The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, together with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organised an advanced training on SSR from 19-23 September 2016 in Tunis, Tunisia. The course brought together 23 civilian and uniformed participants from the French and Dutch administration working in the region or at Headquarters, as well as representatives from the European Union and the United Nations. Participants from beneficiary countries including Tunisia, Lebanon, Burundi, Ivory Coast and the Palestinian authorities also attended the course. The training was carried out by facilitators from the International Security Sector Advisory Team of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF/ ISSAT).
The course was inaugurated by H. E. Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, French Ambassador to Tunisia, and H. E. Eric Strating, Dutch Ambassador to Libya. Both speakers underlined the importance and timeliness of such a training in the region. Indeed, this was the first time that France and the Netherlands organised an SSR training in the Middle East and North Africa region. The training was concluded by H. E. Hans Van Vloten Dissevelt Dutch Ambassador to Tunisia, and Mr. Vincent Larrouze, Deputy Director and Head of the Division for Democratic Governance and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.
During the training, and through a series of case studies, group work and simulations, participants discussed issues such as good governance, the penal chain, gender and SSR, defence reform, and mentoring and advising. The French and Dutch approaches to SSR, as well as the SSR activities of the International Organisation of the Francophonie were also highlighted. Case studies presented during the course included Mali, Burundi and Libya as well as the SSR activities of the European Union in Tunisia. The diversity and experience of the participants led to rich discussions and experience sharing.
End-course evaluations indicated that 95% of the participants found the course useful. 95% also acknowledged that the training contributed to a better understanding of SSR. Participants praised the interactive methodology of the course and appreciated the sharing of experience by facilitators, guest speaker and participants. Suggestions for further improvement include greater numbers of concrete case studies and a longer course duration.
Support to “Senior Strategic Advisors Master Class on Police Reform in an International and SSR Context”.
In 2010, at the request of the Netherlands, ISSAT was asked to support a group of four police academies to develop a two week training course, targeting mainly (senior) law enforcement officials. The aim of the course is to train these officers on the issues around police reform within an SSR and post-conflict context, and to prepare them to act as police reform advisors within multilateral mission or bilateral support programmes.
The programme is a joint endeavour chaired by the Netherlands in conjunction with Norway, Canada the UK, and Australia - as of 2014. ISSAT will provide advisory support, supply its current SSR training materials and present a module on looking at police reform through an SSR lens. The first course was piloted in September 2011, and a second course took place in 2012, both at Bramshill in the UK. Subsequent courses have been hosted by the Swiss, the Norwegians and the Netherlands. This year’s Masterclass will be hosted by the UK in Scotland.
The course aims to prepare law enforcement officials from donor countries to serve in missions abroad as police reform/SSR advisors. The course responds to a need that has been identified by each of the partners, to have police officers with a solid background in SSR issues and working in post-conflict contexts.
There is significant ownership by the four policing organisations, which have taken over the roll-out of the course for the long-term. The modules developed will also assist ISSAT in the inclusion of more police reform modules/examples into its Level 2 Advanced SSR training course.
On June 20th a meeting will take place under the NL EU presidency that will bring together the two committees of EU member states representatives that deal with development policy (“CODEV”) and with civilian aspects of crisis management (“CivCom”), as well as representatives from the European Commission and the European External Action Service. In total some 70 participants are expected.
The occasion for the meeting is the fact that this Summer the EU will produce two policy documents: one on SSR and one on Capacity Building in support of Security and Development (CBSD – or Train&Equip). The document on SSR has gone through a relatively extensive consultation process with useful discussions on the concept as such and its application by EU instruments. The discussions on CBSD/Train&Equip, however, have been mostly top-down and focused on legal and budgetary issues. For the Netherlands that is cause for concern because train & equip as an approach of course has its risks and pitfalls.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested the support of ISSAT to organise a 2-day sensitisation briefing on SSR. The briefing will take place on 14-15 April 2016 in the Hague (the Netherlands) and bring together approximately 20 representatives from various Dutch ministries, missions abroad as well as some representatives from civil society.
The sensitisation is aimed at familiarising participants to the concept of SSR and helping them understand the various actors and principles of SSR. Topics covered will include:
- the concept and policy framework of SSR
- gender mainstreaming
- strengthening governance and accountability
- the role of non-state actors
- ensuring coordination of SSR programmes.
- Through interactive, co-learning methodology, participants will be invited to engage in practical exercises and share their personal experience.
One German-Netherlands Corp (1GNC) will hold its civil-military training period "Exercise Common Effort" from 27 June to 1 July. This year's exercise will concentrate on “Libya & the Region”, and on “Migration/Refugees”.
Participants will be divided into the following thematic groups:
- protection of civilians
- economic/private sector