1. At the Third Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF III) in Jakarta on 23 July 1996, Ministers extended the mandate of the Inter-sessional Meeting on Peacekeeping Operations (the ISM on PKO) to coordinate the implementation of the specific recommendations adopted by this ISM.
2. Malaysia and Canada as Co-Chairmen of the ARF ISM on PKO are pleased to apprise the ARF Senior Officials Meeting of the progress in the implementation of specific recommendations adopted by the Third ARF Meeting in Jakarta.
Inter-sessional Activities on Peacekeeping Operations
3. The following two key recommendations were implemented:
Malaysia and Australia co-sponsored the "Train the Trainers" Workshop in Kuala Lumpur from 10-14 March, 1997. The Summary Report of the Workshop is attached as Annex I.
New Zealand hosted a Technical Demining Seminar for Peacekeepers in Palmerston North, Auckland from 7-11 April, 1997. The Summary Report of the Seminar is attached as Annex II.
Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel
4. 7 ARF member countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Russian Federation United States of America) and most of the EU are signatories to the Convention. As of 9 May 1997, 11 countries, including 2 ARF member countries (Singapore and Japan), had become Parties to the Convention. 22 ratifications are required for the Convention to enter into force. Several AFF member countries have indicated that they are undertaking the necessary national procedures to become Parties to the Convention.
Training for Peace Support Operations
5. The 1996 ARF ISM on PKO in Kuala Lumpur had recommended greater voluntary sharing of peacekeeping experiences and expertise among ARF participants. The first step in this process is to gather information about the training options available, and identity contact points and mechanisms for the distribution of peacekeeping information.
6. The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO) manages a database which contains information on courses offered by member states. The database is currently available electronically to many Permanent Missions to the UN; hard copies can also be requested from the UNDPKO. The database is maintained and updated whenever new information is obtained from Member States. A list of contacts is also maintained to allow the UNDPKO to inform the appropriate agency or Organisation in a Member State regarding peacekeeping issues and peacekeeping publications.
7. Information about Peacekeeping Training Institutions in Asia Pacific is contained in the survey conducted by ISIS-Malaysia, following the ARF Track Two seminar organised by ISIS-Malaysia and Canada hosted by Brunei in March 1995. Submissions were received from Australia, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and United States.
8. The International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (IAPTC) was created in July 1995. The IAPTC is an open and voluntary association of various centres, institutions, programmes and individuals which deals with peacekeeping and peacekeeping research, education and training. The Lester B. Pearson Canadian International Peacekeeping Training Centre is the secretariat for the IAPTC. The third annual meeting of the IAPTC, held in Malta in April 1997, considered the theme of "The Role of Regional and Sub-Regional Organisations in International Peacekeeping". Through its electronic network, the IAPTC also maintains a current mailing list. ARF members are welcome to add their contact points to this list. The IAPTC also regularly publishes a newsletter containing contributions from its readers. Further information about the association, its members and activities is available from the Pearson International Peacekeeping Training Centre, and on the Internet at: www.cdnpeacekeeping.ns.ca/iaptc.htm
Personnel serving with United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations
9. The last meeting also encouraged ARF member countries to support the peacekeeping capacity of the UN through loan of military and civilian Personnel and through bilateral arrangements. Currently, 9 ARF member countries, namely, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Singapore and United States of America have a total of 35 personnel serving with UNDPKO on Government Loan. In addition, there are 3 personnel from Canada, Malaysia, and Russian Federation on the Permanent Secretariat staff of the UNDKPO.
10. A progress report on the Standby Arrangements for Peacekeeping was issued by the United Nations Secretary General on 24 December, 1996, as document S/1996/1067. The report indicates that globally, 62 UN Member States had confirmed their willingness to participate and 41 had provided information on specific capabilities for inclusion in the database. At that time, 10 ARF member countries (Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United States, and most of the countries belonging to the EU participated in the UN Standby Arrangements system. In addition, Singapore, since January 1997, had also subscribed to the UN Standby Arrangements.
11. In their recommendation about ARF PKO ISM activities, and in consultations with the Co-Chairmen, ARF members have indicated that they are in favour of pursing further cooperation in the field of peacekeeping operations. In the view of the Co-Chairmen, the momentum is sufficiently strong for this peacekeeping cooperation to continue among interested ARF countries without the requirement for a formal extension of the ISM on PKO.