I congratulate you on being selected to participate in the United Nations Staff Officers Course (UNSOC) which is fully accredited by UN DPO. This course will be conducted from 16th March until the 03rd April 2020. A well prepared and devoted team of instructors, with considerable international experience, is looking forward to welcoming you to the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre (SWEDINT).
UNSOC is a demanding full-time course; therefore, participants should be aware that there will be no opportunity to conduct other duties, or tasks, during the period of the course. The official UNSOC language will be English, and this will be used at all times during lectures, exercises and social events. You must be able to communicate in English, both verbally and in writing. No interpretation assets will be provided.
Please read carefully the pre-course documents that are available on the SWEDINT home page. It is essential that you are well prepared when you arrive at SWEDINT, as this will assist the course to progress in a professional manner. It is also expected that all students will have completed an authorised CPTM course, or at least significantly studied the Core Pre-Deployment Training Materials (CPTM) Modules 1-3. The CPTM can be accessed at the Peacekeeping Resource Hub: https://research.un.org/revisedcptm2017/Introduction
Students are also expected to have successfully completed the online UNDSS BSAFE Course before reporting to SWEDINT. The BSAFE course can be accessed online at: https://training.dss.un.org/user/login?ReturnUrl=%2flearn%2fcourse%2f3214290
On the first day of the UNSOC a simple written test based on the CPTM and BSAFE material will be conducted. This will allow the instructor staff to assess the level of preparation and the standard of individual students.
During the UNSOC, a major emphasis will be place on practicing the UN Integrated Concept and teaching the UN Military Planning Process (MPP). This planning process is the standard doctrine in UN field missions, and cannot be substituted by the national training doctrines of troop contributing countries. Therefore, to be qualified military staff officer in a UN peacekeeping environment, you should have an understanding and a basic working capability of the MPP. Students are strongly advised to have conducted some pre-reading on the MPP in advance of reporting to the UNSOC. Information regarding the MPP can be found in Module 3 at:
UN Staff Officers STM - United Nations Staff Officers Specialised Training Materials for Peacekeeping Operations - Research Guides at United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library
The UNSOC consists of four (4) building blocks (modules):
- Structural Framework (SF) provides students with a general knowledge of the basic organisation and functioning of UN Headquarters.
- Legal Framework (LF) - identifying the key components of international law governing the UN’s mandated tasks in peacekeeping operations.
- Military Planning Process (MPP) – students need to understand the UN Military Planning Process for peacekeeping operations in order to fully participate in the process.
- Practical Work: Map Exercise (MAPEX) and Integrated Staff Exercise (INSTEX).
To ensure good course results, you are expected to take active part during the lessons, contribute to discussions and to positively interact with your fellow students. During the course there will be continuous ongoing assessment and a midterm evaluation test in order to assess and support your learning. An individual result will be provided at the end of the course. More specific information on the evaluation process will be given at the beginning of the course.
Your national daily working uniform will be the primary dress code during the course. However for the opening ceremony, class photograph and closing ceremony best dress uniform is required. You are also requested to bring necessary items to conduct physical training, both indoors and outdoors and civilian clothes for off-duty hours and the Welfare arrangements. Whilst this winter has been incredibly mild thus far, I stress that it is normally cool here in Mar/Apr, with average daytime temperatures of between +4 to -3°C, some snow and rain can also be anticipated, please be sure to bring suitable clothing.
Hopefully, the UNSOC will prepare and give you a good comprehension on how UN Peacekeeping Operations are conducted and how as a staff officer in such a mission you can;
- Contribute efficiently to implement military aspects of UN peacekeeping mandates in accordance with DPO principles and guidelines.
- Perform your military functions in an effective, professional and integrated manner
- Demonstrate the core values and competencies of the United Nations.
- Have knowledge of the Military Planning Process (MPP) and be given the opportunity to practice the process in a realistic simulated environment.
- Understand the basis of the UN Integrated Concept and gain an appreciation of how it can be applied in the conduct of planning tasks at the mission level.
Welcome to the UNSOC.
Artur ARMSTRONG (LTC Retd)
Course Director UNSOC