IPSS/ZIF Roundtable on Trilateral Cooperation in Peace Operations in Africa Opens in Addis

Report
from Center for International Peace Operations
Published on 09 Oct 2015 View Original

A roundtable on the Trilateral Cooperation in Peace Operations in Africa (7th-8th October 2015) kicked off today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Jointly organised by the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) and the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF), the roundtable brings together representatives from the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), and the European Union (EU) in an informal closed door format with the aim of raising key questions on how cooperation, coordination, and coherence between these multi-lateral organisations is achieved and how the UN, the AU and the EU shape and implement their actions as individual organisations and collectively, in response to new threats and challenges.

In his opening address, IPSS director Kidane Kiros remarked that discussions about the trilateral cooperation are necessary with the evolving nature of peace operations. "Fifteen years ago, the AU moved from a policy of non-interference to non-indifference signalling a seismic shift into how the continent deals with conflict situations," he said. "Today, we are increasingly talking about multidimensionality and collaboration. Power basis have shifted in many places, old alliances have struggled to deal with emerging security threats and conflict, and African countries are increasingly realising that they need to look beyond their boundaries not only for fighting fires, as the saying goes, but preventing fires before they happen."

"While the EU and the UN, and the AU and the UN, have invested in strengthening their strategic and operational relationships on peace operations over the course of the past few years at a bi-lateral level, relatively little has been done to strengthen the tri-lateral partnerships and cooperation between all three organisations in relation to peace operations," Dr. Almut Wieland-Karimi, director of the Centre for Peace Operations (ZIF). "It is within this context that ZIF and IPSS decided to bring together representatives of the UN, the AU and the EU that work on these partnerships in key ways, at both the levels of the headquarters and the operations in the field, to reflect on where the partnerships have come from, where they are now, and where they would like to see them going in the coming years."

The opening morning featured a discussion on changed contexts and responses in deploying peace operations in the context of weak state authority and asymmetric threats. In the afternoon, participants engaged in working group discussions focusing on joint planning and coordination action in three different conflict situations in Mali, Central African Republic, and Somalia.

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