Training for United Nations Peacekeepers



Where it exists, training for United Nations peacekeeping is fragmented. Many troop-contributing countries do not offer any peacekeeping training. This is not surprising considering the ad hoc approach taken to peacekeeping by the UN, coupled with the fact that 77 out of 184 Member States have participated in UN operations.1 The fragmentation has its roots in the political situation which developed at the UN in the early 1960s (see Chapter 1). Between 1964 and 1988 the development of any institutions relating to peacekeeping did not occur for political reasons. In terms of training this has meant that no centralized, institutionalized training programme under the auspices of the UN specifically for peacekeeping has been developed. Peacekeeping has remained an ‘ad hoc institution’ and training has been left to the countries contributing troops and a handful of international organizations. Even today the prospect that the UN might develop a centralized, institutionalized training programme is minimal. The Secretariat has neither the time nor resources to take on such a huge project, and in many logistical respects it would be inefficient. To carry out such a large-scale training programme, troops from countries all over the world would have to be transported to and from a central location. In addition, housing, food, and the materials and staff for the training programme would have to be provided. Not surprisingly, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has no real interest in developing a centralized training system. Rather what is most often suggested in this context is the development of regional training centres (or national centres) around the world which would get information and direction from the DPKO.


Military Training Simulation Exercise Conflict Resolution Skill Party Intervention Training Provision 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Australian Parliament Doc. Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Defence Sub-Committee, Inquiry into Australia’s Participation in Peacekeeping. Submission and Incorporated Documents, Vol. 3, Annex II, 28 September 1993.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Interview with appointee, Christian Harleman, New York, 2 September 1992.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    For example, see UN Docs. A/48/173, 25 May 1993 and A/48/403/Add.1, 2 November 1993; NATO Press Service, Press Release, M-NACC-2(93)73, ‘Progress Report to Ministers by the NACC Ad Hoc Group on Cooperation in Peacekeeping’, 3 December 1993; Canadian House of Commons Doc., ‘The Dilemmas of a Committed Peacekeepers: Canada and the Renewal of Peacekeeping’, Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans’ Affairs, June 1993, esp. pp. 21–6; Canadian House of Commons Doc., Proceedings: Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans’ Affairs, Issue No. 42, 30 March 1993.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    H. Moleman, ‘Bosnia for beginners’, The Guardian, 19 December 1993.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Australia, Hungary, Nigeria, Thailand and the US are ‘developing’ training centres.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    CF-DPKO Doc Memorandum, 4500-1, February 1991, p. 2.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    CF Doc. Brigadier-General Douglas, ‘Peacekeeping Operations Review — Interim Report’, 26 November 1991, p. 10 (Interim ‘Douglas Report’).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    CF-DPKO Doc. briefing paper.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    CF-DPKO Doc Report 4500-1, 12e Regiment blinde du Canada, 28 February 1991, p. 3.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    CF-DPKO Doc. 4640-1, ‘Peacekeeping Briefing Session — Officers, Pilot Course’, Annex C, 25 April 1991.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    CF Doc Interim ‘Douglas Report’, 1991, pp. 11–12.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ibid, p. 8.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Canadian House of Commons Doc, ‘The Dilemmas of Committed Peacekeepers: Canada and the Renewal of Peacekeeping’, Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans’ Affairs, June 1993, p. 25.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    P. Langille and E. Simpson (1991), CFB Cornwallis: Canada’s Peacekeeping Training Centre, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia: Common Security Consultants, p. 3. See also, P. Langille and E. Simpson (1992), A Blueprint for a Peacekeeping Training Centre of Excellence, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia: Common Security Consultants and Stratman Consulting Inc.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    ‘CFB Cornwallis’, p. 10.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    D.M. Last (1992), ‘Training Officers to Mediate’, draft, article prepared for Peacekeeping and International Relations, National Press Building, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, p. 1.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    D. Last (1993), ‘Negotiating skills for peacekeepers’, Peace Magazine, 9(4/5):17.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    CF Doc Draft proposal, ‘Design for research on mediation by peacekeepers’, 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Commanding Officer L. Col. M.D. Capstick, 22 May 1991, p. 1.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    IDF Doc. ‘Preparation and Training for UNIFIL’, Training Circular, Office of Director of Training, Defence Forces Headquarters, Dublin, Ireland, October 1991.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ibid, Appendix B, p. 2.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibid, Appendix D, p. 1.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    ‘Peace troops who suffer in silence’, Irish Independent, 1 July 1992, p. 10.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ibid, p. 10.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ibid, p. 10.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Interview with Harleman, 30 October 1990, at the IPA in New York.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Nordic Doc. Information Circular, ‘Nordic Stand-By Forces and Training System’.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ibid, p. 3.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ibid, p. 6.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    UN Doc. A/45/502, p. 2.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Boutros-Ghali, 1992a, pp. 30–1.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Boutros-Ghali, 1992a, pp. 30–1.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    UN Doc. OHRM Training Service, ‘So You Think You Want To Go To Namibia’, 19 January 1989, p. 1.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    UN Doc. OHRM Training Service, ‘Report of Briefing and Training Programs for Staff Assigned to UNTAG Namibia, January–March 1989’, p. 2.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    UN Doc. SRO, Namibia, ‘Job Description, Post Nos. 46–85’, paragraphs 1 and 4.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    UN Doc. OHRM Training Service, ‘Outline for Training For Peacekeeping Missions’.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    UN Doc. UNTAG, ‘Manual for UNTAG Election Supervisors’, November 1989.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    UN Chronicle, December 1989, p. 8.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    UN Doc. ‘UNTAG Namibia: Description and Analysis of the Mission’s Operational Arrangements’, 9 September 1991 (draft copy), p. 179 (para. 372).Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    UN Doc. OHRM Training Service ‘Operational Plan for In-Country Mission Training’.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    UN Doc. Press Release, UNITAR/626, 8 November 1991.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    IPA Doc. Information Sheet.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Harleman, 1990, p. 3.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    ‘International Civilian Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Training Program’, Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR), Stadtschlaining, Austria.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
  45. 45.
    CF Doc. ‘Negotiation in Peacekeeping’, 1991, p. 13.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Ibid, p. 11.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Heiberg, in Rikhye and Skjelsbaek, 1990, p. 148.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Heiberg, in Rikhye and Skjelsbaek, 1990, p. 150.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    This point is made in Heiberg, in Rikhye and Skjelsbaek, 1990, p. 162, in reference to the preparation of the Ghanaian and Nepalese battalions. The article points out difficulties that both battalions have with their peacekeeping duties which can be directly attributed to lack of training.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Several UNTAG election supervisors seconded from their governments pointed out the negative aspects of the UNTAG on-site training programme. One complaint was directed at the large numbers of trainees which meant that they could not actually practise the polling techniques themselves. Another complaint was directed at the trainers for having poor English language skills.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Grove and Torbiorn, 1985, p. 223.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    See Brislin, 1986.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Thornberry, in Hay, 1991, p. 19.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    UN Doc. ‘UNIAG Namibia: Description and Analysis of the Mission’s Operational Arrangements’, 9 September 1991 (draft copy), p. 271 (para. 692).Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    For further discussion of these ethical issues, see Burton and Dukes, Vol. 4, 1990,; Webb, in Mitchell and Webb, 1988; Laue, 1982.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© A. B. Fetherston 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Peace Research CentreThe Australian National UniversityAustralia

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