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Wednesday 9 May 2012
Senior Course 120 Field Study II: Visit to New York
NDC Senior Course 120 (SC 120) ended the North American leg of its Transatlantic Field Study on May 7th in New York City, where the day’s activities included a valuable session of informative dialogue with representatives of the United Nations (UN). Because of ongoing renovations at the UN building, the group was kindly hosted by the German House and welcomed by Colonel Peter HAERLE, Germany’s Military Representative to the UN.
Colonel Paul VAN DER HEIJDEN, NATO’s Military Liaison Officer to the UN, began the session with briefings on UN-NATO relations and an overview of the 17 UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO). The session laid down an excellent foundation for the day’s discussions, focusing on the role of the UN in such operations and the changes to be introduced later this year. Ms. Eirini LEMOS-MANIATI, NATO’s Civilian Liaison Officer to the UN, provided an important complementary perspective by highlighting the various milestones in UN-NATO cooperation, including the 2008 Joint Declaration.
The next speaker was Mr Ian SINCLAIR, Chief of the UN Peacekeeping Situation Centre, who described the setting up of the PKO in South Sudan (UNMISS). All the various steps in the process were examined, from the establishment of the UN mandate to the challenges involved in its implementation on the ground.
Course Members were then briefed by Colonel James CUNLIFFE, Special Assistant to the Office of Military Affairs (OMA) in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). Col. CUNLIFFE spoke about the organization and functions of the OMA, current UN approaches to PKO (focusing in particular on the principle of R2P, the Responsibility to Protect civilians), and the challenges of generating operational forces and core military capabilities. After this Lieutenant-General Babacar GAYE, Military Adviser to the UN Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, entertained questions from Course Members in a discussion which was among the highlights of the visit.
The last part of the morning session was a panel discussion with Advisers from the five Permanent UN Security Council Members (P-5): Senior Colonel CHUNLU Jing (China); Brigadier General Jean-Luc FRIEDLING (France); Federation Commander Pavel KOLMAKOV (Russia); Colonel Mike REDMOND (UK); and Colonel Dan MOY (USA). After short self-introductions, each representative briefly explained major features of his nation’s position on current UN matters. The panel fielded questions from Course Members on a wide range of issues, from the use of force in protecting civilians to the general challenges involved in P-5 consensus.
The schedule for the NDC delegation now takes the group to Brussels, for the European leg of the Transatlantic Field Study.