African Peace Support Trainers’ Association APSTA

Association Africaine des Formateurs au Soutien de la Paix – Designed, maintained and hosted (as a one of their many projects) by the Institute for Security Studies ISS

… Major General Karangi, then Commandant of the Kenya Defence Staff College, was requested by ACCORD to act as Patron of the envisaged Chapter, and in this capacity to invite other centres to an inaugural meeting to set it up. Invited participants included delegates from the peacekeeping training centres on the continent including the Southern African Development Community Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre, the Zambakro School of Peacekeeping and the Kenya Peace Support Training Centre … (about 1/2).

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About 2/2: … The objective of the initiative was to provide a forum in which representatives from these centres could discuss issues pertaining to their work, explore areas of co-operation, and more importantly develop strategies on how to contribute to the capacity building needs of the African Union and its subsidiary sub-regional organisations.

Despite the strategy of enlisting the good offices of a general officer as interim patron, invitations did not reach their targets in a timely fashion, and attendance of the inaugural meeting was not as inclusive as was hoped for. There were only eight participants, representing five organisations: ACCORD, SA National War College, and two of the “recognised” centres of excellence – SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre and Kenya Peace Support Training Centre.

The following were adopted as aims and objectives of the chapter :

  • To facilitate the ability of PSTCs to talk with each other as a matter of routine;
  • To facilitate meetings and exchange information and best practices;
  • To facilitate efforts to harmonise doctrine, SOPs and training;
  • To serve as a depository that offers advisory services to the African Union on peace support operations issues; and
  • To act as a sounding board for the AU commission on peace support operations concerning donor relations.

Despite the limited attendance and mandate, the meeting reached agreement on a surprising number of recommendations for its members and unspecified others – including the following:

  • Compile a roster of specialist organisations that could provide expertise in regional peacekeeping training centres courses
  • Work with other institutions of research nature to supplement the competencies of the regional peacekeeping training centres
  • Regional peacekeeping training centres must play a role in asserting a model of capacity building that is geared towards capacity utilisation
  • Regional peacekeeping training centres must expend effort in order to institute proper monitoring and evaluation mechanisms at both sub-regional and national levels
  • The staffing of peace support training centres should have United Nations filed operational experience
  • Pre-deployment training should be an area of constructive engagement by the regional peacekeeping training centres
  • All training centres should be encouraged to create, maintain and market their website with links to the UN, sub-regional organisations and with each other
  • The centres should be prepared to highlight opportunities to conduct on-site training for individual country deployments
  • The regional peacekeeping training centres should work towards responding to opportunities to be a monitor of peace support operations training in member countries

After deliberations on how the associations could interact with extra regional training initiatives the following recommendations were added:

  • Sub-regional institutions should be the entry point of all extra regional training offers; and
  • Meetings of the training institutions, through the chapter, should be convened to include participation of traditional and interested funding nations to identity and discuss training needs and year programmes.

It was agreed that pursuit of the aims and objectives of the Chapter and some of the recommendations made would require a minimum level of institutionalisation. It was therefore decided that the Chapter would be called the African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA) that its interim chairperson would be Maj. General Karangi, and that ACCORD would act as interim secretariat. . It was further decided that APSTA would be open to individuals, research institutions and others whose core business is peace support training. The interim secretariat agreed to undertake, in consultation with the interim Chair, the following actions:

  • Development of an APSTA logo;
  • Drafting a constitution which would cover aspects such as chairpersonship, secretariat, exchange programme on Directing Staff, APSTA courses, etc;
  • Lobbying for an APSTA member to host the 2004 IAPTC; and
  • Development of an internet-based marketing strategy for the Association.

ACCORD agreed to distribute a first draft of the constitution (now Articles of Association) to all relevant parties at the end of January 2003, a second draft by the end of February, and a final document by mid April 2003.

… (full long text about).

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