International Fora and Conferences

Providing the right space and suitable formats for debates and exchanges, bringing together the right people and contributing to ongoing conceptual developments is also part of our business. That’s why we are member to numerous international networks and closely cooperate with partners, nationally and internationally. Some are presented in more detail here.


ZIF facilitates EU-UN Partnerships Initiative

In cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Foreign Office, ZIF will facilitate a multi-stakeholder dialogue process on EU-UN partnerships in peace operations in 2014. Since the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in December 2010 and the adoption of EU Plan of Action for CSDP Support to UN Peacekeeping in June 2012, there has been greater momentum to foster UN-EU partnerships in crisis missions, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Recent CSDP missions such as the ones in Libya and Mali in 2013 have been closely collaborating with the respective UN operations on the ground. For that reason, ZIF and its partners have agreed to host a series of events which will bring together practitioners from the field with staff from headquarters, ministries as well as policy makers and academics. In addition, the partners will issue policy briefings on key topics of EU-UN cooperation in peace and security. Partners are: UN DPKO, EU CMPD and CPCC as well as the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), the International Peace Institute (IPI), Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSUP) and the Center on International Cooperation (CIC).


The International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations

The International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations (henceforth called the Challenges Forum) provides the international community with a dynamic, strategic and broad-based platform for a regular discussion on the challenges of peace operations among leading policy makers, practitioners and academics. The Challenges Forum Partner Organizations are represented by civilian, military and police Partner Organizations from all continents, including major troop and police contributing countries and the five Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council.

The aim of the Challenges Forum is to contribute to the global dialogue on the preparation, implementation and evaluation of peace operations, to generate practical recommendations and to encourage action for their effective implementation. The Challenges Partnership seek to widen and strengthen the international network of actors involved in peace operations.

The Annual Challenges Forum is hosted by a Partner Organization in different countries on a rotating basis. Germany became the 19th member of the Challenges Forum in 2011, represented by ZIF in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office. As part of Germany’s contribution, ZIF hosted a Challenges Forum Research Seminar in automn 2012. For further information:

Dialogue Series

The Dialogue Series is an annual knowledge-sharing event for Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary General (DSRSG) in UN Peace Operations. Since 2009, it has been held six times, bringing together the majority of DSRSGs from UN field operations with policy makers, academics, civil society representatives, and senior staff from headquarters.


The event is financially supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and implemented by the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) in partnership with the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF). The 6th Dialogue Series took place in Berlin from 03-04 December 2015 and had it's focus on "2015 Thematic Reviews: Identifying Priorities for Implementation".



Based in Turin, Italy, UNSSC is the primary provider of interagency training and learning within the UN system. Its main objective is to promote and support UN collaboration and increased operational effectiveness of the system as a whole. The College conducts a variety of learning and training activities, in Turin as well as at the regional and country level. The main thematic areas are UN Leadership, Human Rights and Development, UN Coherence, Knowledge Management, Peace and Security.


DSRSGs require strategic leadership skills, and need to be effective problem solvers and mediators at the same time. Peace operations are above all political and DSRSGs are faced with navigating the political environment and being able to manage a multitude of political actors, which accounts for the demanding complexity of post-conflict situations. Often external political factors influence managerial decisions, and the Dialogue Series seeks to expose DRSGs to how other leaders, practitioners and academics have been grasping with such challenges.