October 9, 2012
On Tuesday, October 9, Wilkes University in conjunction with The Humpty Dumpty Institute’s Higher Education Alliance for the United Nations (HEA), hosted Mr. Peter Schmitz, Director of the Europe and Latin America Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and Lt. Colonel J. Guillermo Rosa, Deputy Military Advisor of the United States Military Staff Committee at the US Mission to the United Nations, for lectures and discussion on UN Peacekeeping and the situation of peacekeepers in Haiti. Mr. Schmitz and Lt. Col. Rosa addressed students on the role of UN peacekeepers to monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing peace agreements. Peacekeeping assistance comes in many forms, including confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development. Mr. Schmitz touched on how peacekeeping operations are called upon not only to maintain peace and security, but also to facilitate the political process, protect civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants; support the organization of elections, protect and promote human rights and assist in restoring the rule of law. Lt. Col. Rosa offered the American perspective on how peacekeeping is a bargain for the US government and that while UN peacekeeping uses few American troops, the US military is frequently called upon to provide support when quick action is called for such as the Haiti earthquake in 2010.
Peter Schmitz became Director of the Europe and Latin America Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in November, 2011 following two years as the Chief of Staff of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Prior to that, he was Chief of Staff of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). He has held several positions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, including Special Assistant to the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Senior Political Advisor to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and as Desk Officer for UN Operations in the former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR).
Lieutenant Colonel Rosa joined the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) in July 2009. He assumed his duties after serving as the Chief of Plans, Civil Affairs, United States Forces-Iraq where he worked extensively with the US State Department. He was the first military officer added to the US Military Staff Committee after Madam Susan Rice was named the US Ambassador to the United Nations. Lieutenant Colonel Rosa holds a Masters degree in Public Administration and Human Resources Management from Marist College in New York and completed Command and General Staff College at the US Military Academy in West Point.