PH and New Zealand Hold Force Generation Workshop

New Zealand and the Philippines, as co-chairs of the ADMM-Plus Experts Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations organized a PKO Force Generation Workshop last April 8-11, 2013. Attended by 15 ADMM-Plus countries, the workshop enabled the participants to gain insights on the processes, challenges and prospects related to generating forces for peacekeeping deployment. Sharing their insights and observations during the workshop were subject matter experts from the UN: Colonel Najam Ul Islam Ansari, Chief of the 
Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)'s Force Generation Service and Colonel Siva Methil, Capability Development Officer in the Policy and Doctrine Team of the UN’s Office of Military Affairs.

Using case studies, specifically the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) and UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), the participants examined the intricacies of generating the needed forces to be contributed to such UN missions as well as the challenges the UN faces in ensuring that enough and appropriate troops are available for such missions. Lessons learned as forces were put together for these missions are expected to help make UN peacekeeping missions more efficiently organized for similar missions in the future.

Major General Tim Keating, the Vice Chief of the New Zealand Defense Force, in his keynote address, acknowledged that the workshop is useful in promoting cooperation among states in the field of peacekeeping operations and reminded the attendees that peacekeeping operations have evolved so much so that such missions are no longer the sole purview of military forces but of the police and other stakeholders as well.

Likewise sharing their respective experiences on force generation were Japan and India while the US shared its thoughts on other issues attendant to force generation noting that its Global Peace Operations Initiative is meant to contribute in enhancing national capabilities to undertake peacekeeping missions. Complementing the small group discussions held was a roundtable discussion where each of the countries shared their own thoughts as regards peacekeeping missions.

The workshop was co-chaired by Philippine Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessment Raymund Jose Quilop and Mr. Dan Mellsop, Head of the International Relations Branch of New Zealand’s Ministry of Defense.