Switzerland

Switzerland

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Videos

Du recrutement à l'école de recrues, vies de femmes sous les drapeaux

Ce reportage retrace le portrait de femmes soldates et de la place de la femme au sein de l'armée, du recrutement jusqu'à l'école de recrues en Suisse. 

Au cours des trente dernières années, les choses ont largement évolué. En 1986, les femmes ont d'abord pu devenir cadres avant de pouvoir porter un pistolet dès 1991. Depuis 1995 finalement, recrutement et école de recrue sont mixtes. En 2017, l'armée helvétique comptait 1152 femmes pour plus de 158'000 hommes, soit 0,7% des effectifs. C'est largement moins qu'en Allemagne (12%) ou en Suède (18%).

video

Insights and lessons into long-term SSR programming - Part 1

Stephen Jackson, the Chief of Staff of the UN Office in Burundi, provides insight into following topics of interest in SSR programming:

  • perverse incentives in DDR programming
  • the principle of Do No Harm in peacedeals and ceasefires
  • bridging the capacity gap
  • the need to incentivise a national security strategy process
  • the sustainability of SSR and the need for a long-term vision

See Part 2 of this interview.

Here are a few quotes from the interview

the best form of hygiene is sunlight [re budgetary transparency]

It takes a full generation to move an institution up one notch in institutional strength. It's not to take Afghanistan and turn it tomorrow into Switzerland but to take Afghanistan and maybe get it to be Nigeria - that takes a generation...

We over-estimate dependency a great deal - absence of institutional strength and financial strength are two related problems which aren't going to be addressed in the first 25 years...

Maybe the problem isn't handing [an SSR programme] over too late, it's having too short a vision.

video

Policy and Research Papers

Monitoring Security Services: A Guide for Ombuds Institution

This Series of Monitoring Products is designed to facilitate the work of National Human Rights (Ombuds) Institutions on monitoring the security sector. The series provides guidance on relevant best practices and may also be used for relevant capacity development trainings. DCAF has also developed a number of products to assist Ombuds institutions on both broad and highly specific oversight and policy challenges, particularly in terms of gender equality and human rights monitoring within the armed forces. 

For further information on Monitoring Security Services: A Guide for Ombuds Institution, please kindly follow this link.

Paper

The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change Our World

On 21 September 2017, the governments of Brazil, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland launched the roadmap for peaceful, just and inclusive societies. The roadmap, which covers all of 2030 Agenda targets provides, for the first time, a shared vision for how SDG16+ can be delivered. The group will work with regional and international pathfinders to strengthen strategies for implementation, and will shape a global debate through ‘grand challenges’ on justice, inclusion, and violence prevention. 

For full access to The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change Our World, kindly follow the link. 

For a summary, see the overview and presentation.

For the UN video on The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

Paper

The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World

The governments of Brazil, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland convened the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies to fulfill the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that all people should live in peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. The Pathfinders include member states, international organizations, and major partnerships and networks.

For full access to The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

For the UN video on The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

Paper

The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World

The governments of Brazil, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland convened the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies to fulfill the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that all people should live in peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. The Pathfinders include member states, international organizations, and major partnerships and networks.

For full access to The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

For the UN video on The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

Paper

International Standards for Financial Oversight in the Security Sector

Currently available in English and Arabic, this compilation provides readers with easy access to internationally adopted guiding principles, standards and best practices of financial oversight of security sector institutions. It allows readers to: access key international standards on budgeting and auditing in the security sector; compare existing practices and regulations in their countries with universally accepted budgeting and auditing principles; use the international standards as a basis for proposals to political leaders and members of parliament for reforming the prevailing financial oversight system in the security sectors of their countries; and monitor and evaluate the performance of financial accountability institutions against international best practice.

Paper

Value for Money? The overall record of technical assistance for institutional and governance reform.

