In a cooperation between the Swedish Armed Forces, the Swedish Police Authority and the Folke Bernadotte Academy , the new UNPOCT (United Nations Protection Of Civilians Training) started this week at SWEDINT/NCGM, and course director Supt Åke Thorin from the Swedish Police is confident that the integrated approach will be a huge added value to the participants.
“This training course is actually unique in the world”, says Supt Thorin. “We have participants from three different authorities cooperating – military, police and civilian - and in equal numbers. Other mixed courses exist, but they tend to be dominated by students from one authority, and we believe that maintaining the balance between civilians, police and military in the different training modules is very important for a good result.”
In order to provide peacekeeping operations with personnel adequately trained for effective mandate implementation, contribution countries have access to training material on Protection of Civilians, developed by ITS/DPKO. The material aims at providing practical training for police, military and civilan components conducting tasks relating to the protection of civilians.
“Many of the participants have come here from a mission. We have people here working in Liberia, South Sudan, Mali, Ukraine and Colombia and the input they provide, the concrete examples and the discussions, is extremely valuable”, says Supt Thorin.
The training started Monday 30 May and will finish on 3 June, and there is a strong belief that the training will be a recurring event, open to international participants. “So far, the UNPOCT is a pilot, so we are treading new ground here but so far it feels really good.”