Armenia has become a partner country in the U.S. Government-funded Global Peace Operations Initiative. Under this initiative, the U.S. expects to provide approximately $1.5 million over two years to support the development of Armenia’s peacekeeping capabilities. The initiative aims to improve the capabilities of partner countries like Armenia to contribute to UN and regional peace operations. This new partnership is a strong signal of the close cooperation between the U.S. and Armenia, and is recognition of Armenia’s commitment to international peace operations such as those in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.
The Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) is a U.S. Government-funded security assistance program intended to enhance international capacity to effectively conduct United Nations and regional peace operations by building partner country capabilities to train and sustain peacekeeping proficiencies; increasing the number of capable military troops and formed police units (FPUs) available for deployment; and facilitating the preparation, logistical support, and deployment of military units and FPUs to peace operations.
GPOI was launched as the U.S. contribution to the broader G8 Action Plan for Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations, adopted at the 2004 G8 Sea Island Summit. Initially proposed as a five-year program (fiscal years 2005-2009); GPOI’s mandate was renewed for a second five-year period (fiscal years 2010-2014). The primary objectives for the program’s first five years (Phase I) included training 75,000 peacekeepers and building regional capacity to conduct peacekeeping operations. In Phase II, program emphasis has shifted from the direct training of peacekeepers to assisting partner country efforts to build sustainable, national peacekeeping training capacity.
GPOI is funded through the Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) account, which is managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
GPOI currently partners with 69 countries and regional organizations. Through these partnerships, GPOI implementers have:
- Facilitated the training of 228,658 foreign military personnel to serve on international peacekeeping missions through both direct training activities (176,047 peacekeepers) and enabling the indigenous training by GPOI partner countries (52,611 peacekeepers);
- Supported 45 national and regional peace operations training centers and three regional headquarters for the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), as well as financial, technical, and staffing support to the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (COESPU), an Italian-led center to facilitate the training of stability/formed police unit trainers.
- Facilitated the deployment of 180,223 personnel from 38 countries to 25 operations around the world. Currently, there are over 116,000 military, police, and civilian personnel from 115 countries serving in 15 UN peacekeeping operations deployed on four continents.