The United States has surpassed its commitment, adopted at the 2004 G-8 Sea Island Summit, to train and equip 75,000 new peacekeepers to be able to participate in peacekeeping operations worldwide by 2010. As of this month, the Department of State’s Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) has succeeded in training and equipping more than 81,000 new peacekeepers, and has facilitated the deployment of nearly 50,000 peacekeepers to 20 United Nations and regional peace support operations to secure the peace and protect at-risk populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Somalia and Sudan. Additionally, GPOI provides support to the Italian-led Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units that instructs stability/formed police unit trainers and has graduated over 2,000 trainers from 29 countries.
This commitment to enhance global peacekeeping capabilities was made in support of the G-8 Action Plan to Expand Global Capability for Peace Support Operations, which was adopted at the 2004 G-8 Sea Island Summit. The bulk of the training in support of this commitment has been conducted in Africa by GPOI’s Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) Program. Other G-8 member states are also making significant contributions to fulfilling commitments made under the G-8 Action Plan through efforts to build capacity for global peace support operations, which are often in partnership with or complementary to the United States’ projects.
GPOI represents the U.S. government’s contribution to the 2004 G-8 Action Plan to increase global capacity to meet the growing requirement and complexity of peace support operations. GPOI has provided peace support operations training and non-lethal equipment for the militaries of 56 partner countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central/South America, as well as staff training, technical assistance, equipment, and building refurbishments for two regional headquarters and 23 peace support operations training centers.
GPOI capacity building activities are implemented through partnerships between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense. United States combatant commands – including Africa Command, Central Command, European Command, Pacific Command, and Southern Command – play critically important implementing roles. The United States coordinates extensively with international and regional organizations, especially the United Nations, to maximize complementarities and reduce redundancies in global peace support operations capacity building efforts.
Starting in October 2009, GPOI will embark on its second phase (Fiscal Years 2010-2014) in which it will build on its success with a shift in focus from providing direct training to increasing the self-sufficiency of partner countries to conduct sustainable, indigenous peace support operations training on their own. In doing so, GPOI will help partner countries achieve full operational capability in peace support operations training and consequently develop stronger partners in the shared goal of promoting peace and stability in post-conflict societies.
Information about GPOI is available at http://www.state.gov/t/pm/ppa/gpoi/index.htm