Between November 27 and December 1, Brazil will host the 15th General Assembly of the Latin American Association of Peace Operations Training Centers (Alcopaz) in Salvador, Bahia, with the participation of representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, France, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. The main theme for the debates will be increasing the participation and improving the training of women in UN Peace Operations.
The event demonstrates Brazil’s commitment to UN actions and programs aimed at peace operations. Brazil currently has 84 military and police personnel deployed in ten UN missions, as well as 11 officers at the organization’s headquarters in New York. This commitment is also evidenced by the two National Training Centers for Peace Operations, which, supported by the Ministry of Defense (MD), play an important role in training Brazilian personnel and those of friendly nations.
In relation to the main theme of the debates, it is important to note that Brazil has exceeded the target set by the UN, with more than 20% of the deployed personnel made up of women, who have been recognized for their performance, as was the case with Frigate Captain Marcia Braga and Sea and War Captain Carla Araújo, who were awarded the “Military Defender of Gender Equality” prize.
Also related to increasing the participation of women in peacekeeping operations, we highlight the International Peace Operations Course for Women, held by the Brazilian Navy’s Naval Peace Operations Center. This year, the course concluded its tenth edition, with more than 400 women from 18 countries, as well as Brazil, having graduated.
Also this year, under the Brazilian presidency, Alcopaz’s full members joined forces to create the Regional Course on Environmental Management in Peace Operations, with the Brazilian Army’s Joint Peace Operations Center (Copab) as the coordinator of this project, which also led the work of the Association’s Executive Secretariat. The course was developed for distance learning and in its first edition trained 19 students from different countries in the region. The conclusion of this first course will enable the necessary adjustments to be made so that the course can be offered to the UN and other countries committed to preparing personnel for peace operations.
During the assembly, representatives of the UN, non-governmental organizations and the Armed and Security Forces will present their points of view and share experiences on the importance of women in increasing the operational capabilities of troops engaged in peace operations, bearing in mind the words of Brazilian Bertha Lutz, “there will never be peace in the world until women help to create it”.
Alcopaz – An association made up of related governmental and non-governmental institutions, representing different states, dedicated to exchanging experiences in civilian, military and police training activities for peace operations, promoting the standardization of procedures, teaching and training techniques, in line with United Nations policies and guidelines. Founded in Argentina in December 2007, Alcopaz includes as full members the Peace Operations Training Centers of 12 Latin American countries, which are provisionally given the presidency of the association.
By Ascom – Photo: Moisés Machado