During three weeks at SWEDINT, the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre at Livgardet outside Stockholm, 81 participants from 27 countries participated in four parallel courses learning how the military, police and civilian parts of an UN-mission should interact to form an integrated mission.
– The added input of this course is going to help me to deliver better cooperation with the military and police components of my mission, says Jean Bosco Rumangi, student at the UN civil staff officers’ course.
Rumangi is from Rwanda, but has eleven years of experience of UN-service. He is currently working for the UN mission in Liberia, but thinks that the course and its’ exercise develops his practical experience. He also appreciates the wide range of participants in the course.
The students of the four courses come from a wide range of countries, from South Korea, and Pakistan – to Ivory Coast, and Georgia – even neighbouring Norway.
The goal of all three courses is to teach a common approach to staff planning, and to teach the students to interact. The latter is tested during the final three day exercise in a UN-mission in the fictions county of Bogaland, torn by ethnic strife.
– I am used to work in a European multinational operation, but here I’ve learned how to interact in a truly multicultural environment, with colleagues from Africa, and Asia, as well. I want to stress that it actually has not been a challenge, but a learning experience, says Captain Sören Madsen, military officer working at Haerens kampskola in Denmark.
Madsen has experience from NATO-led missions in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and is slated for deployment to the UN-mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) at the start of next year.
– The UN military planning process and the NATO military planning process is largely the same but with different names, but through this exercise I have also gotten a glimpse of how “the UN-machine” works, Madsen says.
The police staff officers’ course has focused on the multicultural environment, and the strategic perspective within a UN police contingent.
– I have improved my skill at working within an integrated mission. Also I have learned a lot how to be a leader, and prepared to work within a UN mission at the strategic level. I would recommend individuals to go this course before they assume senior leadership in UN missions, says Eunice Marima from Zimbabwe, who is currently working within the police contingent of UNMISS.
SWEDINT has been delivering these courses for more than 15 years.
– We have been refining our concept. Now are hoping to get our courses accredited by the UN. I judge that we have found a good way of doing this. An accreditation would, in a way, be a fresh part of the Swedish Armed Forces’ long tradition of contributing to the UN peacekeeping efforts, says Görgen Karlehav, course director, UNCIVSOC, at SWEDINT.
The four courses were concluded on 10th October.