The Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) is an international foundation focusing on executive education that facilitates collaboration in support of peace, security and international cooperation. Established by the Swiss Confederation in 1995, the Centre equips a diverse range of experts, leaders and practitioners with the knowledge, skills and community they need to help their organisations thrive in today’s ever-changing security landscape. The GCSP provides executive education, dialogue opportunities, policy analysis and forward-thinking solutions to an array of individuals and institutions. Each year the GCSP hosts 1,300 course participants, including government officials (diplomats, military, etc.), international organisations, NGOs, business leaders, and politicians, of more than 165 nationalities.
Policy and Research Papers
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.
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).