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10 years of working for peace

Training experts for peace missions, creating and maintaining an expert pool, providing independent analysis – such is the range of activities undertaken by the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) in the field of civilian crisis prevention. Now the ZIF is celebrating its 10th anniversary. To mark this occasion, civilian experts will for the first time ever be presented with certificates in recognition of their work.

Some 200 German civilian experts are currently participating in peace operations around the world, for example as election monitors in Haiti, human rights observers in South Sudan and political advisors for the European Union in Afghanistan. As a token of appreciation for their hard work, a number of civilian experts will be awarded a special certificate at the ZIF’s 10th anniversary celebrations in Berlin on 24 May. The keynote speech will be given by Georg Link, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office.

The ZIF was founded in 2002 by the Federal Government and the Bundestag (parliament). It was designed to enhance civilian capacities for international peace operations following the developments in the Balkans in the mid 1990s and thereafter. The demand for civilian experts rose during that period, and the nature of peace operations also changed, as they became more and more focused on internal conflicts. The idea behind the founding of the ZIF was that the recruitment of personnel for such missions and other preparations would best be undertaken by a permanent institution, in order to ensure as much continuity as possible.

Human resources and analysis

Election monitors in Afghanistan

Election monitors in Afghanistan
© ZIF

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Election monitors in Afghanistan

Election monitors in Afghanistan

Election monitors in Afghanistan

Today the ZIF is active in three fields. Firstly, it is constantly training civilian experts for international peace operations and election observation missions run by the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union and other international organizations. Secondly, the ZIF recruits German experts and professionals for such missions. To this end it has created a database of qualified experts, which is continually updated. Thirdly, it also provides independent analysis on issues relating to international crisis prevention and peacebuilding.

Since 2002, the ZIF has prepared over 2100 participants for their part in peace operations by providing basic and specialist training. Its database now contains some 1200 experts, who can be contacted should election observers or participants in peace operations be needed. The ZIF is a public-benefit company, all shares of which are held by the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Foreign Office.


Last updated 25.05.2012