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also has too few professional staff at UN headquarters to manage the more than 4,000 CivPol deployed in UN operations. This is an area where added capacity within Africa could benefit African peace operations, whether led by the UN or an African organizations. Options to increase the supply of such personnel include bilateral training programs; EU contributions of police contingents; and efforts to “adopt a country” to support increased training and capacity. Additionally, creating a certification process with EU, AU, and ECOWAS members to identify and standardize the characterization of qualifications and skill levels for those offered by member states as CivPol (and rule of law experts) would help support more effective deployments in the field. Use of standardized profiles to reflect these qualities would also enhance recruitment, retention, and effectiveness in the field. Further, candidates could also be listed in an UN database, to include other experts on rule of law, for short-term call-ups.

The agenda for Sea Island on peace and security in Africa could be huge, but that is unlikely to happen. In considering compliance with the Africa Action plan, the answer remains elusive without clearer benchmarks for either G8 activity or African capacity. Nevertheless, the US has a chance to steer the summit toward identifying its own and other nations’ real contributions to supporting African initiatives to thwart conflict and sustain peace, and should take the opportunity to do so.

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