Malaysia: UN peacekeepers to get new skills

05 Nov 2010

"Malaysia began its first UN peacekeeping
mission to the Republic of Congo in 1960"
(Photo: UN)

Kuala Lumpur – The Government of Malaysia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a joint effort to equip African and Asian UN peacekeepers with new skills to protect those most vulnerable in conflicts around the world.

The UNDP-Malaysian government programme to be carried out at the Port Dickson Peacekeeping Training Centre, about 90kms south of the Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, will focus on how to ensure stronger protection for women and children, and increase coordination  with other peacekeeping agencies.

“The focus of the project on sexual and gender-based violence as well as civil-military coordination highlights the project’s potential uniqueness and strategic importance in addressing the complex nature of today’s peacekeeping missions,” said Dr. Ajay Chhibber, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.

The training course, ‘Capacity Building Support for Malaysia’s Role in Multidimensional Peacekeeping Training’, is funded by US$1 million from the Government of Japan and expands the Port Dickson centre’s role from national level to sharing expertise with other countries contributing to UN peacekeeping operations.

Among top contributors of uniformed personnel to peacekeeping operations were Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal and South Africa. Approximately 124,000 personnel on 16 operations worldwide represent a nine-fold increase in UN peacekeepers since 1999.

Malaysia began its first UN peacekeeping mission to the Republic of Congo in 1960. Since then, more than 28,000 Malaysian military and police personnel have participated in UN peacekeeping operations in over 20 countries.

The move to a new training course reflects changes during recent years in the scope of international peacekeeping operations, evolving from maintenance of ceasefires to implementation of peace agreements and laying the foundation for long-lasting peace.