For the 10th consecutive year, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) organised a one week training course entitled "International Geneva: Responding to 21st Century Challenges" as part of the 10-week training programme for the new cohort of Swiss Diplomats. The course took place from 18 to 22 May 2015.
This year, the GCSP not only welcomed 19 trainees from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, but also 14 trainees from the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development, one diplomat from Liechtenstein Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and four diplomats from the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"The sessions were informative, challenging and productive."
This intensive one-week course on International Geneva provided the 38 participants with a deeper understanding of the multitude of actors and debates being addressed in International Geneva. Focus was placed on familiarising the participants with key institutions and the different types of actors present in International Geneva - representing the changing landscape in dealing with the complex issues of today. The week addressed how these actors interact, and the responses taken to address some of the key debates.
"The week was very well prepared and the speakers of great quality, with both practical and theoritical knowledge. I think the course showed how diverse and rich International Geneva is."
In order to maximise exposure to the main issues within this one-week course, each day focused on a different theme including multilateralism, emerging security threats, humanitarian challenges, economic and development issues, and effective leadership. Specific debates and case studies within these themes were used to reflect broader discussions, and emphasis was placed on new and emerging issues in order to better target the future professional concerns of the participants.
"Overall, I am better educated on multilateral issues and have an idea of the choice to make in my area of specialization as I pursue my career."
The course methodology included analytical sessions, interactive panels, and working sessions at Geneva-based organizations, which this year included the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) among others.
Aside from providing up-to-date knowledge and developing participant expertise, the course also facilitated interaction and networking amongst the participants, and with high level officials and representatives from 19 different IO, NGO, civil society and private sector actors throughout the week.
"An excellent mix of topics and speakers."