Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI): Program History

Date: 2011 Description: Ghanaian Peacekeeping Troops receive GPOI-funded training in preparation for an UNMIL (Liberia) deployment. - State Dept Image
Ghanaian Peacekeeping Troops receive GPOI-funded training in preparation for an UNMIL (Liberia) deployment
Date: 2011 Description: Aerial view of the Center of Excellence for Stability Peace Units (COESPU) in Vicenza, Italy. - State Dept Image
Aerial view of the Center of Excellence for Stability Peace Units (COESPU) in Vicenza, Italy

The 1990s were characterized by a rapid rise in the number and complexity of peace operations, driving a dramatic increase in demand for well-trained and equipped peacekeepers. As part of a larger group of actions designed to respond to these growing requirements, the U.S. Government established the Africa Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) and the Enhanced International Peacekeeping Capabilities (EIPC) program. In 2004, ACRI transitioned into a new program called the Africa Contingency Operations and Training Assistance (ACOTA) program.

  • ACRI/ACOTA: Prior to the establishment of the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), the United States trained approximately 16,000 troops from ten African countries through the ACRI/ACOTA program. ACOTA became a part of GPOI in FY 2005; it now has 25 African partner countries. With its established record of success, the ACOTA program—managed by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of African Affairs—continues as a centerpiece of the GPOI program.

  • EIPC: The EIPC program was established in fiscal year 1998 to support classroom and train-the-trainer instruction for partner country militaries across the globe. Partner countries included: Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, Ghana, Hungary, India, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Uruguay. The EIPC program no longer exists as a separate program as its goals of institutionalization of peacekeeping skills were subsumed under GPOI.

In August 2000, the United Nations released the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (also known as the Brahimi Report), which catalogued serious shortfalls in the execution of United Nations peace operations. The Brahimi Report, in addition to a range of related reports and studies produced during this timeframe, catalyzed broad thinking on how to address gaps in peace operations capabilities and spurred international action. The G8 began to focus greater attention on issues related to peacekeeping and conflict management at the 2002 (Kananaskis, Canada) and 2003 (Evian, France) summits. At the 2004 G8 Sea Island Summit, G8 leaders committed to a broad Action Plan for Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations, which included the following goals:

  • Train and equip 75,000 peacekeepers worldwide by 2010 with a focus on Africa;
  • Create a G8 Africa Clearinghouse to exchange information and coordinate peace operations capacity building activities and related assistance;
  • Develop a transportation and logistics support arrangement to facilitate the deployment and sustainment of troops to peace operations; and
  • Support the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (COESPU), an international training center for stability/formed police unit trainers located in Vicenza, Italy.

GPOI was launched as the U.S. contribution to meeting the commitments outlined in the G8 Action Plan. With a budget totaling $767 million for fiscal years 2005-2012, the establishment of GPOI has significantly increased the level of attention and resources the U.S. Government dedicates to global peace operations capacity building efforts.