Uruguay and USSOUTHCOM Cooperate on ENOPU Refurbishing Project
By Dialogo January 19, 2011
Following a longstanding tradition of bilateral cooperation in support of world-wide peacekeeping operations, on 14 December, representatives from the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) were honored to attend the inauguration of a refurbished conference center in Uruguay’s National School for Peacekeeping Operations – the Escuela Nacional de Operaciones de Paz del Uruguay (ENOPU) in Montevideo.
The Governments of Uruguay and the U.S. contributed the funds for a long-term project to upgrade the ENOPU infrastructure including the conversion of a gymnasium into an auditorium.
The new building is a multimedia-capable facility that enhances ENOPU’s capability to host conferences, seminars, courses and classes on topics relating to peacekeeping operations and allows for a wide range of interactive activities.
Among the distinguished attendees to the inaugural ceremony were the Commanding General of the Uruguayan Army Jorge Rosales and U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay David Nelson.
During the ribbon cutting, Ambassador Nelson highlighted that Uruguay has the highest per capita troop contribution to the United Nations’ overall peacekeeping operations and confirmed the U.S. commitment to support the South American country’s peacekeeping forces.
For his part, Uruguay’s General Rosales confirmed the positive relationship to the U.S. and recognized the positive impact that the new building already had on the country’s ability to offer training. “Since finalizing the construction, this building has already housed more than 300 people, civilian and military, from countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia, both exhibitors and students who participated in different courses and symposiums organized by ENOPU”.
In order to satisfy the high demand for professionals dedicated to peacekeeping operations from the United Nations, Uruguay instituted the Army’s Center of Instruction for Peacekeeping Operations (C.I.O.P.E.) in 1995. This commitment to peacekeeping was furthered in 1998 with the creation of the country’s Army School for Peacekeeping Operations (E.O.P.E.), and expanded to integrate personnel from the country’s three military forces with the modern-day ENOPU in 2008.
Uruguay’s Peacekeeping forces currently have over 2,500 members deployed throughout 11 countries, the largest of which are in Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The country’s detachment in Haiti is the second-largest contingent to the Peacekeeping mission in the Caribbean nation.