Hello, and congratulations on enrolling in the Peace Operations Training Institute’s course, Principles and Guidelines for UN Peacekeeping Operations. My name is General Robert Gordon, and I am the author of this course. The course is constructed around the UN’s Principles and Guidelines document, known to its friends as the “Capstone Doctrine”, published in 2008. I was part of the team that developed this doctrine for DPKO. The doctrine is intended to serve as a guide for all UN personnel serving in the field and at UN Headquarters, as well as to provide a strategic introduction to those who are new to UN peacekeeping. Although it is intended to help guide the planning and conduct of UN peacekeeping operations, its specific application will require leadership and judgment and will vary according to the situation on the ground. Peacekeeping practitioners in the field are often faced with a confusing and contradictory set of imperatives and pressures. The doctrine is not designed as a prescriptive template to resolve these issues; indeed, some have no clear, prescribed answers. Instead, it is designed to provide a steadying handrail, by using principles and guidelines, to assist planners and practitioners navigate through the complexities of contemporary UN peacekeeping operations. If you have any questions regarding the course, please contact me via the Student-Teacher Communication Form via the URL below. Thank you for enrolling in Peace Operations Training Institute’s distance training, and I wish you every success in your studies of UN peacekeeping.