Author Archives: Peacekeeper

Oct 2014: Protection of Civilians Course at FINCENT

FINCENT were running a pilot Protection of Civilians (POC) course at the operational level at their Center just North of Helsinki . I was invited to contribute a couple of sessions and comment on the course content.

They had a diverse set of students including some from Africa. The week covered the content of the UN Specialised Training Material but also had some additional imaginative sessions: Ebola in UNMIL’s mission area, IDPs and UN Camps in UNMISS and a mock ‘Protection Custer’ meeting.

Many thanjk to FINCENT for looking after me well and to the students for sharing their knowledge and ensuring a fantastic week.

Sep 2014: Peacekeeping Instructors Course, Mongolia

My first time at the Mongolian, Five Hills, Training Centre and the staff could not have been more determined to make sure that we were well looked after.  A mixture of Mongolian, Philippine, Tongan, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi and Nepali students who were eager to make the most of the experience but also to have fun.  A memorable BBQ by a river on the last night although I may have had too much of the horse’s milk. The photo shows me with one of the syndicates on the Negotiation Ex.

Aug 2013: UN Staff Officer Course: Philippines

Delighted to have the opportunity for a first visit to the PSO Training Centre in the Philippines.  Very enthusiastic and hard working students who produced excellent results that were well above the average for this international course  Useful opportunity to try some new templates for Operational Design and Mission Analysis.  The accommodation was fine and the food excellent. Only downside was trying Balut, which did not agree with me at all!

June 2014: At International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (IAPTC) Conference in Jakarta.

The annual IAPTC conference provides an opportunity to discover what is new in Peacekeeping; to hear from those in the field and also from DPKO, New York.  Of course, it is also a chance to meet old colleagues and make new contacts.  Well done to Indonesia, who were excellent hosts and to the organising committee. Most valuable moment: getting a copy of the Indian Army video clip showing their MONUSCO troops firing against the M23 rebels.

May 2014: United Nations Association and RUSI Conference

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This annual conference, jointly organised by the United Nations Association Westminster Branch and RUSI, (Royal United Services Institute)  has established itself as one of the UK’s most authoritative reviews of UN peacekeeping activities. This year the conference discussed ‘ How should the UK re-engage in UN peacekeeping, consistent with its status as a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council?’  Ideas included UAVs; Information management and analysis; and trauma treatment.  I was able to meet many attendees and discuss UN training opportunities.

The day also included an opportunity to mark the International Day of UN Peacekeepers with a ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London which was also attended by some peacekeeping veterans from the Irish Army.

April 2014: United Nations Staff Officer Course, Nairobi

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In April I supported a US sponsored United Nations Staff Officers’ Course in Nairobi with over thirty students from East Africa. The course was 2 1/2 weeks long and included a three day staff exercise replicating work in a UN Force HQ and the need to work with other elements of the UN HQ, the UN Country Team and local authorities and NGOs.

Mar 2014: Bangkok, Supporting US / Thai PSO Exercise

PKC supports exercise development and execution for Peacekeeping exercises. This particular event was part of a series of US / Thai exercises with an emphasis on Humanitarian Assistance / Disaster Response (HADR).  There is also an academic session which allows some key PSO messages to get across eg; the importance of Human Terrain.

Feb / Mar 2014: Protection of Civilians Training – Nigeria

poc-course-nigeria  From 26 Feb – 07 March I joined a UN Mobile Training Team to deliver Protection of Civilians training to Nigerian Police, Military and Civilians in Abuja. This was the first mobile team to use the Tactical POC training material – although we supplemented it with new products of our own. The syndicate work was particularly lively as many students had recent mission experience.