BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Founding of the PSOTC Bosnia and Herzegovina
Memorandum of Understanding between UK and Bosnia and Herzegovina was signed in Sarajevo regarding founding of the PSOTC Bosnia and Herzegovina. Earlier this year, the NAC, under SG (03) 0616 approved in principle the founding of PSOTC on the proposed site at the Camp Butmir. Brigadier General Henning Brøchmann Larsen (Danish Army) was appointed as very first PSOTC Commandant.
Partner nations signed the Memorandum of Understanding regarding support and cooperation to PSOTC
PSOTC was established as the multinational project of 12 Partner nations - Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and USA - who signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) "Concerning Co-Operation in the Establishment and Operation of Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Bosnia and Herzegovina" on 20 November 2003. The aim of the project was to provide education and training in peace support operations (PSO) for the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina and international attendees, as well as to promote benefits of inter entity co-operation and to support the BiH defence reform. The Partners agreed to provide sufficient funding for the founding, as well as to provide a certain number of military staff required for PSOTC. It was also agreed that the United Kingdom would act as the contracting agent on behalf of the Partners in relations with BiH. Albania, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Macedonia and Serbia also joined the Partners later.
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the PSOTC Building
Following memorandums of understanding signed by partner countries, the groundbreaking ceremony for the PSOTC building at the Camp Butmir took place on 27 February 2004. After one year, Brigadier General Henning Brøchmann Larsen as the PSOTC Commandant took responsibility for the newly built PSOTC building on 4 March 2005.
First PSOTC Course
Education process at the PSOTC started with the very first course, the International PSO Staff Officers Course, on 7 February 2005. Although predominantly created for BiH officers, it has always had a marked international participations, firstly from regional countries following with participations from other partner countries.
Declaration of the PSOTC Bosnia and Herzegovina as the PfP Training and Education Centre
On 20 November 2007, the NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, recognized the PSOTC Bosnia and Herzegovina as the PfP Training and Education Centre marking this event as the day when PSOTC became the member of the NATO family.
Recognition of PSOTC as one of the regional training centres
The ministers of defence of regional countries, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia signed the Joint Statement on enhancing regional cooperation through regional centres in the Western Balkans. The PSOTC Bosnia and Herzegovina was recognized as one of regional centres.
Accreditation of the PSOTC Courses by NATO
By becoming the part of the NATO family earlier in 2007, PSOTC work very hard on establishing education and training in accordance with the NATO standards. Finally, on 19 April 2011, NATO ACT confirmed accreditation of first three PSOTC Courses – PSO Staff NCO Course, Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Course and International Staff Officers Skills Course. Since then, PSOTC continued to extend its expertise by adding additional four NATO accredited courses – Building Integrity in PSO Course, Senior NCO Building Integrity Course, Utility of Gender in PSO Course and Essential Staff NCO Course.
PSOTC put a huge effort to provide education and training in the area of UN peacekeeping operation. First UN course which was certified by UN was the UN Police Officers Course. Since then, PSOTC continued to extend its expertise by adding additional three UN certified courses – UN Military on Experts on Mission (Observer) Course, UN Staff Officer Course and UN Comprehensive Protection of Civilians Course.
Handover of the PSOTC to Bosnia and Herzegovina Authorities
On 12 December 2012, Bosnia and Herzegovina took full control of PSOTC from the international community. The handover agreement was signed by the UK Minister for International Security Strategy, Dr. Andrew William Murrison and the Minister of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Zekerijah Osmić. Even being transferred fully to the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, PSOTC continued its mission by keeping international presence at the centre.
Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Conference
One of the PSOTC goals has been establishing partnership across the globe and being a part of different initiatives within the scope of peace support. On 28 March 2014, PSOTC had a pleasure together with the Ministry of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be the host of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Conference which was held in Sarajevo. The Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative was the project established and supported by the British Government and its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. William Hague as well as by the UN Special Envoy, Ms. Angelina Jolie.
The US Recognition of the PSOTC Full Training Capability
The US State Department recognized the peacekeeping capacity building partnership efforts recognizing the full training capability in peace operations training for military personnel. With this recognition became the first center in Europe recognized by the US Government.
Quality Assurance Accreditation Certification
NATO ACT recognized achievement of the PSOTC in the area of the PSO training and education. This achievement comes as a result review of academic and supporting staff process to ensure students at PSOTC are given the best possible training and education in professional and supportive learning environment, and just as importantly, that there is a continuous improvement mindset to carry the organization forward through six years of the accreditation period.
22nd IAPTC Annual Conference
PSOTC hosted 22nd Annual Conference of the International Association of Peacekeeping Centres which was held between 26 and 30 September 2016. The overall theme of the conference was “The future of Peacekeeping training: Challenges, Best practices and Innovations”, and the purpose was to develop ideas for facilitating future peacekeeping training through identification of challenges, presentation and exchange of best practices, and to propose innovations in order to enhance performance in missions. The conference motto was “Bosnia and Herzegovina – From Security Consumer to Security Provider”.
PSOTC as an associated network partner of the ESDC network
As a result of widening the PSOTC’s expertize, the PSOTC’s efforts was recognized by the European Security and Defence Center. On 05 October 2018, the Head of the ESDC, Mr. Dirk Dubois presented the certificate to PSOTC and by this act the PSOTC became the associated network partner of the ESDC network.
NATO recognition of the PSOTC contribution to the Building Integrity Programme
NATO has been enforcing the Building Integrity Programme since 2007 through different phases. Contribution of PSOTC to development of the NATO Building Integrity Programme was recognized by NATO HQ Brussels.