UNSGM experts join training course on Investigative Interview Skills  

February 19th, 2024

From 5-9 February, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), in collaboration with VERTIC and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI), organized a training course in Geneva on ‘Investigative Interview Skills’ for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons (UNSGM).

The objective of the course was to provide a group of qualified experts, nominated by Member States to the UNSGM roster, with a better understanding of interview management techniques in the context of a UNSGM investigation. Training elements included both theoretical lessons and role-play exercises to practice the related skills, which were delivered by IICI trainers.

A group of 16 experts on the UNSGM roster from 15 countries participated in the course. At the start of the course, UNODA provided an overview of the relevant sections of the UNSGM Guidelines & Procedures, as well as a review of some of the challenges that may be encountered in a UNSGM investigation. Then, participants received training from IICI instructors on several elements of investigative interviews, including approaching and managing different kinds of witnesses, working with interpreters and intermediaries, and interview planning, note-taking, and write-ups.

This investigative interview skill training course provided the invited experts with an improved understanding of conversation management techniques, including skill development in questioning and active listening, which will be important elements of a potential UNSGM investigation. As such, UNODA is very appreciative for the collaboration extended by VERTIC and IICI in developing and implementing this course on investigative interview skills tailored for the UNSGM context, as well as the financial support for the workshop that was generously provided by the governments of Canada, and the United States.

For more information, please contact the UNODA team in support of the UNSGM at UNSGM@un.org.