The Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia (CITS/UGA) designs and delivers training events for international audiences seeking to improve their ability to manage strategic trade. Participants who complete these training events are better equipped to comply with international security standards and prevent the proliferation of security risks throughout their regions and the world. CITS continues to create and administer innovative training programs in the United States and overseas, working with the generous support of governments agencies, foundations, and affiliated institutions of higher education.
The University of Georgia is the birthplace of public higher education in America. As a proud member of the UGA community, CITS seeks to carry on that tradition of imparting vital knowledge to a broad range of interested audiences in a manner that is efficient, accessible, and cost-effective.
SECURITY & STRATEGIC TRADE MANAGEMENT ACADEMY
The Security & Strategic Trade Management Academy Academy (SSTMA) is the Center for International Security’s longest-running recurring training event. Hosted twice a year at the University of Georgia in Athens, the SSTMA provides a comprehensive course of instruction to participants seeking to increase their mastery of the skills essential to successful strategic trade management and nonproliferation. An average session of the SSTMA will train around 60 participants representing 15-20 different countries. Participants learn together and work together, engaging with CITS staff and invited experts while completing a number of challenging and rewarding interactive simulations.
As a component of the University of Georgia, the nations oldest land-grant public university, CITS can ensure that participants benefit from a wide variety of analysts, experts, faculty, and students dedicated to the pursuit of research and outreach that address the dangers implicit in strategic trade. CITS has over twenty years of experience conducting research and training in this issue-area internationally and is today widely recognized as a reliable source of global expertise in its field.
Content of the Academy
The SSTMA course of instruction is divided into two freestanding-yet-complimentary weeks:
Week 1 provides a comprehensive overview of the issues and conditions shaping the strategic trade challenges of today. Unlike programs that focus exclusively on the United States’ approach to strategic trade control regulations, the SSTMA offers a comparative perspective that allows participants to understand the range of methods and tools available to them. Participants leave with a truly global and hands-on understanding of how to regulate trade in strategic (dual-use) items.
Week 2 provides a primer in the construction of effective strategic trade control legislation. Participants learn from practitioners working the fields of investigation, enforcement, and prosecution, sharing best practices and exploring how proven methods can be shared across country lines. Week 2 also features invited experts speaking on a variety of issues that are shaping the future of strategic trade, such as the rapid changes in aviation technology and the energy sector.
Location and Timing
All SSTMA sessions are held in Athens, Georgia (USA), in and around the UGA campus, close to the historic and vibrant downtown Athens area. Spring sessions typically take place during March-April, and autumn sessions take place during September-October. Lectures and activities are held at various locations on and off campus, providing participants with a flavor of UGA and Athens facilities. Attendees typically stay at the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.
We strongly recommend that participants familiarize themselves with the following texts before they come to the Academy:
- UNSC Resolution 1540 and its subsequent revisions
- Their country’s National Report(s) to the 1540 Committee
- Their country’s submission(s) to the 1540 Legislative Database
- Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)
The SSTMA Experience
We strive to keep SSTMA interactive, engaging, and relevant for all involved. SSTMA sessions adhere to “Chatham House Rule,” meaning that all persons at a gathering participate in their individual capacity — not as representatives of their organizations. Anything said at the gathering is off-the-record and, therefore, cannot be cited in a public document either as personal or official position. This approach provides each participant with the opportunity to ask frank questions and to share ideas and experiences. A relaxed setting, group assignments, informal receptions, and organized excursions to area attractions during the weekends allow ample opportunity to network with others in the field.
THE EXPORT CONTROL FELLOWS PROGRAM
While many CITS programs are designed to impart the fundamentals of strategic trade management, the Export Control Fellows Program affords an opportunity to train more advanced practices to select individuals with extensive background in the fields of strategic trade and nonproliferation. With the support of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Export Control Fellows Program brings a small number of high-ranking professionals from relevant fields within China, India, and Pakistan to train in Athens for two weeks during the summer. Participants also spend two weeks training at our partner institution, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif., and spend several days interacting first-hand with practitioners in Washington, DC.
During their time in Athens and Monterey, participants design, execute, and present written research projects that are of value to them as individuals and to their parent institutions, all the while forming professional connections that strengthen regional efficiency in managing the trade of dual-use and strategic goods.
PROMOTING NUCLEAR SECURITY CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Like many countries in East Asia, Indonesia is rapidly moving toward the use of nuclear energy to meet the rising energy demands of its growing population and evolving industrial sector. With that development comes the need for a consistent methodology to train and maintain a professional culture of vigilance to ensure that nuclear technologies are employed safely and without interference from external threats.
With support from the U.S. government’s Partnership for Nuclear Security (now the Partnership for Nuclear Threat Reduction), CITS staff, along with external experts in organizational culture, traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia, in fall of 2017 to conduct a three-day training event. This training was intended to increase the capacity of Indonesian nuclear authorities to assess the progress of their own nuclear security culture, giving them the expertise necessary to identify and correct issues without further external assistance.
CITS staff had previously conducted similar training sessions in Bulgaria and for Ukrainian academics in Vienna. A follow-up event was conducted in Serpong, Indonesia, in the spring of 2018.
WMD PROLIFERATION AWARENESS IN KENYA
Rapid industrial development coupled with a rise in militant activity throughout the region have made Kenya a country of focus in ongoing global efforts to prevent the proliferation of WMD-related materials. Under a grant from the U.S. Department of State, CITS staff members and affiliated experts traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, in the spring of 2017 to conduct a five-day training workshop intended to raise awareness of the proliferation threat while introducing participants to the fundamental tools of strategic trade management.
Approximately 35 officials from various agencies throughout the government of Kenya attended the training. At the completion of this session, the Kenyan government was better prepared to implement the comprehensive strategic trade control legislation that was in its draft stages at the time. Kenya and the surrounding region continue to provide excellent avenues for cooperation in the continuing quest to enable developing economies while preventing the proliferation of new security threats.