‘Technical assistance’ in the form of international experts and advisors, and loans and grants for ‘institutional reform’ constitute a huge share of official development assistance. Yet a growing body of comparative and cumulative evaluations, further bolstered by academic research, show that its overall effectiveness in terms of better functioning governments, is limited at best. There is a whole range of reasons for these, with the bulk of the blame often laid on the recipient countries. But there are also well-known problems with the quality of the ‘experts’ and ‘advisers’ being deployed, and long-standing and deep-seated problems generated by the predominant bureaucratic cultures of the ‘donor’ agencies. Based on reflection and learning from experience, there is strong convergence among many different sources about what are more productive ways of engaging for the purpose of sustained improvements in public sector capacities and performance. Part of this lies with the recipient actors who can be more assertive in maintaining control of their own agendas and strategies. But under any given scenario, it requires from ‘experts’ and ‘advisers’ a much broader range of competencies, and from the ‘donors’ a change in actual practices, that would bring these more in line with their professed policy principles.

Paper

Small Arms Survey: Women and Guns

The Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and Guns considers the multiple roles of women in the context of armed violence, security, and the small arms agenda. The volume’s thematic section comprises one chapter on violence against women and girls—with a focus on post-conflict Liberia and Nepal—and another on the recent convergence of the small arms agenda with that of women, peace, and security. Complementing these chapters are illustrated testimonies of women with experience as soldiers, rebels, and security personnel. The ‘weapons and markets’ section assesses the potential impact of the Arms Trade Treaty, presents the 2014 Transparency Barometer and an update on the authorized small arms trade, and analyses recent ammunition explosions in the Republic of the Congo. In addition, it examines ammunition circulating in Africa and the Middle East, maps the sources of insurgent weapons in Sudan and South Sudan, and evaluates crime gun records in the United States.

Download the paper here.

Paper

Security Strategies Today : Trends and Perspectives

There have been considerable developments in security-policy thinking since the end of the Cold War, and a complex set of transnational threatsand challenges necessitates new security policies and strategies. Not only the attacks of 11 September 2001, but also the dark side of globalisation such as climate change, the global spread of dangerous technologies and international organised crime have changed the security perspective and policy procedures in recent years. Consequently, new
national-security strategies, white papers and security-policy documents have been drafted in order to take into account the changing security landscape.

On 6 April 2009, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) welcomed a group of leading security experts for a seminar entitled “Security Strategies Today : Trends and Perspectives”. The goal of the seminar was to provide a forum for experts from different European states, major international powers and regional and international organisations to take stock of current security polices in the European region and beyond. The participants had an opportunity to assess the direction of security-policy thinking by analysing a number of key security-policy documents such as national-security strategies, defence concepts and white papers, among others. Assumptions regarding future threats were considered, as were a variety of drafting processes and methodologies.

More than 30 participants attended the seminar, including representatives of the Defence Ministries of Finland, Germany and Sweden, as well as representatives of the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In addition to faculty members from the GCSP, regional and international experts from a range of academic and policy institutions participated, including speakers from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the International Affairs Institute (Rome), the Institute for International Strategic Studies (Beijing), the Royal Institute of International Relations (Brussels) and the Foundation for Strategic Studies (Paris).

Paper

Operationalising Conflict Prevention as Strong, Resilient Systems: Approaches, Evidence, Action Points

Conflict prevention is experiencing renewed momentum within and outside the United Nations system. This momentum is built on growing understanding that timely investments towards tensions and stress factors yield significant results in political, economic and social terms. To fully unlock the potential of preventive action to consolidate peace and end violence, there needs to be better communication across sectors and institutions: on how conflict prevention practice has evolved over the last decade, and on the changing nature of conflict itself. What is more, there is a need for a more pronounced effort to distil the concrete evidence about when and how conflict prevention works. The paper locates conflict prevention within the emerging practise of strengthening resilient national systems, and explores operational issues about how to better assist such conflict prevention. The paper also reviews various conflict prevention approaches that have emerged from the fields of armed violence reduction, mediation, or the private sector.

