What's In Blue

Posted Tue 19 Jun 2012

UN Peacekeeping Force Commanders Briefing

Tomorrow morning (Wednesday, 20 June), the Council will hold a briefing with force commanders from UN peacekeeping operations. Force commanders from four missions—UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)—are set to brief, although force commanders from other UN missions will also be present to answer questions. (UN force commanders are in town this week for the annual “head of military components” conference). Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, will brief as well.

It appears that the force commanders will focus their presentations on distinct issues. Lieutenant General Chander Wadwa Prakash (India) of MONUSCO is expected to cover the importance of developing common military standards in peacekeeping operations. Major General Paolo Serra (Italy) of UNIFIL will likely explore the challenges of guiding composite forces (i.e. military and civilian components) toward common goals. It is anticipated that Major General Moses Bisong Obi (Nigeria) of UNMISS will focus on the challenges of operating in a complex political setting. Finally, Major General Fernando Rodriques Goulart (Brazil) of MINUSTAH will discuss how the military component of peacekeeping operations helps to stabilise and support institutions in the host country.

This marks the third consecutive year that the Council will host a meeting with force commanders. In the past these briefings have been more interactive than most (public) Council briefings. Besides presenting statements, some members in the past have taken advantage of the presence of the force commanders to ask specific questions. Given the challenging environment a number of the missions are currently operating under, Council members are likely to view tomorrow’s meeting as an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the perspective from the field, particularly on operational issues.

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