heads of UN peace operations (click to enlarge the photo)Coming from Iraq, Côte d’Ivoire, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Liberia, to the Middle East, Central Asia, East Timor and Haiti, the heads of the United Nations Peace Operations around the world gathered in Switzerland 10 to 12 February 2011 for the annual Seminar for Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys of the Secretary-General organized by UNITAR in association with the UN System Staff College. The seminar provides a unique opportunity for Heads of Mission and Headquarters officials to exchange knowledge and experience to enhance UN practice in peace operations around the world.

The forty-nine officials participating in the Seminar included the majority of the full-time Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys of the Secretary-General from around the world and senior staff in United Nations Departments, Offices and Programmes  responsible for the prevention and resolution of conflict, humanitarian affairs, development, refugees and human rights. The Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, H.E. Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, and the Southern African Development Community Mediator for the Situation in Madagascar, former President Joaquim Chissano, also took part and addressed the gathering on regional and sub-regional efforts in peacemaking and peacekeeping in Africa.
The UN Secretary-General engaged in a dialogue session with his representatives by video conference during the meeting. In his communication, the Secretary-General stressed the importance of “prevention, preparedness, proactiveness and persistence.” He noted the increasing attention and understanding of the need to prevent violent conflict and the importance of proactively meeting challenges arising in crucial peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts. The Seminar was followed by Departmental Heads of Mission conferences to delve further into the issues raised in the Seminar and related internal priority areas.
Please visit the Programme in Peacemaking and Conflict Prevention page to learn more about the programme.