Paper

Strengthening Preventive Diplomacy: The Role of Private Actors

 This report explores the role of private actors in preventive diplomacy. The report is structured along five main themes: (1) The comparative advantage of private actors vis-à-vis large institutions; (2) entry points, access, leverage, and resources available to private actors for preventive diplomacy; (3) challenges faced by private actors; (4) concrete experiences of private actors, especially with regard to assistance and design of political processes; and (5) strategic coordination and partnerships between private actors, the United Nations, and regional organizations.

The report finds that:

  • Private actors are strategic partners for preventive diplomacy. They possess many advantages in comparison to formal actors, despite recurring human and financial resource challenges. Private actors also fill a gap within the preventive diplomacy field by providing functions such as good analysis and network capacities, confidentiality of dialogues, access to a wider set of actors, and connections to local actors through long-standing engagements.
  • There is an emerging practice in the fields of armed violence reduction, peace mediation, and human rights protection that, if more widely applied, would represent a tremendous opportunity to strengthen preventive diplomacy. These opportunities relate to current efforts to establish networks of insider mediators (Box 1) and Armed Violence Monitoring Systems (Box 3), and to the designation of country or regional rapporteurs on conflict prevention.
  • Effective preventive diplomacy should be based on an in-depth contextual analysis and rooted within collaborative and inclusive-enough coalitions between state and society actors. Such coalitions are crucial to build confidence, as they can thereby diffuse tensions or prevent the relapse of violence. The inclusion of such coalitions in conflict-sensitive programming strategies helps nurture a culture of prevention and strengthens social capital.

The report concludes by highlighting the underlying challenge for preventive diplomacy of finding the right balance between international demands for stabilization and local demands for political space to drive transformative change.

Paper

Rule of Law, Justice Sector Reforms and Development Cooperation

Like other donors, SDC has dealt with rule of law issues for years. In several countries, SDC supports judicial reform and the improvement of the legal framework for economic and social development. This concept paper aims to provide information and guidance to SDC’s staff and partners at headquarters and in partner countries. The concept paper begins by identifying the essential elements of the rule of law. Although there is no internationally accepted definition of the rule of law, key elements generally include: non-discrimination and equality before the law, the hierarchy of norms, and the substantive coherence of the legal framework, the government is bound by law, the separation of powers, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and respect for human rights.
The rule of law is interlinked with other concepts used in international cooperation: the rule of law is a means to realize human rights and gender equality, a key element for good governance, decentralization, poverty reduction, economic development, and peace building. Depending on these different perspectives, the concept is multicoloured, and it results in different and sometimes even conflicting approaches to and priorities for legal and judicial reforms. SDC will use the rule of law concept as a means to realize human rights, and implement its principles with flexibility, taking into account the relevant context, and potential entry points for cooperation.
Part two of this concept paper looks at the growing trend to include the rule of law dimension in legal and judicial reform projects. The performance of judicial institutions depends not just on operational efficiency, but also on their accessibility to vulnerable groups and effectiveness in realizing human rights. Justice sector reforms are increasingly seen from a systemic perspective, as a series of interconnected institutions and procedures to be analysed and improved. Moreover, legal and judicial systems are not restricted to formal, “modern” laws and institutions: they include informal and traditional law and procedures.
Part three provides illustrative examples of SDC’s engagement and experience involving the rule of law dimension both in legal and judicial reform and in other areas of development cooperation. The examples show that the legal dimension of development can be addressed in a variety of contexts and manners with different partners and entry points.

Paper

Books

The Box was Happy that I was Thinking Outside of It

The Library at the Guisan Square in Bern has just electronically published the memoirs by Theodor H. Winkler in its Alexandria catalogue). The book depicts a lifespan of public service and tells the story behind the Geneva Centers and the “Maison de la Paix”. It sheds, moreover, light unto Switzerland’s journey towards a modern security policy. A printed version of the book will be published by the Library next year.

