Launch of the 2020 Annual Forum Recommendations

The Permanent Missions the Republic of Indonesia and Norway to the United Nations in New York together with the Challenges Forum held a virtual launch event of the 2020 Challenges Annual Forum report and its key recommendations, Friday 21 May.

The well attended event was broadcasted live with 190 participants watching. See it again here.

Top row from left: Benoit Pylyser, CFIS, Cedric de Coning, NUPI, Roy Soemirat, MFA Indonesia.
Bottom row from left: Fonteh R: Akhum, ISS, David Haeri, UN DPO, Lisa Sharland, Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

The key speakers highlighted the primacy of politics and the importance of close partnerships for successful peace operations. The need for a people-centred approach, balancing bottom-up and top-down initiatives requires cooperation between the UN, regional actors such as the African Union, Regional Economic Communities, UN Country Teams and local actors.

In order to achieve this, the UN cannot work in silos and must respond more adeptly to people on the ground, together with a meaningful inclusion of women. Representatives of regional organizations, such as the AU observer mission to the UN, can help facilitate these efforts for increased synergy.

Assessment tools such as CPAS also play a critical role in helping missions adapt to unforeseen circumstances.

The speakers also pointed to the synergies between the CAF20 recommendations and the A4P initiative, hoping that the recommendations would continue to serve as input for further deliberation in the United Nations Security Council and C-34.


The Challenges Annual Forum 2020 (VCAF20) was held from 7–11 December. More than 80 participants from 23 countries, the United Nations, regional organisations, academia and think tanks took part in the virtual dialogue, which was co-hosted by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in South Africa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, and the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI).

The key recommendations offer a summary of the discussions that took place at the Annual Forum. Please find the recommendations generated at VCAF20 here and the full report here.

Program – Key recommendations for Revitalising UN Peace Operations

09:00 Welcome and short introduction
Benoit Pylyser, Senior Strategic Adviser, The Challenges Forum International Secretariat (CFIS)

09:05 Opening Statements
H.E. Ambassador Mona Juul, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations in New York
Mr. Pangeran Ibrani, Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations in New York.

09:15 Discussion on key recommendations followed by Q&A with audience
Rolliansyah Soemirat, Director for International Security and Disarmament, Directorate General of Multilateral Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia
Cedric de Coning, Research Professor, Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI)
Fonteh R. Akum, Executive Director, Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in South Africa
David Haeri, Director, Division for Policy, Evaluation and Training, Department for Peace Operations, United Nations
Moderator: Lisa Sharland, Head of International Program, Australian
Strategic Policy Institute, Advisor to CFIS and author of the VCAF20 report

09:55 Closing remarks
Lisa Orrenius, Acting Director CFIS

10:00 End of event