The United Nations Military Experts on Mission Course started at FINCENT
The United Nations Military Experts on Mission Course (UNMEM) started at FINCENT in Helsinki on 29 October. The objective of the three-week UNMEM course is to train military officers who will later be serving in UN peacekeeping operations as military observers, military liaison officers and military advisors.
The last of the UNMEM courses held this year has started with induction training to prepare the participants for the upcoming three weeks of various training. The second and third weeks of the training will take place in the field, where the students will be working in sectors/team sites, implementing the skills they have learned during the first week of the course.
The majority of students on the second UNMEM course in August were female, which might have shown in the composition of the students in the last UNMEM course of the year. This time, due to some cancellations, all of the 23 students participating in the third UNMEM course of the year happen to be male officers.
Based on the United Nations request to increase the amount of women involved in peace support with the aim of increasing the number of women in UN peacekeeping operations to 15 per cent, it would be more sustainable in the long term for all of the courses throughout the year to have both male and female participants. Having a distribution of both men and women would also create the atmosphere that would be present in the missions once the observers deploy to their missions.
Breaking the ice between new colleagues
The UNMEM course participants come from ten different nations: Bhutan, Botswana, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Kenya, Poland, Norway, Sweden and Ukraine. Most of them have previous experience of peacekeeping operations.
UNMEM courses organized by FINCENT are part of Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO). The training is provided by FINCENT’s NORDEFCO instructor pool, comprising officers from Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. During this course, we have visiting instructor support from officers from Canada and Switzerland.
Multinational instructors at work