations and how to overcome them.

The working dinner, entitled “Uniting Our Strengths for Peace: A High-Level Dialogue on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations,” was hosted jointly by IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen and the foreign ministers of Finland, Indonesia, Rwanda, and Uruguay. For the 3rd year anniversary of this event, IPI’s Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations launched a new virtual knowledge platform on the future of peace operations.

Other attendees included the Foreign Ministers of Ghana, Slovakia, Mongolia, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Netherlands, Guatemala, as well as high-level representatives of Pakistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Turkey, Germany, Canada, the United States, Russia, Bangladesh, Denmark, France, Brazil, Poland, Austria, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Norway, and Spain.

The working dinner was held under the Chatham House rule of non-attribution.

Member states representatives expressed support for two recent high-level reports; one from the High-Level Independent Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (HIPPO) and one from the UN Secretary-General titled “The Future of United Nations Peace Operations.” In step with sentiments expressed the day before at the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping, participants recognized the need for new capabilities for UN peace operations to be better equipped to respond to new challenges and environments, but also noted the critical importance of prevention and of pursuing political settlements to achieve sustainable peace.

Participants also emphasized the need for better planning and rapid deployment, including through partnerships with regional organizations such as the African Union, and for clear and realistic mandates, as well as exit strategies. They reaffirmed the paramount importance of the protection of civilians (referring to the Kigali principles) and the need for effective strategies to prevent sexual exploitation and abuses, and for accountability more broadly. They also underlined the importance of enhancing the role of women on all levels and all stages in peace processes, as well as the need for gender-sensitive peacekeeping forces.

The dinner concluded on the importance of a collective approach to supporting the implementation of the recommendations of the reports of the HIPPO and of the UN Secretary-General.