For full access to the book The Box was Happy that I was Thinking Outside of It and to download your free electronic copy, kindly follow the link. 

Book

Civil-military Relations in Europe

Democracy is unlikely to develop or to endure unless military and other security forces are controlled by democratic institutions and necessary safeguards, checks and balances are in place. The result of a 2-year research project managed under the auspices of the European Group on Armed Forces and Society (ERGOMAS) and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), this comparative study examines how contemporary European states, both mature Western democracies and emerging democracies of post-communist Europe, manage the issue of how best to control the very institution that has been established for their protection and wields the monopoly of legitimate force. This volume contains 28 case studies from 14 countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Georgia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, Switzerland, and the Ukraine. The studies cover a variety of situation from corruption to military incompetence, disobediencetowards civilian superiors, lack of expertise among civilians, to unauthorized strikes and accidents. They focus on the relationship between political, civilian and military actors while identifying problems and dangers that can emerge in those relations to the detriment of effective and legitimate democratic control. This book will be of much interest to students of Civil-Military Relations, military sociology, IR and strategic studies.

Book

Evaluation of the Performance of SDC Instruments in Fragile and Conflict-affected Contexts

This report is an independent evaluation of SDC‘s work in fragile and conflict affected states. The evaluation considers in particular the performance of instruments; analysis, flexibility and adaptability; complementary of SDC and Swiss instruments and SDC‘s role in the wider system. It does not directly address the performance of non-SDC elements of the Swiss government engagement in fragile states, but does look at how well SDC works with these other entities. The scope is multi-sector, addressing all of the instruments being used by SDC.

Book

Other Documents

ISSAT 16th Governing Board meeting - overview of 2016

Overview of the year 2016 so far, given by Mark Downes, Head of ISSAT, at the occasion of the 16th Governing Board meeting in Geneva.

Other Document

La politique de sécurité de la Suisse - Rapport du Conseil fédéral

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Le Conseil fédéral a approuvé un nouveau rapport sur la politique de sécurité de la Suisse. Celui-ci expose le fondement de la politique de sécurité de la Suisse pour ces prochaines années et actualise le dernier, qui remonte à 2010.

Ce nouveau rapport présente en détail le contexte sécuritaire de la Suisse et se compose de trois parties. La première partie analyse les tendances globales qui se profilent et passe en revue les menaces et dangers qui concernent la Suisse, concluant que la situation a profondément évolué au cours des dernières années. La deuxième partie du rapport traite de l'orientation stratégique adoptée par la Suisse. La dernière partie quant à elle traite de la conduite de la politique de sécurité à l'échelon de la Confédération et à celui des cantons, ainsi que de la collaboration dans ce domaine avec le Réseau national de sécurité.

Pour accéder au rapport du Conseil fédéral sur la politique de sécurité de la Suisse, veuillez cliquer sur le lien.

Other Document

Programme of the Special Discussion on Security for Sustainable Development: Safety, justice and good governance across the Sustainable Development...

The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 193 countries in September of this year marks a watershed moment in how the global community perceives the relationship between security and development. To reflect on the implications of the new agenda, the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) in cooperation with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), convenes a Special Discussion on Security for Sustainable Development: Safety, justice and good governance across the Sustainable Development Goals.

Download the PDF for more details on the programme of the event.

Other Document

Final report of the European Association of Peace Operations Training Centres (EAPTC) annual meeting 2014

The annual meeting of the European Association of Peace Operations Training Centres (EAPTC) was organised by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the International Security Sector Advisory Team of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF/ISSAT) from 12-13 March 2014, in Stans, Switzerland. The meeting brought together over 40 participants from various European training institutions.

The meeting provided members the opportunity to share information on their ongoing and planned activities. The main focus of the meeting was to discuss lessons learned and challenges in the design and delivery of Peace Support Operations (PSO) trainings.

Other Document