United Nations peacekeeping missions are far more complicated today than when the peacekeepers’ job consisted primarily of keeping the warring parties apart.
Today's multidimensional peacekeeping operations are called upon not only to maintain peace and security, but also to facilitate the political process, protect civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants; support the organization of elections; protect and promote human rights; and assist in restoring the rule of law.
It is also dangerous work. According to the United Nations, last year, 56 of their peacekeepers died as a result of violence.
So it makes sense to prepare peacekeepers, prior to deployment, for the kinds of challenges they will face in real-world peacekeeping operations.
In late February and early March, over 1000 peacekeepers, from more than 30 countries, took part in Shanti Doot 4. Shanti Doot, which means Ambassador of Peace, is a multinational United Nations peacekeeping exercise designed to familiarize the participants with situations they may encounter during deployment on peacekeeping operations. The exercise took place at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training, with support from the Global Peace Operations Initiative, a peacekeeping capacity-building program managed by the U.S. Department of State in partnership with the Department of Defense.
The training participants at Shanti Doot 4 had the opportunity to learn from numerous international instructors with extensive real-world peacekeeping experience. The multinational exercises and training sessions provided the opportunity for an exchange of knowledge, skills, and techniques between subject matter experts and international instructors, for the benefit of all involved.
“U.S. Pacific Command and the United States State Department Global Peace Operations Initiative are pleased, indeed honored, to partner with our friends in Bangladesh, in support of the training of multinational military forces to conduct real-world United Nations peacekeeping operations,” said U.S. Airforce Major General James O. Eifert. “Exercise Shanti Doot 4 is one way we continue to enrich the relationship, while simultaneously strengthening multinational partnerships around the world.”