International Steering Committee
The governing body of the Challenges Forum is the Partners’ Meeting. The purpose of the governing body is, first, to decide on the overarching and long term goals of the Challenges Forum Partnership and its operations, and second, to assess the Forum results and outcomes. The Partners’ Meeting, held annually or biannually, is attended by representatives of the Challenges Forum partner organizations who form the International Steering Committee of the Challenges Forum. The agenda of the Partners' Meeting is prepared by the International Secretariat in consultation with partner organizations and key stakeholders, such as the United Nations and regional organizations. The decisions are taken in consensus. The Chair of the Partners’ Meeting is the Director General of the Folke Bernadotte Academy.
The International Secretariat is the executive body of the Challenges Forum. Since 2003, the Secretariat is hosted at the Folke Bernadotte Academy and located in Stockholm, Sweden. The responsibility of the Secretariat is to develop the agenda and proposals for the Partners Meeting; to plan, lead and coordinate the work of the Partnership on a daily basis; and to ensure that the work undertaken by the Partnership achieve the desired end-state as decided by the Partners’ Meeting. The Director of the Challenges Forum leads the work and reports to the Partners’ Meeting. The Swedish partner organizations are coordinating associates.
Mr Jean-Marie Guéhenno is the Patron of the Challenges Forum. As former Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping (2000-2008) his role is to share his longstanding experience of and unique expertise on peace operations with the Challenges Partnership, and to advise the Director of the International Secretariat on strategic and operational issues of relevance for the Challenges Forum and its operations.
Challenges Forum operations, lead by the International Secretariat, can be divided into four main work areas; Partnership Coordination and Outreach Activities; Annual Forums and other Events; Reports and Publications; and Concepts and Doctrine Development.
Partnership Coordination and Outreach Activities:
Planning, leading and coordinating the work of 47 Partner Organizations from 22 countries in consultation with key representatives of the United Nations, regional organizations and other major peacekeeping stakeholders. Raising and promoting international and national awareness of the work of the Partnership; its results, outcomes and contribution to the field of peace operations.
Annual Forums and other Events:
An Annual Forum and several seminars and other events are held each year. The Challenges Annual Forum serves as a launching platform for forward-looking research, concepts and policy initiatives and normally involves some 250 delegates. Occassionally, Challenges Forum Seminars are held at UN headquaters in NY (often co-hosted by several Partner Organizations) to launch Challenges Forum results and findings, while also engaging with the international community on current and coming issues and research. Other Challenges Forum seminars and workshops are held throughout the year to follow-up on certain recommendations and look closer at specific challenges and issues in close cooperation with the field.
Reports and Publications:
Challenges Forum reports provide the international community with analyses, policy options and recommendations on a selection of current challenges and issues. The result of the work of the Challenges Annual Forum is presented in the Challenges Forum Annual Report including a set of targeted recommendations. Other Challenges Forum Reports, Occassional Papers and Policy Briefs are published as a result of research projects, including specific workshops and seminars. Reports are regularly translated by Partners into the six official UN languages.
Concepts and Doctrine Development:
Through its reserach, the Partnership develops concepts required for the formulation of policies that underpin the preparation for and delivery of effective peace operations. This is often done in close cooperation with the United Nations and regional organizations and include:
• UN Principles and Guidelines for Peacekeeping Operations (which Challenges Forum contributed to)
• Considerations for Mission Leadership in UN Peacekeeping Operations (Challenges Forum Report)
• Designing Mandates and Capabilities for Future Peace Operations (Challenges Forum Report)