Addressing Challenges of Global Peace & Security Requires Agile, Adaptive Strategies – Major General Gyane

Maj. Gen Richard Addo Gyane, Commandant, KAIPTC, delivering his address at the high level meeting

Maj. Gen Richard Addo Gyane, Commandant, KAIPTC, delivering his address at the high level meeting

In a critical address at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Major General Richard Addo Gyane, Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), highlighted the urgent need for agile, adaptive, and effective strategies to address global peace and security challenges.

Major General Gyane emphasized that the African peace and security landscape has faced numerous threats over the past decade, including election security, cybersecurity, migration, terrorism, and violent extremism and these multifaceted challenges demand robust and non-negotiable strategies.

Speaking at a high-level seminar and expert symposium, the Commandant noted that peacekeeping remains an essential tool for establishing lasting peace and addressing international crises. He however acknowledged that modern peacekeeping missions are under increasing pressure to adapt to more volatile and high-risk environments.

“Peacekeeping as a form of intervention has undergone significant shifts since the end of the Cold War,” he stated. “Recent developments, such as the UN’s exit from Mali in 2023 and the impending conclusion of its mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in late 2024, indicate a new trend in international peacekeeping: a move away from extensive, multidimensional missions towards more targeted and stabilization-focused, often ad hoc, operations” he added.

Amid these geopolitical shifts and complex challenges, the seminar provided a platform for discussing the urgent need for relevant, responsive, and impactful multilateral responses. Major General Gyane warned that peacekeeping missions face threats from armed groups, criminals, and terrorists with access to powerful modern weapons, significantly impacting their ability to operate safely and fulfill their mandates.

“The changing security environment, the multiplicity of actors, the complex mandates, and the challenges confronting peacekeepers today are symptomatic of the transformation over the past six decades,” he said. Budget cuts and the expectation for missions to achieve more with fewer resources further compound the situation.

Major General Addo Gyane called for a holistic overhaul of mission performance, stressing the need for UN member states from both the Global South and North to reassess the effectiveness of peacekeeping in the contemporary global landscape.

In conclusion, Major General Gyane reiterated KAIPTC’s commitment to promoting global peace and security, aligning with its strategic objective to enhance the capacities of ECOWAS, the African Union, and the UN in ensuring good governance, peace, and security in Africa.

The seminar, themed “Preparing and Building for the Future: Pathways Towards More Nimble, Adaptive and Effective Peacekeeping,” coincided with the International Day of UN Peacekeeping. It was a pivotal gathering of representatives from member states, academia, think tanks, peacekeeping training centers, and UN practitioners. The event, built on the Secretary-General’s “New Agenda for Peace”, served as a precursor to the upcoming Summit of the Future, fostering forward-looking policy dialogue.

Dr. Emma Birikorang, Acting Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at KAIPTC, moderated an expert roundtable addressing structural and persistent issues that inhibit adaptation to new circumstances and challenges.

The roundtable focused on making peacekeeping more nimble and adaptive, enhancing adaptation through evidence-based decision-making.

Co-sponsored by Ghana, India, Norway, and Switzerland, along with various peace operations networks and institutions such as the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON), the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GSCP), the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC), the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), the United Service Institution of India (USI) and the UN Department of Peace Operations, the seminar underscored the collaborative effort needed to enhance peacekeeping effectiveness.

Aside their participation in the high-level seminar, Major General Gyane and Dr. Birikorang made strategic courtesy calls on major peacekeeping stakeholders in New York to foster new collaborations and strengthen existing partnerships.