As peacekeeping missions continue to evolve to meet the demands of complex conflict environments, skills such as communication, negotiation, and mediation will continue to be critical in meeting the operational demands of modern peacekeeping missions, including protection of civilians (PoC) mandates, which have proliferated in the last decade.
USIP’S Work Training Peacekeepers
During a peacekeeping lessons learned conference in Rwanda, commanders returning from Darfur reported that much of their peacekeeping work involved some form of negotiation. This critical lesson learned from their deployments highlighted the need for their successors to receive training in conflict management skills in order to succeed. There was a strong need and desire for this type of training; however, there was very little time devoted to this topic during peacekeeping pre-deployment training.
To fill this training gap, the CMTP Program partnered with the U.S. Department of State’s African Contingency Operations and Training Assistance (ACOTA) program to deliver conflict management trainings for peacekeepers as part of of the U.S. contribution to the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) in Africa. The Academy’s conflict management training for peacekeepers focuses on the following topics:
- Communication: How do I engage with a range of actors who are from a different culture and who may not trust me?
- Conflict Analysis: How do I understand local conflicts?
- Negotiation: How do I manage conflicts without using my weapon?
- Mediation: How do I help others manage conflicts non-violently?
- Protection of Civilians: How do I ensure civilians are protected in my operational environment? How do I create and maintain an environment that prevents Sexual Exploitation and Abuse?
Through a mix of experiential exercises, scenario-based problem solving activities, and role plays, this training introduces a range of skills that build upon one another and culminate in a simulation in which participants apply all that they have learned.
The demand for well-trained peacekeeping personnel will continue to grow as the world increasingly relies on peacekeeping missions. International stability requires peace operations, and peace operations require well-trained, effective peacekeepers with conflict management skills such as those trained by USIP through our partnership with ACOTA and the Global Peace Operations Initiative.