Peace Operations and Peacebuilding

The world today is facing an ever-growing number of unprecedented political, security, economic, environmental and health challenges. In 2022, full-scale interstate war returned to the centre of international relations with the invasion of Ukraine. Globally, violent conflicts are increasingly prolonged and protracted. A range of threats to international peace and security are aggravating the situation, from the impact of the climate crisis and the pandemic to the spread of transnational organised crime and harmful impacts that new technologies can bring. The gap between governing elites and those governed continues to widen. While reinforced action to promote peace and sustainable development is urgently required, the international community is increasingly fragmented, polarised and often in conflict. To meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, the nurturing, inspiring, enabling and empowering of organisations and individuals committed to making a concrete, positive difference for a more peaceful world is as critical as ever.

To this end, the GCSP contributes to strengthening inclusive leadership for peace, peace operations and peacebuilding through 1) capacity-building and executive education; 2) policy applicable research and advise; and 3) dialogues and discussions.

In support of Switzerland’s tenure on the United Nations (UN) Security Council 2023-2024, the GCSP is mandated by the Swiss Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to support its work on the Council and other UN-related efforts connected to the New Agenda for Peace. In 2022, the GCSP launched an initiative to strengthen its programme on peace operations and peacebuilding, augmenting its work in all domains.

The GCSP offers a range of core courses and customised alternatives on a broad spectrum of peace operations and peacebuilding themes applicable to different geographical settings and organisational needs and priorities. For example, in the 2022-2024 period, on behalf of the Swiss FDFA, the GCSP is hosting several dedicated leadership-level courses for UN political, peacebuilding and peace operations personnel (the UN Mission Advanced Staff Training; the UN Police Commanders Course; and the UN Senior Mission Leadership Course). The annual Swiss Peacebuilding Training Course organized in cooperation with the Swiss FDFA and the Swiss Armed Forces is now held twice per year.

GCSP’s convening of dialogues and discussions, policy-applicable research and advice on peace operations and peacebuilding have been aligned in order to more directly support the UN-led development of a New Agenda for Peace. Projects and initiatives in cooperation with the Swiss FDFA, independently or in cooperation with the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, are undertaken to this end. For example, in 2023 as UN peacekeeping marks 75 years, the GCSP is leading a Study of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) with the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON) in cooperation with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).

Work to strengthen inclusive leadership for peace is being pursued also through the International Leadership Association, where the GCSP’s Head of Peace Operations and Peacebuilding serves on the Board of Directors. In 2022, GCSP pioneered a Women Leaders for Peace Fellowship Initiative for eleven outstanding women leaders making a difference in the peace and security domain. In 2023, focus will be on exploring how best to leverage inclusive leadership in support of the implementation of a New Agenda for Peace.



The GCSP contributes to peace operations and peacebuilding development primarily in association with the following partners and mechanisms:

  • Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
  • Swiss Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports and the Swiss Armed Forces
  • United Nations: UN Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Peace Operations, and Operational Support, UN Standing Police Capacity, United Nations University Centre for Policy Research in Geneva, United Nations Institute for Training and Research and United Nations Office at Geneva
  • European Union: European Security and Defence College and the EU Civilian and Military Training Working Groups for Leadership and Management of Common Security and Defence Policy Missions and Operations
  • International Leadership Association (ILA) (Member of the Board of Directors)
  • Geneva Peacebuilding Platform (GPP) and Geneva Peace Week (Member of the Steering and Management Committees) and the GPP – Beijing Foreign Affairs University Digital Dialogue on Peacebuilding
  • Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON)
  • Partner Organisations - standing collaborative projects and/or regular cooperative initiatives: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), Graduate Institute, Interpeace, Small Arms Survey, International Peace Institute, Crisis Management Initiative Martti Ahtisaari Foundation, Institute for Economics and Peace, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Quaker Office United Nations, and the United Services Institution of India
  • International Association of Peace Operations Training Centres (IAPTC) and European Association of Peace Operations Training Centres (EAPTC)
  • International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations (Challenges Forum)



  • Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network Study on United Truce Supervision Organization in cooperation with Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, 1 April-31 December 2023
  • International Leadership Association Leadership for Peace Community Webinar Conversations, Spring - December 2023
  • New Issues in International Security - Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution and Sustainable Peace Course Week Module, 6-9 June 2023
  • Global Peace Index 2023 Geneva Launch co-organised with the Institute of Economics and Peace, June 2023
  • Making the Difference in Peace, Security and Development – Results-Based Management and Beyond, co-organised with DCAF and Small Arms Survey, 26-30 June 2023
  • Swiss Peacebuilding Training Course, co-organised with the Swiss FDFA and the Swiss Armed Forces, 27 August-8 September 2023
  • EU Pre-Deployment Course for Common Security and Defence Policy Missions and Operations, co-organised with the European Security and Defence College, 2-6 October 2023
  • International Leadership Association Annual Conference 2023: Cultivating Leadership for a Thriving Future, 3-4 (online) and 12-15 (Vancouver) October 2023
  • Geneva Peace Week co-organised with the GPP  and Swiss FDFA, 30 October-3 November 2023
  • Enhancing Leadership for Peacebuilding - Senior Level Peacebuilding Course, co-organised with the UN Institute for Training and Research and the Swiss FDFA, November 2023
  • UN Police Commanders Course co-organised with the UN Department of Peace Operations and the Swiss FDFA, 13-24 November 2023 
  • Geneva Peace Week Meets New York co-organised with the Swiss FDFA and the GPP, November-December 2023



Programme for 2024 is in progress, including the development of projects and Initiatives in support of Swiss tenure on the UN Security Council and the New Agenda for Peace. For example, GCSP is co-organising the UN Senior Mission Leadership Course with the UN Department of Peace Operations, the Swiss FDFA, and Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Spring 2024. The regular programme of activities as well as new courses and projects will continue in an augmented mode while seeking to integrate new findings and policy directions generated by the New Agenda for Peace process.



