Presentation of the DCAF [fr]
The Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces, in Geneva, was created in October 2000 following the initiative of the Swiss government. Its mission is to encourage and support the states and the non-governmental institutions in the efforts deployed to reinforce the civil and democratic control upon the armed and security forces, as well as promoting a reform of the security field in accordance with the democratic norms.
To complete those goals, the Centre collects informations and undertakes researches to identify problems. It also gathers the accumulated experience on the field to suggest the best practices in the area of democratic governance and the reform of the security sector. The latter brings together the armed forces, the police, the paramilitary forces, the domestic security and the intelligence services, the border-guards, the parliamentary and governmental control structures and finally the civil society. The Centre provides qualified and adapted advice, and brings its support on the field to all the parties involved, notably to rulers, to parliaments, to international and non-governmental organisations but also to the academic world. The DCAF is particularly willing to encourage and to support the”self-help” principle as well as playing the role of an intermediate, by putting together states which have already been through a transition process to those who just engaged into them.
The DCAF is an international foundation governed by Swiss law. Its foundation Council is constituted of 46 governments, including Switzerland, forty-one states of the Euro-atlantic region, three African states and the Canton of Geneva. The international Advisory Council groups together 60 experts acting in the diverse activity areas of the institution. The Think Tank leads analyses and implement researches projects. The international Cooperation and Projects departments implement the results of these analyses leading assistance programmes on the field.
The Director of the Centre is the Swiss Ambassador Theodore Winkler. The DCAF staff is about 50 people (representing 30 different nationalities).
The DCAF benefits from the graciously granted contributions of certain member States, also members of the foundation Council.
The French contribution is mainly constituted of the provision of an Army General Officer.