November 2014, Lusaka, Zambia - From 3 to 7 November 2014, UNITAR is contributing to the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) Training Programme in Lusaka, Zambia. The Zambian battalion will integrate the UN peacekeeping operation MINUSCA to help restoring peace in the Central African Republic. MINUSCA’s Chapter VII mandate includes the protection of civilians, support to the transitional authorities, facilitating delivery of humanitarian assistance, the protection of human rights and DDR operations.
In preparing itself to contribute a battalion to MINUSCA, Zambia through the UNITAR-ACOTA training programme aims to enhance its capacity and to acquire skills to align the troops’ knowledge and attitudes with United Nations norms and requirements.
Over the week UNITAR is delivering a UN pre-deployment module designed to provide essential knowledge required by military personnel in order to function effectively in a UN peace operation. The objective is to facilitate a shared understanding of the basic principles, guidelines, and policies which guide UN peace operations in implementing mandates in respect of specific countries targeted.
Within the framework of the ACOTA Training Program, UNITAR in its intervention addresses issues at the strategic operational and tactical levels with about 35 staff officers and over 700 troops familiarizing them with key elements of mission management structures as well as command and control within UN peace operations. The training clarifies matters such as the mission’s mandate, the centrality of human rights protection and the standards and values of UN peacekeepers.
The training is delivered in close collaboration with ACOTA and under the overall coordination of the ACOTA country Manager. This joint action is part of a long term collaborative strategy for enhancing African Troops Contributing Countries’ capacities in participating in UN peace operations deployed in conflict-affected countries.
Photo credit: UN Photo/Stuart Price, UN Photo/Albert González Farran, UN Photo/Stuart Price