Note No. 5988
19 January 2006

Note to Correspondents

Swedish Foreign Minister to Present Secretary-General with Major Peacekeeping Report at Headquarters 19 January

NEW YORK, 18 January (UN Headquarters) -- On 19 January, Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds of Sweden will present Secretary-General Kofi Annan with a major report on peace operations resulting from an eight-year study compiled by 14 countries and partner organizations known collectively as the "Challenges Project".

The report, entitled Meeting the Challenges of Peace Operations: Cooperation and Coordination, analyses some of the difficulties encountered in contemporary peace operations, and offers recommendations for action by governments, international and regional organizations, training centres and all involved in peace operations.

"We all need to do better if we are to make best use of scarce resources in meeting the difficult challenges of modern peace operations in the twenty-first century," says the Swedish Foreign Minister. "In the report, we give practical recommendations on cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, on improving training and education for peace operations, and on the need for strengthening rule of law in post-conflict areas."

Foreign Minister Freivalds will brief the press at 10 a.m. in room 226, and following that, will lead an expert-level discussion on the report's findings in the Trusteeship Council, along with veteran former peacekeeper Lieutenant General Satish Nambiar of India, and Ambassador Aminu Bashi Wali, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations of Nigeria, both countries major troop contributors to United Nations missions.

"Multinational and multidisciplinary peace operations cannot be successful without the wholehearted support of Member States," says Foreign Minister Freivalds. "But, in providing that, support governments have a right to expect that efficient and effective use will be made of their valuable resources. Achieving those ends demands much improved cooperation and coordination in many ways and at all levels, and it is in those interests that the Challenges Project Report is presented."

In the past five years, there have been significant increases in the demand for peacekeeping by the United Nations.  There are now over 70,000 uniformed and some 15,000 civilian personnel in the field.  In addition to new and complex peace operations in Africa and Haiti, the United Nations has been called upon to provide support in Afghanistan, Iraq and other peace missions around the world, as well as for the African Union mission in Darfur.

Against this background, the report examines such issues as: what are the optimal arrangements and relationships between the United Nations and regional organizations in peace operations? What kind of capacity-building requirements emanate from this?  How can the United Nations ensure that the success of peace operations is not undermined by insufficient attention to key rule of law issues?  How can the effectiveness of peace operations be improved through better education and training of peacekeepers -- civilian, police and military?

For more information on the Challenges Project, contact Joakim Vaverka, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations,

For more information on United Nations peacekeeping, contact Nick Birnback, , 1 917 367 5044 or Susan Manuel, , 1 212 963 1262.

The full text of the concluding report will be available on 19 January, on the Challenges Project website: .

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