The Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) was originally established as a five-year initiative to help address critical shortfalls in international peace operations capacity. Drawing from the commitments outlined in the G8 Action Plan for Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations, the United States defined seven core objectives for this initiative in Phase I:
Though program activities conducted under Phase I were focused on significantly increasing the number of trained and equipped peacekeepers available for deployment to peace operations, GPOI realized substantial accomplishments with respect to all seven of these objectives. By the end of Phase I (September 30, 2009), nearly 87,000 military personnel from 78 countries had been trained on peacekeeping related topics through GPOI-funded activities, exceeding GPOI’s primary objective to train 75,000 troops by 2010 and meeting a key goal of the 2004 G8 Action Plan. Of the total number of military personnel trained, more than 77,000 were African troops trained through the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program.
GPOI also funded a wide range of regional capacity building initiatives, to include staff training, equipment provisions, and building refurbishments for two regional headquarters – the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – and 28 national and regional peace operation training centers. Throughout Phase I, GPOI supported the assignment of full-time Peace and Security Advisors to the AU and ECOWAS, as well as a Training and Doctrine Advisor to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Peace Support Operations Training Centre. Additionally, GPOI provided financial, technical, and staffing support to COESPU to facilitate the training of stability/formed police unit (FPU) trainers.
By the end of Phase I, COESPU had trained 2,060 FPU trainers from 29 countries.
Through GPOI, in Phase I the United States led efforts to establish and formalize annual meetings of the G8 Africa Clearinghouse and the G8+ Global Clearinghouse. The first G8 Africa Clearinghouse was conducted in Washington, D.C. in October 2004. By the end of Phase I, members had conducted five additional clearinghouse meetings (London, U.K. – February 2005; Moscow, Russia – June 2006; Heilingendam, Germany – March 2007; Tokyo, Japan – April 2008; and San Remo, Italy – April 2009). Additionally, the United States initiated and hosted the first G8+ Global Peace Support Operations Capacity Building Clearinghouse in October 2007, with nearly 40 traditional donor countries, United Nations peacekeeping troop contributing countries, and international/regional organizations participating. Subsequent G8+ Clearinghouse meetings were conducted in the United Kingdom in December 2008, Cairo, Egypt in December 2009, and Seoul, Korea in December 2011. These meetings have helped shape and coordinate participating countries’ peacekeeping capacity building policies and programs. In 2012 United Nations efforts to create a robust global virtual clearinghouse eliminated the need for future G8+ Clearinghouse meetings.
Finally, through GPOI Phase I deployment support related programs, events, and activities, the United States helped facilitate G8 efforts to better coordinate troop contributing countries’ requests for deployment equipment, lift assistance, and other logistical support to deploy to United Nations and regional peace operations. GPOI also supported the capitalization, operations, and maintenance of an equipment depot located in Freetown, Sierra Leone in support of ECOWAS.