Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI)
The Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) is a U.S. Government-funded security assistance program working to meet the growing global demand for specially trained personnel to conduct international peace operations by building the capabilities of U.S. partner countries to train and sustain peacekeepers; increasing the number of capable military troops and formed police units available for deployment; and facilitating the preparation, logistical support, and deployment of peacekeepers. GPOI promotes international peace and security, saving lives while reducing the burden on U.S. military forces, and helping set the stage for post-conflict recovery around the world.
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.
GPOI is managed by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, which works in close coordination with the Department of State regional bureaus, as well as the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, Regional Combatant Commands, and other DoD organizations, to develop regional program plans and implement train and equip activities with partner nations worldwide.
GPOI was launched in 2005 as the U.S. contribution to the G8 Action Plan for Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations, adopted at the 2004 G8 Sea Island Summit.
The primary objective of GPOI in FY 2005-2009 was to train and equip at least 75,000 peacekeepers by 2010. GPOI implementers met and surpassed this target, training nearly 87,000 peacekeepers by September 30, 2009. More than 77,000 of this total were African troops trained through the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program. In GPOI’s current activities, program emphasis has shifted from the direct training of peacekeepers by U.S. personnel to building sustainable, self-sufficient, national training capabilities by partner countries, with the target of facilitating training for an additional 242,500 troops.
GPOI personnel assisted with the development of the U.S. Government’s first ever National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. GPOI plays a crucial role in implementing key aspects of the NAP by promoting the participation of women in peace operations—especially as leaders and decision-makers— and ensuring their protection by peacekeepers. To date, GPOI has trained more than 3,600 female peacekeepers and trains all peacekeepers, male and female, on topics such as the prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, gender issues, human rights, and more.