On Thursday, September 21, 2017 IPI held its fifth Ministerial Dinner on Peace Operations in its Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security, and Development. The dinner was attended by foreign and defense ministers, a United Nations senior official, and former members of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO), who discussed the recent debates on the reform of peacekeeping operations and adoption of Security Council Resolution 2378, as well as the broader reforms proposed by Secretary-General António Guterres.
The event was chaired by Terje Rød-Larsen, President of IPI, and co-hosted by Finland, Uruguay, Indonesia and Rwanda, represented respectively by Timo Soini, Finland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs; Enrique Loedel, Uruguay’s Vice-Minister of Political Affairs; Dian Triansyah Djani, Indonesian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Valentine Rugwabiza, Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Member of the Cabinet.
In a roundtable debate, conducted under the Chatham House rule of non-attribution, attendees had an open discussion on the most pressing issues confronting contemporary UN peace operations, while taking into account the recommendations contained in the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) and the reforms proposed by Secretary-General António Guterres.
The discussion began with Arthur Boutellis, Director of the Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations at IPI, briefly presenting the (forthcoming) IPI Peace Operations Reform Scorecard 2017, which analyzes the implementation of the recommendations from the HIPPO.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, presented some of the progress made and challenges remaining on peace operations reform, and how the reforms proposed by Secretary-General António Guterres will help address some of the latter.
The ensuing discussion stressed the importance of political strategies guiding peace operations, the need to increase women’s participation in peacekeeping and in peace processes, the need to further institutionalize consultations with troop-contributing countries during the mandating process, and the importance of regional partnerships (especially the African Union). Many also emphasized the importance of training, performance and accountability, and for a change in mindset to accompany the reforms proposed by the Secretary-General. Member states represented included Korea, Italy, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Croatia, Namibia, Norway, Sweden, Ghana, Japan, Estonia, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Turkey, Nigeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan and the Slovak Republic.