‘Climate related mandate delivery’ at EPON week in NY

The EPON week at the UN in New York aims to provide participants with evaluations and analysis to improve the effectiveness of peace operations. The Challenges Forum International Secretariat (CFIS) participated during the May event, presenting the key takeaways from CAF21 on climate security.

The Roundtable discussion titled Maintaining the operational resilience of peacekeeping operations in the face of climate-related disruptions, was co-organised by the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO), the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON), the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

From left: Cedric de Coning, NUPI & EPON, Florian Krampe, SIPRI, Pernilla Rydén, Challenges Forum, Dr. Jair van der Lijn, SIPRI, Dr. Adriana Erthal Abdenur, CIPÓ.

CFIS Director Pernilla Rydén was one of the keynote speakers, and she emphasized that even if climate security is not an underlying driving force cause of uncertainty and instability, it risks becoming a destabilizing and aggravating factor in the conflict context. Additionally, the major largest UN peacekeeping operations are located in countries most exposed to climate change, including Somalia, Mali, South Sudan, CAR and DR Congo.

The major key takeaways from the Challenges Annual Forum 2021 (CAF21) were presented by Pernilla Rydén, as well as ideas on what the UN could focus on in order to reduce the negative climate impact:

  • Strengthen planning and analysis, including so-called desk exercises around climate security in mission contexts.
  • Train and equip TCCs / PCCs for climate-related risks. Investigate the possibility to strengthen and include climate security in preparatory training for peacekeeping troops, within the within the IAPTC framework.
  • Collaborate more with regional organizations in conflict zones, especially the AU but also the EU.
  • Collaborate with private individual actors such as specialized institutes and companies, for effective solutions to climate challenges.
  • Listen and include more of the local people and communities’ knowledge when doing climate analysis.

The EPON Week is organised by EPON* in partnership with the Group of Friends of Peace Operations. During the three days of roundtable discussions, several different EPON studies were presented, focusing on core areas of peacekeeping operations such as: Protection of civilians (POC) in multidimensional peacekeeping missions; Women, Peace and Security (WPS); Partnerships with regional organizations; Mandate renewal of various missions, including MONUSCO, UNITAMS and MINUSMA.

* EPON is an international network of more than 40 research institutions, peacekeeping training centres and universities that collaboratively undertake research into the effectiveness of specific contemporary peace operations since 2017.