Delighted to be asked to support UN DPKO / ITS in conducting a Train the Trainer course at SWEDINT, near Stockholm, Sweden. Myself and Stein were supported by Child Protection Staff from Missions and the African Union and a UNICEF representative. Great participants from many countries: Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Egypt, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sweden, Togo, GBR, Uruguay and the USA. Nearly half of the participants were female. Many thanks to SWEDINT for being such generous hosts and having an amazing training centre (with a night time running route through the woods).
Back at the Malaysian Peacekeeping Centre in Port Dixon and great to see the instructors that we trained in June. We worked with them to deliver a POC course to 34 students (Malaysian but also Australian, Canadian, Indian, Japanese, Lebanese, Dutch, New Zealand, Philippine, South African, Swedish, Thai and Vietnamese). Importantly we had five female participants and a couple of civilians so the group work and class questions benefited enormously as we were not just viewing POC from the male, military perspective.
Vietnam are exploring the possibilities of deploying a unit (possibly Level II Hospital) on a UN Peacekeeping Mission. They already have a number of individuals on Mission. I spent a week in Hanoi with a team assembled to brief them on Force Generation and then to workshop some of the challenges so that they would have a better understanding of how to set up and sustain an overseas deployment.
We were very well looked after, their army is full of Wilco people and I wish them all the best in this endeavour.
Having designed and written the course, it was a pleasure to deliver it with my friend John Otte. Great that there were so many women on the course but alas no police or civilian participants. Nevertheless we covered lots of ground and there were some good syndicate solutions to the POC and Child Protection problems. Back in September to see some of the participants from this course instruct on the next POC Course. Thanks to the Malaysian Peacekeeping Center for their support and friendship.
Delighted to deploy again as part of the UN Mobile Training Team for the Protection of Civilians (POC). The team went to UNISFA (Abyei) which straddles the border between Sudan and South Sudan. The participants included UN Military (mostly from Ethiopia), UN Police, civilian staff, UNDP and UNHCR – so some great discussions and an opportunity for all of us to learn. The Mission is doing a great job under difficult conditions, particularly in the rainy season.
Students and Instructors from the course. I joined a DPKO Team to spend a week with UNMIL in Monrovia teaching POC. It was interesting and different, given the fact that the Mission is drawing down, and thus POC threats such as armed groups no longer existed. However, the Ebola virus was a POC threat and they used their Mission POC strategy to address it.
Thanks to the Mission for looking after us, the lively students and my fellow team members Matin from DPKO via Bangladesh and Ally from the Police Force in Tanzania.
Life is not all teaching, there is still lots of learning to do. I have spent the last two months participating in an online course on ‘ Promising Practices in International Development’. This was particularly valuable looking at Rule of Law; Poverty Reduction; Health; Food and Agriculture; and Human Rights based development.
A quick dash to the ‘Peace Castle’ in Austria for a morning delivering Child Protection and Conflict Related Sexual Violence sessions. Would loved to have stayed longer as the Centre had assembled an excellent group of students with mission experience and some excellent staff from MONUSCO and UNMISS. Photo show the result of one of the participatory sessions where groups had to draw a child and annotate the image to show the impacts of conflict on children.
Another UN Mobile Training Team (MTT) event, but this time I was empowered to draft the programme. We delivered a week on Protection of Civilians, followed by a week on Child Protection using the 2014 new training materials. Exceptionally well looked after by the Bangladesh training institute and with excellent and energetic students it was a delightful two weeks. I also ran sessions on Conflict Related Sexual Violence and Child Soldiers, for the latter drawing on work from the Dallaire Child Soldier Initiative.
I supported the NATO training exercise for EUROCORPS by role-playing the DSRSG of the UN Mission which was also in the operational area and other UN / Humanitarian roles. This included running the weekly inter-agency coordination meeting and several cameo roles and media slots to introduce EUROCORPS to a UN environment.