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Home > Peacekeeping Training > About Peacekeeping Training
About Peacekeeping Training

Faced with the rising demand for increasingly complex peace operations, the United Nations in the past few years has been overstretched and challenged as never before. The Organization has worked vigorously to strengthen its capacity to manage and sustain field operations and, thus,contribute to the most important function of the United Nations – maintaining international peace and security. Peacekeeping training is an important tool in ensuring that peacekeeping personnel are adequately prepared with the knowledge and skills to address today's complex challenges.

In October 2008, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) completed a Strategic Peacekeeping Training Needs Assessment as part of the new UN Strategy on Peacekeeping Training. The strategy and needs assessment commit DPKO, the Department of Field Support (DFS), and specifically the Integrated Training Services (ITS) of the Policy, Evaluation and Training Division (DPET), to a more strategic approach to training focused on standard-setting, prioritization of needs that cut across all areas of peacekeeping and leveraging partnerships and technology.

More broadly, the role of ITS is to:

  1. Develop training standards, policies, guidance and best practice for specialist trainers in DPKO, DFS, Integrated Mission Training (IMTCs) in peacekeeping operations and Member States and their associated peacekeeping training institutions.
  2. Develop and deliver training for priority needs that cut across major areas of peacekeeping; and
  3. Oversee peacekeeping training activities (including technical support to field based training staff responsible for managing mission training budgets) and oversight of the DPKO and DFS training budget within Headquarters, to ensure that organizational standards and priorities are being met and are aligned with work plans.

In carrying out this role, ITS concentrates on all three phases of peacekeeping training:

1. Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) refers to generic, specialized and, where appropriate, mission-specific peacekeeping training that is based on United Nations standards and takes place prior to deployment to a DPKO-led mission. This training is delivered by Member States to military and police personnel/units in their home country and by the Integrated Training Service (ITS) for civilian personnel.
2. Induction Training refers to training that is delivered to DPKO/DFS headquarters staff upon arrival at United Nations headquarters in New York or mission-specific training that is delivered in a DPKO-led mission.This may include generic and specialized training, including training for military police and civilian personnel.
3. On-going Training refers to any training or learning activity for peacekeeping personnel (military, police or civilian) undertaken during their assignment at Headquarters or in the field subsequent to induction training.

Recognizing that senior leaders in peacekeeping have different needs than other personnel, ITS also puts together specialized programmes for senior leaders in the field, or potential leaders adapted to the most current operational realities facing multi-dimensional peacekeeping operations today.

Pre-deployment Training (PDT)

Building on previous materials and course specifications contained in the Standardized Generic Training Modules (SGTMs) and Standardized Modules for Specialists (STMs) respectively, DPKO will issue new UN Peacekeeping Pre-deployment Training Standards (starting with Pre-deployment Training Standards for police in April 2009).These Pre-deployment Training Standards shall consist of a guidance document that specifies the objective of the training, its target audience and course specifications, supplemented by Core Pre-deployment and Specialized Training Materials, which can be used and adapted by trainers, to implement the Pre-deployment Training Standards.

Core Pre-deployment Training Materials cover essential knowledge required for all peacekeeping personnel to function effectively in a UN peacekeeping operation (e.g., fundamental principles of peacekeeping; knowledge of management structures in peacekeeping operations; authority, command and control; human rights including the protection of women and children in armed conflict; conduct and discipline and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, HIV/AIDS and security issues. Civilian and individually deployed military or police personnel wanting to fulfill the on-line training requirements for Basic and Advanced Security in the Field should click on these links). Specialized Training Materials focus on skills and knowledge required to carry out one's function in a mission (e.g. that of an United Nations Police Officer (UNPOL), Military Expert on Mission, Staff Officer etc.).

Member States (Military and Police)

Member States are responsible for delivering United Nations PDT to all personnel provided to United Nations peacekeeping operations, in accordance with General Assembly resolution A/RES/49/37 .The curriculum in each of the institutions is based on UN Peacekeeping Pre-Deployment Training Standards.

Where new UN Peacekeeping Pre-deployment Training Standards have not yet been issued by DPKO, Member States should continue to use the previous course materials and/or specifications contained in the SGTMs and STMs respectively.

Civilian Pre-deployment Training (CPT)

The Integrated Training Service of DPET is responsible for delivering UN PDT to all civilian personnel selected for service in UN peacekeeping operations. This is delivered through the Civilian Pre-Deployment Training (CPT) Course. The CPT Course is one of the primary tools used by DPKO and DFS to improve preparedness, effectiveness and productivity of civilian peacekeepers. It helps generate competent, institutionally knowledgeable, and ethically aware civilian peacekeepers capable of serving in dangerous and complex peacekeeping environments. This is a general course and does not address the specific mandate and circumstances of each field mission.

