Strengthening Regional Capacities for Peace in Central Asia
18 May - 19 June 2015, Almaty, Kazakhstan – From 18 May to 19 June 2015 UNITAR, in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and with the financial support of the Government of Finland, organized a series of workshops aimed at strengthening regional capacities to manage cross-border threats through the reinforcement of civil servant expertise in key areas (i.e. good governance, natural resources managment, human security, conflict transformation, and public-private-people partnerships).
The training series took place in Almaty (Kazakhstan) over five weeks, with each week featuring different themes and participants. Representatives of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Defense and National Resources, as well as other relevant state institutions, took part in the trainings. 81 participants from four (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan) of the five Central Asian countries participated in these capacity building trainings.
The trainings were conducted within the framework of the UNITAR’s multi-year project “Strengthening Regional Capacity for Peace in Central Asia" and in accordance with the UNRCCA’s current Programme of Action for 2015-2017, which has a special focus on the need to build capacities in preventive diplomacy.
The training courses applied a methodology built on the principles of action-based learning which included lectures and presentations, plenary and small group discussions, group work, case studies, role play and simulation exercises. Contributions from participants, which involved presentations of real case studies from their respective countries, generated in-depth and thoughtful engagement, highlighting the efficacy of a cooperative and participant-oriented learning exchange approach. In addition to acquiring a better understanding of international best practices, the trainings also served as a networking opportunity and confidence building.
Training materials and curricula were developed by UNITAR in collaboration with UNRCCA, in line with a human rights-based approach to training. Such an approach ensured that training and all training-related activities furthered the realization of human rights (as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments), by promoting the key principles of non-discrimination, accountability, transparency and participation).
Results from the implementation of the five training sessions confirmed the uniqueness and relevance of the project for the region. The growing interest for the initiative was substantiated by the increasing number of applications for the training courses. Based upon feedback received from participants, future activities are being planned. UNRCCA and UNITAR have begun working together to develop a follow-up project that will capitalize on the results achieved so far.
Photo: participants during the training