Building on the 2030 Agenda, two critical “twin” resolutions on sustaining peace call for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to enhancing the skills and capacities of UN personnel and society at large. The goal is not only to address the root causes of conflict but also to prevent violence.
In 2019, to help deliver on the twin resolutions, UNSSC offered learning programmes designed to enable UN personnel and partners to:
1. Contribute to sustaining peace objectives;
2. Operate in complex environments
Enabling UN personnel and partners to contribute to sustaining peace objectives
Advancing knowledge of core principles and practice
In 2019, UNSSC, in collaboration with the Centre for International Peace Operations, brought together Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary-General. The objectives were to: examine the implications of UN Reform on peacekeeping operations; explore current practice in peace operations in moving from early warning to early action; and foster women’s participation in peace processes.
UNSSC provided a thorough grounding in the concept of sustaining peace and its practical application. In partnership with the Peacebuilding Support Office, UNSSC offerings ensured a solid foundation in the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. By connecting learners to expertise, UNSSC enhanced knowledge of:
- the United Nations’ commitment to preventing and resolving armed conﬂicts;
- supporting the shift from “silo-driven” responses to new and innovative ways of achieving collective and cumulative impact;
- whole-of-system preventive solutions to apply to all development and humanitarian action;
- inclusive peacebuilding approaches across the life cycle of conflict, taking forward the Secretary-General’s priority on prevention.
Building analytical capacity
UN personnel need to understand the complexity of the current global landscape and the changing nature of conflict and violence. Building analytical skills and ensuring integrated approaches are core to UNSSC’s numerous offerings, which include: conflict analysis; analysing and understanding non-state armed groups; applying the human security approach to the humanitarian-development-peace nexus; and working at the crossover between human rights and conflict transformation.
Applying a comprehensive approach throughout the design and delivery of the trainings enabled UNSSC to support the Secretary-General’s reform of the peace and security pillar by disseminating ideas and methodologies across practitioners working in the secretariat, agencies, funds and programmes. This approach also helped to break organizational silos and pave the way for broader synergies.
Human Security Workshop in Makurdi, Nigeria
“The course I took has helped to change mindsets and reorient stakeholders with the knowledge of the real causes of the conflict (competition for scarce resources) and the real victims of the conflict (farmers and herdsmen), with the understanding that the solution lies in putting the people first, using tools such as mediation and dialogue, and not in weaponry and force by security officials.
The knowledge I gained has been transferred consistently at subsequent trainings, meetings and engagements with the Herdsmen–Farmer Peace Forum. The project has impacted the State Government, other stakeholders and beneficiaries, including women and youth, who realize that the true causes of the conflict between farmers and herders is the competition for the scarce land resources and climate change.”
Focusing on partnerships for prevention
In 2019, the United Nations commenced a major reform of the UN development system (in addition to its peace and security architecture) in order to improve the system’s collective focus on prevention. The newly formed UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) has highlighted prevention among its leading priorities in supporting empowered Resident Coordinators and a new generation of UN country teams.
To advance knowledge and practice in this area, UNSSC partnered with the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel and the Economic Community of West African States to build women’s capacities for conflict analysis and prevention in the region. UNSSC and partners enabled selected grassroots groups of women and youth to transfer their newly acquired knowledge and skills to their communities and promote local prevention initiatives.
Acting Locally: Citizen Participation for Resilient Institutions
“The content was very rich and the various themes very useful for the work I do every day: How can we improve the services the state provides to the public? How can women effectively contribute to decision-making in all sectors of activity? How do I seek funding for community projects and how can we track these projects to achieve the expected results?...Through this training I have contributed to the achievement of the goals my institution has set for itself...This training has changed the way I work and collaborate with my colleagues.”
Applying decentralization expertise to peacebuilding
Decentralization and local governance provisions need to be increasingly prominent in peace agreements and national post-conflict peacebuilding agendas. To provide a strong underpinning in decentralization and its connection with peacebuilding, UNSSC offerings advanced the dialogue on how decentralization can contribute to peacebuilding, how to identify the elements of local governance that are most relevant in a post-conflict and peacebuilding context, and how to strengthen women’s participation at the local level in order to foster peace and development.
Building capacity of UN personnel to operate in complex environments
Enhancing security in volatile environments
Implementing the sustaining peace resolutions in complex environments requires specialized operational knowledge. In partnership with the Department of Safety and Security, UNSSC delivered a combination of knowledge offerings that enhanced security awareness skills for handling a range of security incidents through Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments. The learning was maximized through train-the-trainer programmes for UN security personnel and affiliated organizations, which enabled UN personnel and partners to be swiftly deployed to volatile and dangerous areas.
Advancing road safety
Targets under the Sustainable Development Goals commit countries to halving the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2030; and to providing access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems as well as improve road safety for all. UNSSC road safety offerings received international accreditation from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Offerings included:
- the use of proven frameworks for analysing road safety risks;
- the application of best practices and evidence-based approaches to effectively develop and manage road safety actions;
- training of trainers in the safe, efficient and effective operation of light vehicles in a variety of contexts and risk environments.
Training of Trainers, Advanced Safe Driver Training
"Since the completion and successful implementation of the Advanced Safe Driver Training, the Office of Staff Security - IOM Mission in the Republic of Turkey, has recorded only one traffic collision involving an IOM vehicle, with no consequences for UN staff members and with minor damage to the vehicle.
During the training, thanks to the respectful UNSSC instructors, I discovered a wide range of unexplored areas and the obligation of continuous research, testing, and application of new knowledge, techniques, and procedures for the use of vehicles, official or private. Now the obligation in research, and particularly implementation, is for me to pass the knowledge on to esteemed course participants."