From 26 November – 2 December, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) organized a training course in Thailand on ‘Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments’ (SSAFE) for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Mechanism for Investigations 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 the UN Security Management System and the practical skills that will help them prevent or respond effectively to various higher-risk safety or security incidents. The course followed the SSAFE training curriculum, which is based on UNDSS and UN System Staff College (UNSSC) standard modules and was delivered by SSAFE trainers who are UNDSS and UNSSC certified.
A group of 20 experts on the UNSGM roster from 18 countries participated in the course. Representatives from UNDSS provided an overview of the UN Security Management System and general guidelines for working in field environments. Participants also received training on medical elements of working in the field, with theoretical lessons, demonstrations, and practical exercises on individual first aid and managing injuries in field environments.
The course concluded with a half-day field simulation, in which participants put into practice the lessons covered during the first five days of the course. Participants also completed relevant testing and received certifications in both SSAFE and Individual First Aid at the end of the course. Finally, to wrap up, UNODA led participants in an interactive discussion on how the skills covered in the course could be applied in the context of a UNSGM investigation.
This advanced skill training course provided the invited experts with a common understanding of the United Nations principles, guidelines and policies to enhance their security awareness, should they join a UNSGM investigation. These are elements that will be critical for experts to understand should they be deployed as part of a UN team. As such, UNODA is very appreciative for the cooperation extended by UNDSS in developing and implementing an SSAFE course tailored for the UNSGM context.
In addition to the support provided by UNDSS, financial support for the workshop was generously provided by the European Union and the Government of Canada.
For more information on the UNSGM workshop, please contact the UNODA team in support of the UNSGM at UNSGM@un.org.