UNCAP and NCI Agency Launch First Virtual Instructor Led Training Facility Launched at the RSCE

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30 Nov 2023

UNCAP and NCI Agency Launch First Virtual Instructor Led Training Facility Launched at the RSCE

Patricia Uchechukwu

The United Nations C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations (UNCAP) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, through the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency), have partnered to deliver the first Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) Facility in the UN Secretariat.

UNCAP and NATO proudly announced this significant milestone in their ongoing partnership established under the Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative that aims to strengthen the capacity of uniformed signals and ICT personnel through a Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) Centre.

This initiative, endorsed by NATO Foreign Ministers in April 2020, aligns with the broader DCB Package for UN Peacekeeping Training, reinforcing NATO's commitment to enhancing UN peacekeepers’ operational performance and safety. 

The UNCAP-NCI Agency Project focuses on several key areas, including sharing NATO course materials, delivering train-the-trainer courses, providing consultancy support, and supporting the development of a VILT capability. The NCI Agency, drawing on its extensive training development and delivery practice, is at the forefront of tailoring existing NATO course materials to meet the specific needs of the UNCAP. This customization ensures that the training content is relevant, effective, and aligned with the objectives of UN peacekeeping operations. 

The VILT Centre, a cornerstone of this collaboration, introduces a remote training platform that facilitates real-time interaction between instructors and participants. It offers an immersive learning experience, enabling UNCAP trainees to access quality advice from experts, experience new skills through interactive simulations, and track their progress effectively. The Centre also addresses challenges posed by the perpetual uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, allowing training to continue seamlessly without compromising safety. 

“With VILT we do not have to fly in participants from all over the world but can have them receive instructions from their duty stations and locations with the feel of being inside the training room. The VILT also offers a solid hybrid training methodology with theorical materials offered online and practical exercised on the campus. This reduces considerably the cost of training.” Said Paulin Djomo, Director RSCE

The project achieves mutual benefits by creating a two-way partnership between the UN and NATO. NATO shares its experience and contributes to peacekeeping efforts, while the UN's experiences and lessons learned contribute to improving NATO standards and procedures. The NCIA's commitment to ongoing support in project management, monitoring, and evaluation ensures the sustainability of the training program, fostering continuous improvement. 

“The UN digital transformation strategy, guided by principles of sustainability and scalability, seeks to harness the power of technology efficiently. It acknowledges that our efforts must be sustainable over time, adaptable to different missions, and interoperable with existing systems. This strategy aligns with the UN's dedication to building strategic partnerships, emphasizing the need for a multistakeholder approach. Engaging with partners such as NATO ensures a harmonious integration of technological advancements into our peacekeeping operations.” Said Assistant Secretary-General Bernardo Mariano Jr, Chief Information and Technology Officer (CITO).

As part of this collaboration, the NCI Agency is actively developing training courses, including the UN PKO C4ISR Technology Orientation Course, UN PKO CIS Planning Course, UN PKO Spectrum Management Course, and UN PKO Cyber Security Fundamentals Course. These courses, tailored to the specific needs of the UNCAP, will contribute to enhancing the overall capabilities of uniformed signals and ICT personnel, supporting the objectives of the DCB Initiative. 

Speaking via MS Teams, Theodora Adekunle, NATO HQ International Staff Senior Political Officer, UNDCB Program Manager NATO International Staff said “The DCB Package for UN Peacekeeping Training focuses on four key areas: Military Performance Evaluation, Medical Care, Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED), and Signals and Information Technology. This collaboration aims to enhance the UN's capacity for peacekeeping operations and support troop-contributing countries.”

For further information and updates on the UNCAP-NATO Partnership, please visit the official UN and NATO websites.