  • GCSP Public Discussion “Preparing for the Summit of the Future: What Future for Multilateralism?” and Launch of Policy Brief “The Future of Multilateralism” by Richard Gowan, UN Director, International Crisis Group.
  • Results-Based Management Course UN Standing Police Capacity, co-organised with DCAF and Small Arms Survey, 27-31 March 2023
  • Geneva Consultations on the New Agenda for Peace, co-organised with GPP and Swiss FDFA, 16-17 March 2023
  • Swiss Peacebuilding Training Course (SPTC) 2023, co-organised with the Swiss FDFA and Swiss Armed Forces, 26 February-10 March 2023
  • Briefing by the High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism in cooperation with the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research and the GPP, 1 March 2023
  • Briefing on the New Agenda for Peace by the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, co-organised with the GPP, 18 January 2023
  • Leadership in International Security Course / Master’s in Advanced Studies in International and European Security, GCSP and University of Geneva – Prevention, Conflict Management and Sustainable Peace 2 Weeks Module, 16-27 January 2023
  • International Leadership Association (ILA). In 2022, GCSP pioneered the ILA Women Leaders for Peace Fellowship Initiative. 11 outstanding women leaders contributed with 22 thought pieces and lectures delivered on:
    • Global Leadership for Peace Operations and Peacebuilding 2030: How Emerging Security Risks Will Challenge Leaders
    • Leadership for Peace: Finding the Third Way in a Two-Dimensional World
    • Clarity Through Crisis: Developing Leaders for Peace in a VUCA World
    • Leading in Complexity at the Climate-Environment-Peace Nexus
    • Leadership for Peace and Emerging Technologies
    • What Lessons for Leading Peace and Mediation Processes from the Experience of a Young Woman Leader Promoting Peace and Security in and for Liberia?
    • Leading with a Human Rights Lens to Peacebuilding: Exploring the Intersection of Conflict Resolution and Human Rights with Neuroscience and Behavioural Insights
    • Strengthening Women Leadership for Peace: What Principles of Leadership are Critical and Why?
  • Geneva Security Debate, “A Crisis in Peacekeeping? What Room for Peace Operations in the New Agenda for Peace”, 11 November 2022
  • Geneva Peace Week, “Peace is Possible”, 31 October-4 November 2022: High-Level Panel organised by the GCSP on “Making Peace Possible: What’s New on the New Agenda for Peace?”
  • Geneva Peace Week Round Table “Health Emergencies and the Humanitarian Sector: Lessons for Sustaining Peace in a Pandemic”, co-organised with the International Peace Institute and GPP, 1 November 2022
  • Launch of the SIPRI Environment for Peace Report in cooperation with SIPRI and GPP, 28 October 2022
  • Breakfast Briefing on Our Common Agenda and soft launch of the UN University Centre for Police Research (UNU-CPR) in Geneva, co-organised with the GPP, 21 October 2022
  • UN Mission Advanced Staff Training Course, co-organised with the UN Departments of Peace Operation, Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the Swiss FDFA, 10-18 October 2022 
  • International Leadership Association Annual Conference 2022, 6-7 (online), 13-16 (Washington DC) October 2022
    • Leadership for Peace: How Emerging Security Risks Will Challenge Leaders;
    • Leadership for Peace: Clarity Through Crisis – Developing Leaders for Peace in a VUCA World;
    • Women Leadership for Peace Panel: Finding a Third Way in a Two-Dimensional World
  • EU Pre-Deployment Course for Common Security and Defence Policy Missions and Operations, co-organised with the European Security and Defence College, 3-7 October 2022
  • Joint meeting with the Afghan Women Leaders Forum (AWLF) on initiatives aimed at strengthening the role of Afghan women in processes concerning political and socioeconomic developments in Afghanistan, co-organised with AWLF, Crisis Management Initiative Martti Ahtisaari Foundation, GPP, the European Union and the Folke Bernadotte Academy, 13 Sepember 2022  
  • Emerging Security Risks and Their Possible Responses to Build a Better Tomorrow, customised course for the Council of Ministers Secretariat of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 12-18 September 2022
  • Swiss Peacebuilding Training Course (SPTC) 2022, co-organised with the Swiss FDFA, Swiss Armed Forces and Swisspeace, 28 August-9 September 2022

The GCSP Strengthening Peace Operations and Peacebuilding Initiative 2022-2024: Building Peace in a Turbulent World. The project was launched with a GCSP mission (February-March 2022) to engage with key stakeholders and interlocutors, peacebuilding and peace operations contributing countries, organisations and GCSP Alumni in Nairobi, Burundi, Somalia and Cameroon. The purpose of the mission was to enhance the understanding of the evolving nature of conflict and what international, national and local efforts to prevent, manage and resolve conflict can tell us about future needs and requirements. The mission also explored possible areas of cooperation and collaboration.





  • Study on the Effectiveness of the United Nations Truce Supervision, Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (NUPI), December 2023
  • Leadership in UN Peace Operations, Spring 2023
  • Strengthening a Rights-Based Approach to Peace Operations and Peacebuilding, Spring 2023