24 October | FINCENT
The Finnish Defence Forces International Centre (FINCENT) conducts the 100th United Nations Military Observer Course from 24 October to 11 November 2011.
Since the first course in 1968 more than 4.500 officers from over 70 countries have been trained in Finland to become military observers for the United Nations in conflict areas all around the world.
The course has been certified by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
During the first week of the course in Tuusula the students gain basic knowledge about peace support operations and theoretical information on observer duties.
In the second week the course moves to Niinisalo. There the students get a hands-on approach to military observer life by living in a realistic United Nations patrol base and facing life-like situations and events in a mission area. Patrolling in a demilitarized zone between imaginary conflicting parties, Greyland and Blueland, the students focus on performing as observers, learn how to work with an interpreter and how to negotiate and mediate. In the third week their skills are put to test in a field exercise.
The military observer courses are conducted within the Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO) framework. According to the Nordic agreements Finland is responsible for training all the Nordic (Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Icelandic) United Nations Military Observers. By dividing the responsibility for the different types of courses between the Nordic countries, it has been possible for FINCENT to reach international top-level with the military observer courses, and other Nordic countries with their courses, respectively.
In addition to the Nordic countries, several other countries regularly send their officers to participate on the course. This 100th course has a total of 37 students from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Sudan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, China, Comoros, Uganda, and Burundi.