The European Association of Peace Operations Training Centre’s (EAPTC) held its 6th Annual Seminar at the Maison de la paix in Geneva from 22-24 May.
EAPTC 2018 focused on Leading Innovation in Peace Operations: Strengthening Tomorrows’ Performance. It was co-hosted by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF), Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), and Small Arms Survey. Directors of the four host organizations, as well as a senior representative of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, opened the seminar.
The seminar covered a wide range of topics and explored emerging concepts and methodologies for strengthening future UN and regional peace operations. The Director of Planning and Monitoring of the Office of the UN Secretary-General launched the first panel and discussed the critical role of innovation to take peace operations to the next level and achieve better results.
The EAPTC 2018 brought together around 120 participants - civilian, military and police - from more than 30 nationalities, representing the UN, EU, OSCE, national governments, think tanks and NGOs. The broad range of expertise and outlooks from Europe and beyond discussed possible ways in which innovation could assist in the better preparation and training of future peace-keepers, peace-operators and peace-builders increasingly deploying in volatile and seemingly intractable conflicts around the world. A participant found the 2018 EAPTC Seminar to be ‘of great insights and of a well-run organization as to create an innovation mindset among leaders of peace missions to be operationalized.’
Six panels with 20 speakers addressed the following themes in interactive dialogue with participants:
Some points that drew particular attention included the importance of mindsets, tools and techniques that enable better:
The 6th EAPTC Seminar generated a number of observations and recommendations on how the cultivation and preparation of future leaders with the right minds, skills and tools will provide an important catalyst for improving UN and regional peace operations. Further, the seminar contributed to the further development of UN scenario based leadership training modules on protection of civilians; managing relations with parallel forces; and the strengthening of safety and security, a UN-IPI led project which will come to fruition later this year. It was generally agreed that the seminar provided a platform for further strengthening and sensitization of the ongoing implementation of the Strategic Guidance Framework for International Police Peacekeeping. And finally, the seminar was timely, as it also paved the way for and generating input to the upcoming global International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centre’s Annual Conference to be hosted in New Zealand in October this year. The focus in Auckland will be Innovative Capacity-building for Effective Peace Operations – so with the EAPTC 2018 successful conclusion - the work and dialogue on better innovations for peace - is now off in a good direction!