ITS has a dedicated team that delivers these courses. The team continuously consults with other DPKO/DFS offices,IMTCs and Mission Training Focal Points as well as course graduates. A mix of general trainers, subject matter experts, and experienced peacekeepers deliver the content in an adult-learning environment. The course management utilizes the extensive knowledge and skills of course attendees as well as peacekeeping experts available in the location where the training courses are conducted.

Currently, CPT courses are held at the United Nations Logistics Base (UNLB) in Brindisi, Italy.Participants arrive in Brindisi no later than one day before the course commences and depart for their field assignments immediately on conclusion of the course.

Note: Only those civilians that are new to UN peacekeeping or have not been employed in a UN peacekeeping operation in the past three years are required to attend the CPT.

Induction Training

Induction Training is delivered to all personnel (military, police and civilian) upon arrival in UN headquarters or a UN peacekeeping operation. This training includes briefings and presentations that are relevant to the place of employment (headquarters or in the field).

The delivery of induction training for headquarters personnel is coordinated by the Integrated Training Service, while induction training in the field is coordinated by the Integrated Mission Training Centre or appointed Mission Training Focal Point. Induction Training builds on what personnel have learned in pre-deployment training. It provides personnel with detailed information on how to carry out their jobs effectively in that specific mission or at headquarters.

Attendance on Induction Training is mandatory for all personnel (military, police and civilian) arriving for service or employment in a DPKO-led peacekeeping operation.

On-going Training

On-going Training is training, or a learning activity, delivered after Induction Training to personnel (military police or civilian) during their assignment in UN Headquarters or in a UN peacekeeping operation the field. In the field, Ongoing Training will usually be arranged and funded by the field mission. The courses offered to peacekeeping personnel reflect cross-cutting skill gaps identified in the 2008 Strategic Peacekeeping Training Needs Assessment and aim to strengthen the capacities of peacekeeping personnel to implement the organizational strategy or the mandate of a UN peacekeeping operation.

Senior Leaders' Training

Senior leaders' training is provided through two programmes: The Senior Leadership Induction Programme (SLIP) and the Senior Mission Leaders Course.

Senior Leadership Induction Programme(SLIP)

The SLIP is designed to provide newly-appointed senior leaders in a UN peacekeeping operation with an orientation on peacekeeping issues, such as the main challenges faced when implementing mandates and the relationship between the field and UN headquarters. The SLIP is facilitated by ITS.

SLIP participants are senior military, police and civilian managers at the D-2 level and above (usually the head of the military or police component – a Force Commander or Police Commissioner - in a UN peacekeeping operation) who are within their first six months of appointment. The Heads of Mission, their Deputies, and senior civilian leaders are included. SLIP is a mandatory program, and is usually held twice a year at UN headquarters in New York.

The key objective of the last SLIP, held in January 2009,was to devise more interactive learning methods and focus the training on what a senior leader in a field mission needs to know in order to respond to the major challenges that he/she is likely to face.ITS is currently analyzing the final outcomes of the last programme and will continue to revise the SLIP workshop, which will be held next July, in accordance with the feedback received.

Senior Mission Leaders (SML) Course

The SML is designed to prepare potential mission leaders for a UN peacekeeping operation. The course is organized jointly by a host Member State and DPKO, represented by ITS. The objectives of the SML course are to:

  1. Prepare potential mission leaders for the roles and responsibilities of senior leaders in UN peacekeeping operations, including future Heads and Deputy Heads of Mission, future Heads of Military or Police Components (Force Commanders or Police Commissioners) and other senior civilian leaders.
  2. EnableMember State officials responsible for UN peacekeeping issues to better understand how current UN peacekeeping operations are managed.

The participants are drawn from civilian, police and military backgrounds and should hold a minimum grade/level/rank equivalent to UN D-1/Brigadier General or military equivalent/Deputy Commissioner of Police.All attendees are expected to have a minimum of 15 years of experience; a proven record of building and managing teams; an ability to supervise, mentor, develop and evaluate staff; and a demonstrated ability to lead.

The SML uses an active learning methodology that focuses on how participants solve problems. The course is delivered using plenary presentation on a module topic, followed by plenary discussion, questions and answers, and then a break-out group discussion of a case study covering that thematic area.

Participants gain awareness and understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the various components of complex peacekeeping operations, and how these can be addressed by an effective Senior Leadership Team. Emphasis is placed on optimizing synergies between the peacekeeping operation and the United Nations Country Team (UN agencies, funds and programmes) and the importance of addressing gender issues and implementing Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) through sound leadership and administration.

The design of the SML course is reviewed after the conduct of each programme in pursuit of constant improvement and to maintain relevance with the contemporary challenges facing UN peacekeeping leaders. DPKO strongly encourages Member States to provide eligible female participants to the SML. ITS provides formal notification of the schedule and venue of the SML programme delivered each year.

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