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NEWS | Feb. 20, 2024

The United States, Nepal Launch Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise Shanti Prayas IV

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Public Affairs

With the Nepali Army Headquarters building as a backdrop, representatives from 19 nations stood before Nepali and U.S. dignitaries at the Army parade ground in Kathmandu, February 20, to celebrate the opening ceremony of the largest multinational peacekeeping exercise of the year, Shanti Prayas IV.

The Nepali Army and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command are co-hosting Exercise Shanti Prayas IV at the Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre (BPOTC) in Panchkhal, Nepal from February 20 – March 4, 2024.

Chief of Nepali Army Staff, Gen. Prabhu Ram Sharma, presided over the ceremony along with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Programs and Operations, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Rachel Schiller, the Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, and Nepali Army Director of Peace Operations, Brig. Gen. Prem Bahadur Pun.

Shanti Prayas is a multinational peacekeeping exercise sponsored by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Nepali Army, hosted rotationally between the two countries. Shanti Prayas IV is the latest in a series of exercises designed to support peacekeeping operations.

This year’s iteration consists of a UN peacekeeping operations staff training event, a field training event, and a critical enabler capability enhancement event at the BPOTC, all of which will focus on UN and international peacekeeping and stability operations.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Schiller addressed the gathered peacekeepers and emphasized to them the importance of Shanti Prayas IV and their contributing efforts towards peace.

“The training you receive here will help prepare you for the many challenges you will encounter as peacekeepers on mission,” Schiller said. “For participating trainers, this event will push you and help hone your instructional skills, enabling you to strengthen peace operations training at your national training centers. I challenge you to take the knowledge you are about to acquire here, and both build upon it and share it.”

During the exercise, Nepali, U.S., and other partner nation forces will work to enhance coordination and effectiveness in common techniques and procedures in accordance with UN doctrine. Shanti Prayas IV is designed to improve peacekeeping capabilities, strengthen military-to-military cooperation, and enhance the core PKO competencies of all participants in accordance with UN doctrine.

“This is an impressive group that has assembled from around the world for this event – whose dedication to the promotion and of global peace and security will save countless lives of people in countries affected by conflict around the world,” Schiller further added.

Gen. Prabhu Ram Sharma spoke on the unifying aspects of global peacekeeping and the value of enhancing collective abilities.

“This exercise is a testament of enduring a spirit of cooperation and solidarity among nations dedicated to contributing troops for a noble cause of peacekeeping,” Sharma said. “I firmly believe that collective reports during this exercise will ensure participants are better equipped, not just with military skill, but also with the cultural sensitivity and adaptability required to navigate the multi facet environment.”

The exercise includes specific training on the integration of women in UN peacekeeping operations in line with UN Security Resolution 1325. Women's participation and involvement in efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, enhance international peacekeeping operations, and strengthen multinational relationships throughout the region.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal closed the ceremony by speaking about Nepal’s commitments and contributions towards peacekeeping.

“I assure that the government of Nepal will continue to give the highest priority to the United Nations’ peace operations and continue to support the United Nations in its every endeavor,” Dahal said. “This is part of our manifest through our participation in the UN peace operation, where our peacekeepers had distinctly demonstrated bravery, compassion and selflessness in their noble mission to protect and restore hope in a region torn apart by conflict.”

Over 1,100 military personnel from 17 nations are participating in Shanti Prayas IV alongside U.S. and Nepali Army personnel. Countries sending personnel include Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Fiji, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam.