Federal Council expands cooperation with the UN on military peace support training

Bern, 20.11.2019 - At its meeting on 20 November 2019, the Federal Council approved an agreement between Switzerland and the UN on training cooperation in the context of international peace support. The agreement will provide a legal framework for closer longer-term cooperation between Switzerland and the UN in the training sector.

Since 2015, the UN has made wide-ranging efforts to reform aspects of its peacekeeping missions and has introduced comprehensive measures to improve operational standards and levels of training. Switzerland has supported these efforts from the outset.

One area where there is potential to improve quality is in the training of persons deployed on UN peacekeeping missions: targeted measures should be used to ensure that those deployed by countries providing military personnel are better prepared for their duties. In specific terms, the UN plans to run these training courses jointly with countries that support the UN and can provide the required infrastructure.

Stans to be the UN training location in Switzerland

The Swiss armed forces already have a UN-certified training centre in Stans, run by SWISSINT, the Armed Forces International Command, which is responsible for deploying Swiss personnel on international missions. The centre meets all the UN requirements in full and can therefore be made available as a training location.

By providing their support and cooperation, the Swiss armed forces in return gain direct access to the UN’s expertise and to the content of the latest training programmes. This means they can keep their own courses up-to-date and benefit from the experience of UN specialists. An initial pilot course for staff officers on UN peacekeeping missions from various countries was successfully held at the SWISSINT training centre in Stans in February 2019, giving a clear signal that holding further courses at this location will benefit both the UN and Switzerland and the Swiss Armed Forces.

With the conclusion of this agreement, a legal framework will be created for closer and longer-term cooperation in the training sector. The Federal Council has authorised the head of the Swiss mission at the United Nations to sign the agreement.

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