The New Agenda for Peace and Peace Operations


IPI in partnership with the French Ministry of Armed Forces, cohosted the 2024 Peacekeeping Observatory Annual Workshop on May 29, 2024. The full-day workshop focused on the implementation of recommendations from the New Agenda for Peace that pertain to peace operations. This hybrid event convened over fifty participants, including UN personnel, member states, and other experts from civil society organizations.

Held at a critical moment of reflection on the future of peace operations, the workshop provided an opportunity for participants to deliberate on efforts to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of missions in today’s political environment and ahead of the Summit of the Future, to be held on September 22 and 23, 2024, in New York.

The workshop was divided into four sessions:

Session 1: Understanding Resolution 2719: What Comes Next for the UN and AU?

This session featured experts from the UN/African Union (AU) Partnerships Team in the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), the Permanent Observer Mission of the AU to the UN, and civil society organizations. Participants discussed the impact of Security Council Resolution 2719 on peace operations and the UN–AU partnership. The discussion highlighted the need for enhanced coordination and strategic alignment between the UN and the AU, the importance of flexible and adaptive mechanisms to support AU-led peace operations, and joint efforts in political, financial, and operational planning to ensure effective implementation and oversight.

Session 2: Lessons Learned from the Support Office Model

During this session experts examined the work of the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) as a model for UN support to AU-led missions, with a focus on its operational support to the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS.) It featured key contributions from Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UNSOS Aisa Kirabo Kacyira and her senior adviser, as well as other independent experts. The dialogue highlighted the significance of UNSOS in enhancing the logistical and operational effectiveness of ATMIS through robust partnerships, joint strategic planning and trust-building with key stakeholders. However, participants also recognized that challenges such as unmet expectations, limited financing, and the lack of alignment of military and political strategies persist and necessitate a continuous focus on collaboration, accountability, and adaptable support frameworks for future missions.

Lunch Session: Briefing on Negotiations around the Pact for the Future and Language on Peace Operations

Within this session, representatives of the permanent missions of Namibia and Germany to the UN briefed the attendants on negotiations around the Pact for the Future with a focus on the language on peace operations. The briefers highlighted areas of relative consensus among member states, including broad-based support for peace operations, as well as some areas that have been more politically difficult to negotiate. The briefers also reflected on the need for further peacekeeping reforms to address future peace and security challenges. In addition, they highlighted the importance of ensuring peace enforcement is undertaken in service of a political process and ensuring sustainable and adequate financing and support.

Session 3: Strengthening the Institution of UN Peacekeeping

The final session recognized the need to fortify UN peace operations as an important tool for collective security, alongside growing efforts to support partner-led operations. It emphasized the need for UN peacekeeping structures to adapt to contemporary challenges through innovative approaches and modern technology and to learn from past failures. Participants called for strengthening the tools the UN has at its disposal to address threats in multiple domains and the need to rebuild trust with local populations.

As part of the 2024 Peacekeeping Observatory project, IPI is publishing a series of issue briefs on UN peace operations and the New Agenda for Peace, including “Implementing Resolution 2719: What Next for the UN and AU?” authored by Jenna Russo and Bitania Tadesse; “The Support Office Model in Somalia: Lessons Learned and Implications for Future Settings,” authored by Paul Williams; and “The Protection of Civic Space in UN Peacekeeping Operations,” authored by Lauren McGowan.

The Peacekeeping Observatory is a multiyear IPI project examining emerging issues and challenges in peace operations. It is funded by the French Ministry of Armed Forces.