Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
November 14, 2012

The Departments of State and Defense co-hosted the Eighth Annual Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) Worldwide Conference at the State Department, October 17-19, 2012. Sponsored by the Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and the Department of Defense’s Office of the Secretary of Defense, this annual planning conference furthered the U.S. commitment toward meeting the growing worldwide demand for military and civilian peacekeeping personnel to protect vulnerable communities in conflict zones and promote peace and security.

The conference brought together representatives from across the Department of State and the Department of Defense, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and the five Department of Defense Regional Combatant Commands, as well as high-level participation by the United Nations. The three main areas of focus throughout the conference were the protection of civilians in conflict environments, improving the performance of peacekeeping units according to UN military capabilities standards, and systematic integration of the objectives of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security into GPOI program activities. Participants also reviewed ongoing GPOI activities, shared implementers’ best practices, and discussed program priorities for Fiscal Years 2013-2015.

Launched in 2005, GPOI is a U.S. government-funded security assistance program that enhances international capacity to effectively conduct United Nations and regional peace operations by building partner country capabilities to train and sustain peacekeeping proficiencies; increasing the number of capable military troops and formed police units available for deployment; and facilitating the preparation, logistical support, and deployment for peace operations. To date, GPOI has facilitated the training and equipping of more than 217,000 foreign peacekeepers from around the world, and more than 171,000 of these personnel from 38 countries have deployed to 23 UN, African Union, and other regional peace operations.

GPOI has built on its success by shifting focus from direct training by U.S. personnel to activities that increase the self-sufficiency of GPOI partners to train peacekeepers on their own. By doing so, GPOI is further multiplying the number of future peacekeeping forces and empowering partner countries to strengthen their roles in the shared global challenge of enhancing international peace and security.

To learn more about the GPOI, visit http://www.state.gov/t/pm/ppa/gpoi/