From October 25 – November 1, nineteen young scholars and UN officers, joined by researchers from the host institution, gathered at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) for the ACUNS-ASIL Workshop on International Organisation Studies (WIOS). Over the course of six days, the workshop participants had the opportunity to gain scholarly and practice-based knowledge and applied skills in the analysis of a range of topics related to the evolution of United Nations Peace Operations. Paper topics included, “The role of domestic institutional factors in the outcome of peacekeeping missions”; “Blue Helmets: Rationale and Significance in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India”; and “Gender training in UN peacekeeping”.
The core content of the workshop consisted of the research presentations by each of the selected participants, but also featured four special panels arranged by NUPI: “The Peace Operations, Peacebuilding Architecture and 1325 Reviews: Implications for Peace and Security reforms”; “Protection of Civilians and Use of Force in UN Peacekeeping”; “A Norwegian Perspective on UN Peacekeeping”; and “UN Future Challenges.” The speakers for these panels came from a diverse background, and all were experts in their field – including one member of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, and several senior Norwegian government representatives. Complementing the workshop’s learning objectives, the panelists were both academics and practitioners. Such panels and presentations foster valuable interdisciplinary conversations.
First and foremost, the WIOS is an educational experience that benefits young practitioners and scholars at the beginning of their careers. It also offers invaluable networking opportunities, with the chance to meet and get to know like-minded individuals from around the world. Evening dinners were a great way for participants to interact socially. As the photos attest, the experience was both educational and enjoyable.
As participant and new ACUNS member Avery Hancock summarized her experience, “It was really an invaluable week of discussion, getting to know people and thinking of the ‘bigger picture’ which we don’t get the chance to do often enough as practitioners!”
Participants in the 2015 Workshop
- Eva Annette, Legal Officer, Legal Affairs, MINUSMA
- Festus Kofi Aubyn, Senior Researcher, Lecturer and a Facilitator at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Accra, Ghana
- Christiana Badoo, Gender mainstreaming in WASH Consultant, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Ghana.
- Fernando Cantu-Bazaldua, Economics Affairs Officer, UN-ESCWA (Beirut, Lebanon)
- Geetanjali Chopra, Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, India
- Theodor Christensen, Associate Expert RoL & HR, EOSG
- Avery Hancock, Occupational Group Manager, Department of Field Support, UNHQ
- Seyed Ali Hosseini, Assistant Professor, Law Faculty of Kateb University, Kabul
- John-Mark Iyi, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, South African Research Chair in International Law, University of Johannesburg, South Africa and a Fellow at the Centre for Maritime Law and Security in Africa, Accra, Ghana
- Abigail Kabandula, PhD Candidate, Global Governance and Human Security at John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies
- Raphael Marreto, A on Peace and Conflict Studies, Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala, Sweden
- Kiyoshi Matsukawa, Political Affairs Officer, Department of Political Affairs
- Vera Mironova, Pre-doctoral Research Fellow, Belfer Center’s International Security Program and Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at University of Maryland, USA
- Shinichi Mizuta, Information Analyst, UNSOM
- Leila Nicolas, Professor, International Affairs, Lebanese University in Beirut
- Laura Pelzmann, Master’s Candidate, International Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
- Sushil Raj, Human Rights Officer, OHCHR
- Stina Reksten, Political Affairs Officer, UNIOGBIS, Guinea-Bissau
- Stephane Wohlfahrt, Senior legal officer, Office of Legal Affairs, Office of the Legal Counsel, UNHQ
Interested in participating in a future workshop?
To find out more about next year’s WIOS, which will be held in October 2016 at Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India, please visit the 2016 WIOS page.