High-Level Workshop on Arab Perspectives on the Future of the UN Peace and Security Architecture: Towards a Timely, Collective and Effective Response

The Challenges Forum Partners Cairo Regional Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt organized a High-Level Workshop on ‘Arab Perspectives on the Future of the UN Peace and Security Architecture: Towards a Timely, Collective and Effective Response’ in Cairo on 1-2 March, in partnership with the Office of the President of the General Assembly and with the support of international and regional partners.

The workshop was organized as part of the preparatory discussions prior to the High-level Thematic Debate of the General Assembly on UN, Peace and Security, to be held in New York 10-11 May 2016. It provided an opportunity for regional and intergovernmental discussions on some of the main recommendations of the global reviews on peace operations, peacebuilding and the global study on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325. Participants exchanged views, digested and reflected on key aspects of the UN peace and security reform agenda and deliberated on concrete ways for the implementation of the UN global reviews from a regional and Arab perspectives.

The workshop programme was split into five sessions. The first addressed ‘Towards a Timely, Collective and Effective UN Peace and Security Architecture: Building on the Synergies and Bridging the Gaps of UN Reviews’. Session two assessed ‘The Primacy of Politics: From Preventing Conflict to Sustaining Peace’, and session three focused on ‘Partnerships and Trilateral Cooperation in Peacekeeping’. Session four was about ‘Enhancing National Ownership: Responding to the Real Needs’, and the fifth and final session tackled ‘Enhancing Synergies and Effectiveness of UN Field Presence: Coordinated Vision and Shared Services’.

The workshop was opened by a video message from the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr Mogen Lycketofft and speeches by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Egypt H.E. Mr Hamdy Samad Loza, H.E. Mr Amr Moussa, Former Secretary-General League of Arab States, and H.E. Mr Ahmed Bin Helli, Assistant Secretary-General League of Arab States and H.E. Mr El-Ghassim Wane, Assistant Secretary-General for Operations, United Nations. A tribute was paid to the recently deceased former Secretary-General for the United Nations, H.E. Mr Boutros Boutros Ghali. Mr Amr Aljowaily, Deputy Assistant to the Foreign Minister for United Nations Affairs of Egypt, and Mr Ashraf Swelan, Director of the CCCPA, co-chaired the workshop proceedings and pulled together the workshop findings during the concluding session. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the CCCPA will prepare a summary of the discussions, which will provide input for the High-level Thematic Debate of the UN General Assembly on UN, Peace and Security.

Participants included high-level officials and representatives from Member States of the League of Arab States, international, regional and sub-regional organizations and UN agencies, the review panels, Arab think-tanks and eminent experts. In addition to senior representation from Egypt, United Nations and the Arab League, key speakers included H.E. Mr Youssef Mahmoud, Member of the High-Level Independent Panel on UN Peacekeeping Operations (HIPPO) and the Global Study of the Implementation of SCR 1325, also serving as Senior Fellow, IPI, Mr Cedric De Coning, Senior Advisor, ACCORD and NUPI, and Mr Jim Della-Giacoma, Deputy Director, CIC NYU.

During the session on ‘Partnerships and Trilateral Cooperation in Peacekeeping’, Challenges Forum Director Annika Hilding Norberg spoke about partnerships and trilateral cooperation as critical enablers for effective deployment and operational performance of troop and police contributing countries. She focused specifically on the current peace operations environment and international factors shaping the framework for implementation of the high-level reviews findings, areas that are arguably particularly ready for progress, should the international community so chose to pursue. Finally, she highlighted the outcome of the Leaders’ Peacekeeping Summit and the consequent opportunities it generated for partnership and trilateral cooperation in relation to capacity building in particular.

For more information about the High-Level Workshop, please visit the website of the CCCPA.