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Peacekeeping: Guterres calls for better training; Zappia, training is at core of Italy’s committment

NEW YORK, MAY 7 – Better training for peacekeepers being deployed to increasingly hostile environments is a “necessary and strategic” investment which can also save lives, the UN Secretary-General told Security Council members on Tuesday. Addressing an open debate on training and capacity building for UN peacekeeping missions, António Guterres said that “notable progress” had been made in training ‘blue helmets’ and others who serve in some of the most dangerous places on earth, but “much still needs to be done”.

“Training plays a critical role in order to guarantee the high-level of effectiveness, efficiency and performance required to the ‘blue helmets’,” the UN Permanent Representative of Italy Mariangela Zappia agreed in her statement to the Council, stressing that training and capacity-building activities should not be viewed as one-off activities, but rather as tools to enhance operational effectiveness throughout the mission life-cycle. “Training activities should take place before and after deployment, and should be calibrated to the specific context of every mission, encompassing, as appropriate, also innovative issues, such as the environmental management of PKOs”, she said.

Italy, which is the first provider of Blue Helmets within the Western Group and one of the most generous contributors to the peacekeeping budget places training and capacity building activities at the core of its commitment to peacekeeping.

A fruitful and articulate cooperation is already in place with the UN and several Member States: “Over the past years, our military training centers, like the CoESPU located in Vicenza, the Post-Conflict Operation Study Centre in Turin and the Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence, located near Rome, have provided specialized training and capacity building to well over ten thousand military and police officers from 118 Countries, and 17 International Organizations. The Italian training pledges for 2019 encompass a wide range of courses, for more than 700 military and police units”, Zappia recalled.

The training curricula comprise different subjects, including protection of civilians and the responsibility to protect, cultural heritage, environmental protection, women, peace and security, gender protection, ammunition disposal and mine clearance, together with courses for patrol leaders: “We strongly believe that training plays a critical role in increasing women’s participation in peacekeeping operations and for the current year, we are offering a new set of courses on gender perspective and the deployment of Female Engagement Teams”, added Zappia.

A development welcomed by the UN. Mr. Guterres said that a “talent pipeline specifically for senior women military officers is under development” to encourage more women leaders. He added that continued support through government funding was “essential”, noting the “encouraging” downward trend in allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions. (@OnuItalia)


Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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