Challenges Annual Forum 2019: Politics, Peacebuilding, Transition, and Leadership

How can Member States, UN Secretariat and other key stakeholders implement Action for Peacekeeping’s commitments to strengthen conditions for effective mission transitions and support coherent leadership and management of peace operations? 

In total, more than 120 participants from over 30 countries met to discuss a number of topics and listen to speakers and panellists talking about challenges and opportunities in modern peace operations.

This was the main question addressed at the 12th Challenges Annual Forum, “A4P: Improving on Political Strategy, Peacebuilding, Mission Management and Transitions to Enduring Peace,” held on 10-11 June 2019 in Montreal, Canada. This year’s Forum was hosted by the Government of Canada.

Host Ms. Larisa Galadza, Director General, Peace and Stabilization Operations at Global Affairs Canada together with Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security, AU; Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations; and Dr. Björn Holmberg, Director of Challenges Forum International Secretariat.

The two days conference focused on the operationalization of Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) agenda with attention on the field and how Member States and the UN Secretariat can best support missions in implementing A4P commitments in the mission. These efforts are grounded in the A4P “Declaration of Joint Commitments” which to date has been endorsed by 151 Member States as well as four international regional organisations. 

The aim of the Annual Conference is to provide Challenges Forum’s partners and key stakeholders with a forum for discussion of specific topical issues related to peace operations, to generate ideas, recommendations and actions on challenges and opportunities for peace operations and to provide a venue for the Forum’s Annual Partner Meeting.

Among the speakers and panellists were Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary General for Peace Operations, United Nations; Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security, African Union; Ms. Joanne Andersson, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, MINUSMA; and Lt. Gen. Balla Keita, Force Commander, MINUSCA.

Dialogue was organised in three working sessions over the two days and participants were divided into four dialogue strands: Politics; Peacebuilding; Effective Mission Transitions and Effective and Coherent Leadership.

After the event, Challenges Partners from each dialogue strand was interviewed for the Challenges Forum YouTube series, where they spoke about the key outcomes from each of the working sessions, focussing on ‘who’ and ‘how’ to further the operationalisation of the A4P agenda. Please see the videos below.

The full report with recommendations and key points from the Annual Forum was presented at a breakfast launch, hosted by the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN, in October 2019. The report can be found here.