30 April 2009

Re-issued as received

Vienna Hosts Senior-most Course for Potential Future Leaders of UN Peace Operations

Prestigious event to be held for the first time in Austria

Vienna, 30 April (UN Information Service) - For the first time the traditional two-week United Nations training course for military, police and political leaders who might be appointed to serve in international peace operations will be held in Austria. This "Senior Mission Leaders Course" (SMLC) is organized by the Integrated Training Service (ITS) of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports (BMLVS), and will be held from 4 to 15 May 2009 at the Austrian National Defence Academy in Vienna. The course should enable participants to prepare for the roles and responsibilities of senior leaders in United Nations peacekeeping operations and qualify UN Member State officials who cover peacekeeping issues to better understand how multi-dimensional United Nations peacekeeping missions function.

Austria has a distinguished history of contribution to UN peacekeeping with more than 60.000 soldiers and approximately 1400 police officers (both female and male). Having participated in international peace operations since 1960, Austria pro-actively contributes to one of the most important endeavours of the United Nations, to maintain international peace and security.

The Austrian Defence Ministry, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, and the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, are in charge of the deployment of military, police or civilian services in peace operations worldwide. Being the host country of the training event Austria took advantage of the offer to nominate and select three candidates of military, police or civilian services to participate in the Vienna Senior Mission Leaders Course.

International crisis management faces new challenges

International peacekeeping operations continue to evolve, both conceptually and operationally, to meet new challenges and political realities, and face similar challenges as multinational corporations do. Increasingly complex peace operations require specific know-how, ways of dealing with cultural encounters and a high level of coordination. Therefore, the training course focuses on military, police and civil experts in international peace operations, as well as on team-oriented and efficient leadership management.

Course discusses United Nations Security Council issues being dealt with during Austria's non-permanent membership term and presidency in the Security Council     

The course includes issues which are dealt with by the United Nations Security Council during Austria's term as a non-permanent member: Rule of Law, protection of civilians and the role of women in peace processes.

In addition, from 14 to 16 June 2009, the Vienna Seminar of the International Peace Institute (IPI) will highlight the issue of protection of civilians when discussing the concept of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), underlying strategies and processes, and its translation into practice. Senior military, police and diplomatic officials from a number of countries, representatives of the United Nations and leading think tanks in the area of peacekeeping are being expected to participate.

Appreciation for Austria hosting the United Nations headquarters in Vienna and its commitment as UN Member State

Austria's engagement and activities as a UN Member State and being host for the United Nations headquarters in Vienna are highly acknowledged. Vienna chosen as venue for the prestigious Senior Mission Leader's Course is therefore seen as another token of appreciation. This year, the Vienna International Centre (VIC) will celebrate its 30 th Anniversary.

As part of its activities as a non-permanent member in the UN Security Council for the period 2009-2010, Austria will take the opportunity to consolidate and enlarge its international profile.

* *** *
For further information, please contact:

Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs
Press Office
Telephone: (+43) (0) 50 1150-3262, -4549, -4550
Fax: (+43) (0) 50 1159-213
Email: abti3@bmeia.gv.at
Website: http://www.aussenministerium.at, http://www.bmeia.gv.at

Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports
Press Office
Mobil: (+43) (0) 664-622-1005
Email: presse@bmlvs.gv.at
Website: http://www.bundesheer.at