Rome, 14 June. Dr.Jafar Javan, Director of the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) and General Claudio Graziano, Chief of Italian Defence Staff signed an MOU, establishing the continued training collaboration between the Staff College and the Italian armed forces. The MOU was signed on the 10-year anniversary of one of the leading safety and security courses in the UN system and examples of synergies between the Staff College, the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), and the Italian army: the Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments (SSAFE).

SSAFE was created in 2007 owing to a joint effort of the then UNSSC Director, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, and former UNDSS Assistant Secretary-General Ms. Dianna Russler. Since its inception, the SSAFE programme has been equipping UN staff deployed to volatile and dangerous regions across the globe with essential and comprehensive safety and security skills.

The programme consists of theoretical and practical aspects that the UNSSC and UNDSS have been delivering in Turin and in the field. The fundamental part of the SSAFE training is the simulation, during which participants experience realistic “hostile” role-play situations. This exercise makes the training truly unique as it prepares UN staff to apply and use the theoretical knowledge acquired in the classroom, in critical and stressful situations.

In Turin, the simulation is run with the relentless support of the Italian army, specifically the Brigata Alpina Taurinense. Participants benefit from the skills and knowledge of Italian soldiers, who have been deployed as peacekeepers in various countries. The experience of the Italian armed forces in peacekeeping missions and their constant presence in crisis scenarios allows UNSSC and UNDSS to flexibly address a changing set of issues during training day and bring forward arising challenges from the field environment.

Nearly 60,000 UN and associated personnel (i.e. NGOs, International Organizations and Governments Agencies) have been trained worldwide, leveraging a thorough and practical curriculum.

SSAFE has proven to be a successful programme, as it has, and continues to deliver on its promise to help protect and support UN personnel in carrying out crucial missions around the world.

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