International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 14th Annual Conference

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This annual conference, jointly organised by the United Nations Association – UK, UNA-Westminster and RUSI, is the UK’s most authoritative public review of UN peacekeeping activities. It brings together practitioners, diplomats, military and the public in an expert discussion of the most important issues in peacekeeping today. 

Sustaining Momentum: What Next for UN Peace Operations?

With the UK having announced that it will host the next UN summit on peacekeeping this year, the time is right to examine the content of peace-operations reform, its political and bureaucratic prospects, and the role the UK can play in driving the process forward.

Renewed momentum on peace operations has been prompted in response to the substantial challenges faced by the international community in containing and preventing relapse into conflict. Last year marked the United Nation’s seventieth anniversary and saw a number of important UN reviews to strengthen peace operations, improve peacebuilding capacity and tighten the organisation's approach to women, peace and security – with Resolution 1325 itself passing its fifteenth anniversary. And a US-led effort culminated in the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping at which member states pledged over 40,000 additional personnel to peace operations worldwide.

The agenda is now squarely focused on implementing the promises of the reviews and the summit. It is up to the Secretariat and member states to implement the suggested reforms and navigate the political obstacles. Differing visions for peace operations in the twenty-first century must be reconciled. Changes to the systems and structures for mounting and sustaining peace operations must be balanced with a consideration of what political momentum might actually make possible – particularly as the UN looks towards potential future operations in complex security environments.

We encourage attendees to participate in a discussion over Twitter as the conference takes place – join the global debate on #PKday2016

Conference Sessions

09:30 Conference welcome

Session 1: Conflict prevention and the primacy of politics

  • Lord Hannay of Chiswick (Chair, UN All-Party Parliamentary Group)
  • Dr Christine Cheng (Lecturer in International Relations, Department of War Studies, King's College London)
  • Chair: Dr Karin von Hippel (Director-General, RUSI)

Session 2: Keynote presentation

  • Jean-Marie Guehenno (President and CEO, International Crisis Group)
  • Chair: Sir Jeremy Greenstock (Chairman, UNA-UK)

Wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph


Session 3: Do lessons learned become lessons acted on?

  • Melinda Simmons (Head, Conflict Department, FCO)
  • Victoria K Holt (Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, US Department of State)
  • Lt Gen (Rtd) Philip Campose (Former Vice Chief of the Indian Army)
  • Chair: TBC

Session 4: The future operating environment for peacekeeping

  • Matthew Moore (Head of Future UAS Capability, Thales)
  • Dr Annette Idler (Director of Studies, Changing Character of War Programme, Pembroke College, Oxford University
  • Dr Andrew Glazzard (Director of National Security and Resilience studies, RUSI)
  • Chair: Kevin Steeves (Head of Director's Office, Chatham House)

17:30 Conference Closes

Cenotaph Memorial

Members of the diplomatic community and other organisations will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph at 1300 in remembrance of those from the 122 participating nations who have been killed whilst serving as UN peacekeepers.


The conference fee of £15, with a special rate of £6 for students, includes related documents, morning refreshments and lunch.

To attend this event, please register online using the 'Register now' button above. If you have any queries please contact Andrea Long, at or call +44 (0)20 7747 2600.

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