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4. Januar 2021,

Paper: Qualification for Civilian Peacekeeping

© BSV In corona-gerechtem Abstand im Tagungsraum in Bonn.

In October 2020, the BSV held a symposium on the question how to qualify people as Civilian Peacekeepers / accompaniers.

In the symposium it became clear that work in civilian peacekeeping / UCP requires many different competences, many of which are rather “soft” or social competences – stress resilience, the ability to build relationships, intercultural skills and – to a much greater extent than in other international work in the field of conflict transformation – the willingness to stand back and let the accompanied partners take the lead.

A picture of qualification for this work as a step-by-step process emerged in the discussion: At the beginning there can be basic training, as provided in Germany by various institutions, e.g. the Education and Meeting Centre “Kurve Wustrow” or the Academy for Conflict Transformation of forumzfd. This basic training is the same for all areas of work, regardless of whether someone later goes abroad with the Civil Peace Service or with pbi or Nonviolent Peacefoce. Civilian peacekeeping also requires certain specialisations that can be acquired in additional courses and training. A third, indispensable, element is agency-specific preparation, in which volunteers and staff are prepared for the mandate, philosophy, security rules and teamwork. Instead of the first two steps, there can often be other forms of qualification – from studying relevant subjects to gaining professional experience in the social field.

Regarding colleges: In France people managed to create a training course with a state-recognised certificate. In Leeds there is a course on “protection”. In Germany, there is often a complaint about the lack of practical relevance in peace and conflict studies. Establishing something similar to France in Germany would require the cooperation of professors and moving in this direction step by step, perhaps through individual courses as part of the degree programme.

There was also an exchange on the question of the effectiveness of civilian peacekeeping. It was noted that scientific study of Civilian Peacekeeping / UCP is at the very beginning. The big challenge is: how to prove the effectiveness of prevention, of something that does not happen? More systematic and comparative studies were called for.