In August and September 2014, British Council worked with Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop the capacity of Thai soldiers and police hoping to take part in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions around the world.
With Thailand harbouring ambitions to win a seat on the UN Security Council in 2017-18, the country’s record in peacekeeping and its future ability to provide peacekeepers to missions will support its bid. With English as the language of interoperability for the majority of UN missions, and English levels amongst Thai security forces being comparatively low, English has become a limiting factor in Thailand’s plans to expand its peacekeeping presence.
The programme of courses designed by the British Council, and now in its 3rd year, aims to address this English deficit through a mixed and integrated programme of direct teaching and trainer development. The direct teaching supports Royal Thai Police Officers and Royal Thai Armed Forces personnel to succeed in the respective UN selection processes for UN peacekeepers. The trainer development components address a longer term need to develop English training capacity within the Thai Police and Armed Forces peacekeeping units.
The materials and resources for the project were developed by the British Council’s former Peacekeeping English Project, which ran from 1996 to 2010 and also used more current materials developed by Peacekeeping English specialists from British Council Indonesia. In addition to the face-to-face training, the project has also supported the wider learning of English through the development of a Self-Access Centre at Thailand’s Peace Operations Centre in Bangkok.
We wish our students success in the upcoming UN Peacekeeping selection processes and look forward to hearing about Thailand’s continued positive contribution to global peacekeeping in 2015 and beyond.
Credit photo from UN Photo: http://www.unmultimedia.org/photo/