SWEDINT one of the first in the world!

The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UN DPKO) asked its member states to support a new project in the field of military staff officer training. The purpose of the project was to develop and standardize military staff officer training which is conducted prior to deploying to a UN mission. There is a great need for this as many nations lack special training for staff officers before they deploy to a UN mission.

CO SWEDINT, Colonel Lena Persson Herlitz received the UN certificate of training recognition from Mr Kevin Kennedy, Head of ITS. Photo: Harry Jaantola/SWEDINT
Photo: Harry Jaantola/SWEDINT

SWEDINT was asked to represent Sweden in this project, and Major Thomas Gillman was appointed to represent SWEDINT. During the development SWEDINT and the UN DPKO agreed on testing the new material before publishing it in the end of 2012. The Course Director for the United Nations Staff Officer Course, Major Raul Arbinus, incorporated the new material during 2012 and could report back to the UN DPKO that the material was suitable and easy to incorporate in the concept of a current United Nations Staff Officer Course (UNSOC).

The UNSOC has been one of SWEDINT’s most popular courses ever since it was introduced in the 1960’s. The course was established in order to train Swedish officers heading for a UN mission abroad, but for many years now the course has also been one of the cornerstones in the Nordic defense cooperation, and offers training for Nordic staff officers heading for a UN mission. Currently the UNSOC is conducted twice a year with both Nordic officers and officers from the rest of the world.

At SWEDINT, the UNSOC is a part of the “triple course concept” where all parts of a multidimensional mission are trained together in a mission environment.
The other two parts of this concept are the United Nations Police Commanders Training (UNPCT) and the United Nations Civilian Staff Officer Course (UNCIVSOC). Integrated with these courses is also the International Staff Assistant Course (INTSAC).

The UN DPKO also overlooks the quality and conduct of UN courses around the world, in order to both standardize the training and support the member nations with developed training modules. They have e.g. developed and published a full range of training material in the field of protection of civilians and in the field of Civil – Military Coordination (UN CIMIC), and this year they are developing a new training for child protection in close cooperation with Save the Children.

The UNSOC received a training recognition 2007, and according to UN regulations a UN course needs to be recertified every four years. Due to the fact that the developed material more or less changed the course content and, in addition, introduced a new final exercise, SWEDINT asked the UN to recertify the UNSOC.

The UN DPKO and their Integrated Training Service monitored and went through all training material, both the recently developed material and the new course material developed by SWEDINT during the autumn iteration of the UNSOC this year. During the autumn SWEDINT also supported the Korean National Defense University with instructor training and material for their courses.

In December 2013 the UN DPKO decided that the UNSOC course conducted at SWEDINT was to be fully recognized by the UN, and the certificate was presented to the Commanding Officer of SWEDINT, Colonel Lena Persson Herlitz, at a small ceremony in New York.