SIBIU, Romania – As the NATO-led Human Security in Operations training event wound down in Romania this week, Cultural Property Protection and Building Integrity were further discussed at length.
Many of NATO's Missions and Operations have had extensive experience in these two domains, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq where NATO and coalition forces have been able to demonstrate clear and transparent regard for these principles and in safeguarding civilian populations.
Historically, and even more so now with Russia's aggressive invasion dismissing Ukrainian sovereignty, it is very evident the importance of Building Integrity in operations procedures right down to the tactical level
“The importance of protecting cultural property cannot be under estimated. Damage, destruction and plundering of artefacts or buildings can have a disproportionate negative impact on military operations,” said Mrs Sera Gaeta, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Branch Head Civil Military Co-operation. “Absolute recognition of any community's or national social, ethnic or religious identity and fabric must be carefully considered, in detail, in the operational planning process. Under the 1954 Hague Convention it is a war crime to disregard.”
The NATO-led Human Security in Operations training event concluded in Sibiu, Romania on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. The event held at the Land Forces Academy included both military and civilian personnel.
The remainder of the week’s formal training scrutinised and discussed NATO's approach to the Building in Integrity operations concept where NATO is committed to strengthening integrity, transparency and accountability, reflecting NATO's shared values and underpinning operational effectiveness.
“Building Integrity in all our processes cuts across every aspect of defence and related activities, particularly when we look at human security. Corruption is a very real security challenge and a persistent threat to mission success if not addressed,” said Mr Tom Gooch, Humanitarian Affairs Advisor, Civil Liaison Branch SHAPE. “Historically, and even more so now with Russia's aggressive invasion dismissing Ukrainian sovereignty, it is very evident the importance of Building Integrity in operations procedures right down to the tactical level. Building Integrity directly reinforces all 3 NATO Core tasks - Collective Defence, Crisis Management and Cooperative Security.”
Focal Point training concluded this week’s training by putting into practice skills learned and further consolidating levels of understanding. “My team here in Sibiu and back at SHAPE, have worked very hard in close liaison with our counterparts at NATO’s Allied Land Command to set up this very first event of its kind. All these aspects of Human Security in Operations are painfully visible with the ongoing war in Ukraine and I know our leadership fully understands the importance of protecting people, cultural property and enhancing our Integrity focus in all that we do,” said Mrs Sera Gaeta, Branch Head Civil Military Co-operation SHAPE.
The training event, which included military and civilian personnel, concluded on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.