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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09PHNOMPENH467 2009-07-09 08:25:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Phnom Penh
Cable title:  

Enhancing Regional Cooperation to Support UNPKO

Tags:   PGOV PREL MASS MOPS CB 
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R 090825Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0913
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
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RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0172
RUCGEVC/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2394
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PHNOM PENH 000467 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MASS MOPS CB
SUBJECT: Enhancing Regional Cooperation to Support UNPKO

REF: PHNOM PENH 275

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED



1. (SBU) Summary: Peacekeeping experts representing Asia Regional
Forum participating countries recently gathered together to discuss
enhancing regional capacity to participate in UN peacekeeping
operations. Cambodia's co-hosting of the event highlights its
expanding role in international peacekeeping operations, as Cambodia
prepares to deploy troops to support the new United Nations
peacekeeping missions in Chad and the Central African Republic. End
Summary.



2. (SBU) The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) co-hosted with Japan
the third annual Asia Regional Forum (ARF) Peacekeeping Experts'
Meeting in Siem Reap June 24-26. Participants included
representatives from most of the ARF member countries, who were
eager to share experiences and best practices, and discussed how
improved regional cooperation could better support the UN
peacekeeping operations (PKO) missions and mandates.

Current Challenges


--------------------------





3. (SBU) Participants acknowledged the current challenges facing
UNPKO missions, particularly given the growing demand for PKO
missions with increasingly complex and multidimensional mandates,
which are complicated by limited human and financial resources.
Keynote speaker Ms. Sunaina Lowe, Coordination Officer for the
Policy, Evaluation, and Training Division, UN Department of
Peacekeeping Operations' (UNDPKO), described an "overstretch"
situation resulting in part from eight new and expanded missions in
the last five years, an ad hoc system with rigid and inflexible
rules, and varied sources of resources (personnel and equipment)
which create challenges to interoperability and sustainability.
Questions raised by participants concerning the relationship between
PKO, peace building, and special political missions -- and in
particular their distinctions -- illustrate the broader scope and
increasingly complex range of tasks that PKOs are asked to
undertake.



4. (SBU) Achieving rapid deployment of forces was of particular
concern to the peacekeeping experts, who noted that fast and
effective deployment and a strategic reserve is fundamental to the
credibility of UN PKO missions. Ms Lowe dismissed the suggestion
for the creation of specific UN peacekeeping forces as "not
politically feasible." She explained that the UN Standby
Arrangement System (UNSAS) was intended to facilitate a rapid
response to crisis, but conceded that in practice this is not
possible. She noted that it is difficult for contributing countries
to commit to a mission without knowing where their troops will be
deployed, and some countries have not lived up to their commitments
or have requested payment for their standby forces which are kept in
reserve.

Regional Cooperation is Part of Solution


--------------------------





5. (SBU) Participants agreed that greater regional cooperation is
one method to help address the current challenges of increasingly
complex and varied mandates for peacekeeping missions. Several
experts shared their country's PKO experiences and their best
practices for successful deployments. Many of the countries
represented have their own peacekeeping training centers. Indonesia
in particular shared their plans to transform their national
peacekeeping center into a regional center and highlighted their
hosting of the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) Capstone
Garuda Shield exercise this year. [Note: Cambodia will host the
GPOI Capstone Exercise (Angkor Sentinel) in July 2010. End Note.]




6. (SBU) Robert Sweeney, USPACOM GPOI Program Manager, provided an
overview of GPOI and its objective to build the capacity of
contributing countries to provide training and GPOI support for the
annual Capstone exercises, the largest multilateral peacekeeping
exercise in the region. He emphasized the role that ARF can play by
linking national peacekeeping programs within the region to create
better interoperability and increase the speed of deployments (he
noted that it generally takes six months to transform a military
unit into a peacekeeping unit).



7. (SBU) The International Association of Peacekeeping Training
Centers (IAPTC) was highlighted as another mechanism which could
help to foster improved regional cooperation. Group Captain Keith
Brackenbury, Director of the Australian Peacekeeping Center,
explained that the IAPTC serves as a forum for exchanging

PHNOM PENH 00000467 002 OF 002


experience, developing training standards and requirements,
networking, and promoting better understanding of peacekeeping, its
goals, objectives, and methods for training. There are currently
region chapters for Europe, Africa, and Americas, but he noted that
an Asia-Pacific grouping is still lacking. He encouraged the
continued strong involvement by Asia-Pacific countries and urged
participants to attend the next annual conference which will be held
in Sydney later in 2009.

Cambodia's Expanding PKO


--------------------------





8. (U) Cambodia's co-hosting the conference highlights the Royal
Government of Cambodia's (RGC) contributions to UNPKO. Since 2006,
approximately 400 Cambodian deminers have served as part of the
United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan. At the ARF PKO
conference, Prak Sakhonn, President of the National Coordination
Committee for Sending Troops to UNPKO, announced that the Cambodian
contingent to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Chad and
the Central African Republic (MINURCAT) would now be a Movement
Control Platoon only, and is scheduled to deploy in January 2010.
(Note: Originally, the RGC planned to deploy two units in support
of MINURCAT: a 125-person Military Police Company and a 40-person
Movement Control Platoon for two six-month rotations. End Note.)



9. (SBU) Discussions with UNDPKO at the conference noted a lack of
French speakers within the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Since
MINURCAT is a Francophone mission, RGC can only field a Movement
Control Platoon with the number of French speakers assigned to their
PKO Center. The new deployment date, pushed back from the original
July timeframe, now allows GPOI to form a pre-deployment training
team to more adequately prepare the unit for this role. (Comment:
The RGC likely has a sufficient number of French speakers throughout
the armed forces to fulfill the key leader billets for both a
Military Police Company and a Movement Control Platoon, though this
would require a level of cooperation and coordination between
various elements of the armed forces that currently does not exist.
End comment.)

RODLEY