Malaysia Supports Training Of United Nations Peacekeepers To Enhance Preparedness For 21st Century Peacekeeping Operations

Oct 29, 2010

The Ministry of Defence, Malaysia (MINDEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today jointly launched the ‘Capacity Building Support for Malaysia’s Role in Multidimensional Peacekeeping Training’ project. The project was made possible through a USD1 million contribution from the Government of Japan.

The project was launched by Dr. Haji Abd Latiff bin Ahmad, Deputy Minister of Defence. The official launch was attended by over 400 people including representatives from the Ministry of Defence, Ambassadors, High Commissioners and representatives from over 40 diplomatic missions in Malaysia, UNDP staff as well as peacekeeping experts from Asia and Africa.

This project will be jointly implemented by UNDP and MINDEF through the Malaysian Peacekeeping Training Centre in Port Dickson. The Malaysian Peacekeeping Training Centre (MPTC) will provide training for peacekeepers from countries in Asia and Africa, emphasising the multidimensional aspects of 21st century peacekeeping operations, focusing particularly on civil-military coordination and protection and enhancement of security for women and children in conflict situations.

The project was presented by Dr. Haji Abd Latiff bin Ahmad, Deputy Minister of Defence who said, “This year we celebrate 50 years of continued support to United Nations peacekeeping operations. We assure the United Nations that our commitment will not falter. This project launched today marks a new era of increased support from Malaysia to international peacekeeping.

Through this project, the Malaysia Peacekeeping Training Centre in Port Dickson has broadened its mandate from a primarily national training centre to an international training centre. The project also accentuates Malaysia’s long-standing commitment to south-south cooperation and will allow Malaysia to share its expertise in peacekeeping with other Asian and African countries, many of whom are the biggest contributors to UN peacekeeping operations.”

50 years have passed since the country’s first peacekeeping mission to the Republic of Congo in 1960. Malaysia has over the years provided critical support to the United Nations mission of maintaining international peace and security. More than 25,000 Malaysian military personnel and 3,000 police personnel have participated in UN peacekeeping operations in over 20 countries.

International peacekeeping operations have evolved from the traditional role of maintaining ceasefires and limited peace agreements to a broader mandate of ensuring the implementation of comprehensive peace agreements and laying the foundation for sustainable peace. Today’s peace operations have highlighted the need for better preparedness by peacekeepers to address issues related to sexual and gender based violence as well as the need to strengthen the civil-military cooperation dimensions of these operations.
 
Dr. Ajay Chhibber, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNDP, said, “The focus of the project on sexual and gender based violence as well as civil-military coordination highlights the project’s potential uniqueness and strategic importance as a vehicle to address the complex nature of today’s peacekeeping missions. The multidimensional aspects of peacekeeping and peace-building, with a focus on gender and civil-military coordination need to form an integral part of 21st century peacekeeping approaches if we are to ensure durable peace, security and reconciliation.

The increasing complexity of modern day peacekeeping operations has led to a growing demand for training materials that are able to address key operational and mission specific challenges in the fast changing global and regional context and political landscape. The successful implementation of the MINDEF-UNDP project should bring about multiplier benefits, especially when these training modules are referred to and used by other peacekeeping training centres around the world.”

Masahiko Horie, Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia said, “Japan has designated peacebuilding efforts as one of its major diplomatic priorities. To this extent, we are advancing tangible efforts such as contributing to UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) and other organizations, conducting on-site efforts utilizing ODA, fostering human resources and making intellectual contributions. As to Japan’s contribution to PKO, we consider that strengthening peacekeeping and peacebuilding capacity in Africa continues to be an important task.

The Malaysian Peacekeeping Centre, among the similar institutions in Asia, has already established a remarkable track record of carrying out training programs with participants from African countries. The Centre has also accomplished projects in cooperation with other countries and international organizations. Hence we have decided to assist the Malaysian Government with a contribution of US 1 million dollars through Japan-UNDP Partnership Fund. As you are all aware of, we have participants in this capacity building project not only from Africa but also from Asian Nations. Japan also intends to make personnel contributions to this Project by dispatching Japanese experts.”

A first roundtable stakeholder discussion on “Capacity Building Support for Malaysia’s Role in Multidimensional Peacekeeping Training” was held on October 27 and 28 this year, with the participation of representatives from regional and international peacekeeping training centers as well as the United Nations. The roundtable discussion has identified the training needs of peacekeeping personnel from Africa and Asia in the context of recent developments in peacekeeping missions.

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