The Defence Academy has run the UK’s first defence-level education course in Paraguay following the re-establishment of a diplomatic presence in the country in 2013.
It comes as part of a wider defence engagement strategy to build capacity, and support defence and security reform in Paraguay.
Thirty delegates from the senior ranks within the Paraguayan Armed Forces, Ministry of Interior and police and counter drugs bureau took part in the four-day Strategic Leadership Programme course which provides enhanced strategic leadership training.
"The in-country delivery of a Strategic Leadership Programme so soon after re-opening the Embassy represents a step-change in our bilateral defence and security relationship," said Her Majesty’s Ambassador in Paraguay, His Excellency, Dr Jeremy Hobbs who attended the opening and closing ceremony of the course.
The UK retains an active interest in counter-terrorist and counter-narcotics efforts in the region, and the Embassy has sought to strengthen commercial interests with Paraguay including holding a UK Defence and Security Industry reception during the course. As part of the opening ceremony the ambassador also identified three keys areas of development for the UK in Paraguay: first, the strengthening of commercial ties; second, the deepening of relations with the defence and security sector; and finally, the provision of British education.
“Education is the key to recover control of our leaders,” said one delegate, adding: “We need to insist on education, always education, in the fight against autocracy, corruption and impunity.”
The course, which was delivered through simultaneous translation, provided unique insights for both countries with a series of syndicate sessions and strategic context analysis work.
A follow on course, which is delivered by the Defence Academy and Cranfield University to personnel at the OF5 to 2* level, is scheduled for March 2016.
The Paraguayan Armed Forces comprise 10,650 regular personnel, augmented by a sizeable reserve.
The course was attended by 30 senior level delegates