04th August 2017 09:13:48 Hours
Curtains came down Thursday (3) afternoon on the 9th Asia-Pacific Peace-keeping Training Centre (APPTC), Commandants’ Conference sessions at Taj Samudra Hotel, organized by the Institute of Peace Support Operations Training in Sri Lanka (IPSOTSL) of the Army all determined to set the stage for a better productive discourse in the coming years.
The three-day sessions, which shed light thematically on ‘Challenges of Developing a Robust Peacekeeping Mindset’ began Tuesday (1) morning, attended by more than 40 foreign delegates and Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army as the Chief Guest for the inaugural ceremony. (See the story, titled ‘Strong Army Commitment…..’).
Major General Amal Karunasekara, Chief of Staff of the Army gracing the closing ceremony as the Chief Guest stated that the trajectory of AAPTC events from the year 2009 to 2017 unfolds an exceptional learning experience and also creates a stronghold to share experiences in order to institute novelty for the peace education and commended the Global Peace Operations Initiatives (GPOI) for taking the lead and their commitment for peace initiatives.
“It is very much obvious that present day peace operations have created more complexities and many challenges which have led to emergence of threats. Peacekeepers also need to find solutions to encounter such threats. Therefore, inculcating robustness is essential, which was also the crux of this three-day workshop,” the Chief Guest added.
“I trust that the participants, both delegates and observers found this year’s event, spirit to epitomize learning through shared knowledge and experience. Peace is the hope for us. We need to create this beautiful world as a place where we all can enjoy harmony, prosperity and love. At a time when our nation is experiencing the benefits of peace and development with prosperity on the horizon, the opportunity given to us to co-sponsor this significant event, along with GPOI would be very much appreciated. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the officials from GPOI, HE the Ambassador and the staff of United States Embassy in Sri Lanka and all the members of AAPTC,” he added.
In his closing remarks, Major General Karunasekara also did not forget to congratulate the next chairmanship of the AAPTC, to be from Republic of Korea.
During conference sessions and the Annual General Meeting, the delegates, representing Australia, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, actively contributed to the deliberations at the request of the IPSOTSL and the Directorate of Training of the Army.
In addition, delegates of respective agencies including GPOI, BIPSOT, IPSOTSL, United Nations Department of Peace Keeping Operations (UNDPKO), International Organizations such as OMA, ALCOPAZ, APSTA, EAPTC and a few more senior military Officers of the Sri Lankan armed forces also added their share to the conference.
Adding due focus on sub topics, like ‘Workshop Objectives and Agenda’, ‘Sri Lanka’s IPSOTSL Training Presentations’, ‘Summary of the Training Related Activities’, ‘Training Instructor Standards’, ‘Areas of Cooperation for Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (PCRS)’ ‘Annual General Meeting Business’, ‘Instructors Report to their Respective Commandants on the Outcomes of Topics Discussed’, ‘Joined Declaration of the meeting’, ‘Communiqué for the UNDPKO and ITS’, the sessions adequately covered all spheres of potential peacekeeping assignments, operational viability and the guidelines that should be laid collectively for promotion of the best understanding of all Asia-Pacific stakeholders.
Major General Piyal Wickremaratne, Director General General Staff, Major General Vijitha Ravipriya, Director General Training, Brigadier Prasad Pathirathna, Commandant, IPSOTSL and several Senior Officers were also present during the closing ceremony.