What was to become the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) has its roots in a training programme designed on the initiative of the Swiss Confederation to strengthen national expertise in the field of disarmament in the midst of the Cold War.
Putting in place a nine month executive course to train government officials in pertinent issues on international security, the founding fathers of the GCSP had their fingers on the pulse. It quickly turned out that there was a pressing need for comprehensive security training, not only in Switzerland but also in many other European countries and beyond. It was therefore only logical in 1995 to create a foundation under Swiss law that was strongly promoted by the then Swiss Federal Counsellor Adolf Ogi, with the support and guidance of an international Foundation Council.
With Switzerland’s participation in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) a year later – an initiative led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to enhance transatlantic security cooperation – and its affiliation with the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) in 1997, the groundwork was laid for the GCSP to become an expedient tool of Swiss foreign and security policy, or as the then GCSP Director Ambassador Theodor Winkler has put it “une place d’armes pour la paix”.
Since its creation 20 years ago, the GCSP has become a reputable institution delivering high quality executive education programmes in international security policy, not only for participants in Switzerland and Europe but also worldwide. In addition, the Centre has made its mark as an institution producing and disseminating policy-relevant ideas in specific issue areas, as well as a platform for dialogue and exchange in International Geneva.
“Both the strategic location, and the calibre of people passing through GCSP, make for an empowering launchpad.”
“With its Global Fellows, the GCSP has added to its identity as think tank and executive training centre the vibe of a start-up co-working hub.”
"It is important to come to Geneva, to be unbiased and to share views between experts on civil wars and conflicts."
“Geneva is a place where peace can be built, and where the suffering of the poorest and weakest is taken into account.”