The Crisis Management Centre (KMZ) of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), in partnership with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), organized on 26-28 March 2018 a Roundtable Meeting on Crisis Management focusing on major incidents involving nationals abroad.
Over 20 representatives from the crisis management units of 13 Ministries of Foreign Affairs and from the Consular Crisis Management Division of the European External Action Service (EEAS) participated in the event, which was held at the Maison de la Paix in Geneva.
The Roundtable Meeting offered a unique opportunity to reflect on high-impact and increasingly frequent events abroad that can stress crisis management structures and systems. Held under Chatham House rules and with an operational focus, the event allowed for an informal exchange of best practices and lessons learned. It was designed to be interactive, with the purpose of harnessing the expertise of all participants and identifying issues for further development and discussion, thus enhancing resilience and collaboration.
The discussions centred on three types of crisis: terrorist attacks, major air incidents and situations in which nationals have to be evacuated or repatriated due to natural disasters or conflict situations. Several areas of common challenges and organisational structures were identified as well innovative practices.
In addition, the GCSP offered a practical one-day Crisis Leadership Learning Workshop. It introduced the participants to the work of the GCSP in crisis management decision-making, for example reviewing psychological risk and identifying the specific skills and competencies that are required for successful interaction with various stakeholders in the context of high-impact incidents abroad.
The next Crisis Management course, led by Mr David Horobin, Crisis Management Cluster Leader, will be offered from 15-16 May on 'Critical Incident Management’ and following that, a course a Singapore in October 2018.