Modern security challenges and border management discussed at OSCE-led course in Vienna



Photo caption: Austrian Customs representative shares best practices with the participants of the OSCE one-year blended learning course on Border Security and Management for Senior Leadership. 23 August 2016. (OSCE/Alexander Eliseev)

VIENNA, 26 August 2016 - A two-week workshop focusing on modern security challenges and border management concluded today at the Federal Academy of Finance of Austria.

Twenty mid- to senior-level border security and management officials from Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Tajikistan, Tunisia, and Ukraine attended the study sessions organized as part of the one-year blended learning course on Border Security and Management for Senior Leadership (BSMSL). The course is co-organized by the OSCE Border Management Staff College and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and combines in-class lectures and online learning with the aim of enhancing the professional skills of current and future border security managers in international standards.

The workshop focused on cross-border dilemmas, highlighting current and emerging migration trends and challenges, human trafficking issues and counter-strategies, the world drug map and drug economy, the financial disruption of drug trafficking, anti-corruption techniques, cyber security threats and legislation, the phenomenon of foreign fighters, and counter-terrorism strategies, among other topics.

“Today we completed the first module providing a comprehensive overview of the key border management challenges that we face in the 21st century. Identification, prevention and countering these threats require involvement of qualified strategic thinkers. This is when the knowledge obtained during our course comes in handy,” said Alexander Eliseev, the Chief of Education of the OSCE Border Management Staff College.

The workshop was delivered by a wide range of learning methods, including study sessions, case scenarios, and practical exercises that were designed and delivered by leading experts and researchers representing international organizations such as the OSCE, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), DCAF as well as the National Academy of Border Service of Ukraine.

“The first module presents competencies that create a solid base on which participants are able to build their analysis of border security risks and challenges. This is the process that leads to development of strategic vision on how the existing and emerging threats can be addressed,” added Andrus Oovel the Head of the Border Security Programme at DCAF.

Specific study sessions focused on the OSCE approach to conflict prevention and crisis management as well as its response to the crisis in and around Ukraine. This part of the workshop was delivered by the representatives of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre.

In addition to the classroom activity, the participants visited Vienna International Airport where they learned about the tasks and responsibilities of the Austrian Customs and the Border Police.