From 11-18 June, The Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) held an expert training in international security for Swiss Professional Officers. The objective was to transfer knowledge and broaden conceptual understanding of international security issues. A special emphasis was made on questions related to global and regional security, specifically, the role of States and emerging threats in warfare, cyber and artificial intelligence.
Using the GCSP’s way of interactive learning, the Swiss Officers had the chance to participate in very concrete exercises. These included military operations in the field and a simulation of a terrorist threat were participants were confronted with very realistic scenarios.
One of the highlights of the training was a day-long joint programme with a delegation of students from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Ghana. The main focus of learning was on the “Transformation of Warfare.” The group shared knowledge in a participatory way discussing regional perspectives on global issues and analysing differences in order to evaluate the risks and opportunities resulting from different perspectives on peace and war. It was a unique opportunity to interact with people from different cultural and professional backgrounds.
One participant from Ghana, Antony Osei-Dwohene, with a background in gender, peace and security, highlighted the importance of engaging with the Swiss Military Professionals and commented on the interactions stating ‘It was really nice engaging with diverse people, because a world without diversity is not a world worth living in.’
A participant from the Swiss Military commented that ‘This course allows you to compare your ideas with other specialists that have a different approach. That leads us to, what we called a “comprehensive approach” and it helps us to understand and develop."
Another participant from Ghana, Harriet Esi Crenstil, reflected she had been waiting for a ‘change of environment’ to see how other countries ‘deal with threats to peace and security’ and how ‘technological advancement is transforming war.’
Lectures, panel discussions and informal group discussion-making exercises were also included in the teaching methodology. A large number of presentations were given by staff, GCSP Fellows, experts in the field and the Swiss Federal Administration.
This course is run twice per year and is part of the Regional Perspectives Programme at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.