Mr Dubois explained that EU and UN Missions and Operations have a lot in common. They are based on similar mandates and promote such values as human dignity, freedom, the rule of law and respect for human rights including respect for the rights of minority populations. At operational level, EU CSDP and UN PKO missions entail close cooperation. The ESDC portfolio ensures that CSDP staff receive training in line with the standards set by the UN. Such training comprises courses on international humanitarian law, the protection of civilians, the integration of a gender equality aspects within missions and operations, the prevention and prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence, HEAT training, security and defence sector reform, conflict analysis and more.
Mr Dubois referred to the recent attacks on workers protected by international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict and the challenges that this trend poses for the UN and the EU. He stressed, too, that there was an increased need to compare and exchange experience and to learn from such experience as this was necessary in the context of improved training and the achievement of the best possible standards. He endorsed the idea of a closer partnership between the ESDC and the UN and offered ESDC training opportunities wherever this was possible in order to promote the exchange of experience between partner countries, regional organisations and their training providers.
‘If improved training could prevent just one of the casualties, it will have been worth the investment,’ he stated.