African Peace and Security Annual Conference - APSACO
Peacekeeping Operations across Africa: Trends and Challenges
By invitation only
During the first two decades of the third millennium, the United Nations (UN) launched a peacekeeping reform process through reports, doctrines, initiatives, and institutional reforms. In the wake of this, Secretary-General António Guterres pledged to the Security Council on April 7, 2017 to improve United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs), confirming that UN action in this field was at a crossroads, because the PKOs "... often seem at bay, overwhelmed by the magnitude of their task".
Peacekeeping certainly suffers from a wide variety of challenges, both political and legal, along with the complexity of operational environments, the intrusion of the asymmetric threat (terrorist acts and organized crime), as well as weakness in terms of human and material resources. This also comes in an international context marked by budget restrictions and declining enrollment.
Nevertheless, Peacekeeping is not an illusion, and still plays an important role, especially on the African continent. First, the UN model remains the best suited to the nature of international relations, driven by the centrality of the national interest and the quest for power. It is also the legitimate model for protecting civilians, preventing conflict and working for stability. The Syrian crisis may not have caused the ongoing human tragedy had peacekeepers been deployed, just as in the case of the tragic precedents of Srebrenica and Rwanda where the inconsistencies of peacekeeping have been found.
Peacekeeping is also part of the foreign policy instruments through which States and international organizations, including the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU), commit themselves to the international community. In Morocco, the contribution to the PKOs is a constant of the country’s foreign policy. The kingdom has participated, since the Congolese crisis in 1960, in a dozen operations either under the aegis of the UN or in support of NATO and the EU, which makes it a constant contributor in the concert of nations. For its part, the AU seems to be engaged in a process of ownership of peacekeeping mechanisms in Africa, through the strengthening of its autonomy and the establishment of a common framework with the UN and the EU.
In view of all these considerations, the conference aims to look at the prospects and opportunities of the "spectrum of peace and security", ranging from prevention to stabilization by exploring ways for effective protection of vulnerable people. The conference organizers wish to focus on the intersection between the UN (politico-strategic and operational dimensions) and the AU (role in the management of African conflicts) in order to update on the one hand the complexity of maintaining peace in its current configuration, and on the other hand, the challenges of the AU ownership of peacekeeping and stabilization.Keep me informed