The Co-Located Annual Discipline Conference 2023 in Helsinki, Finland
From 13-16 June 2023, the CIMIC Centre of Excellence (CCOE) and FINCENT (www.fincent.fi) successfully executed the Annual Discipline Conference (ADC) in a co-located manner. This conference serves as a vital annual event where each of the 28 NATO Disciplines presents in their respective conference venue the latest developments and status of their specific disciplines to a community of interest within NATO and other stakeholders. The ADC plays a crucial role in NATO's approach to Training and Education, providing a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration and offering a crosscheck with the requirement authority from NATO, which is, in both cases, SHAPE J9, which the ACOS General Zarka represented. The Commandant of FINCENT, Niclas von Bonsdorff, and the Director of the CCOE, Andreas Eckel, extended a warm welcome to the communities of interest attending the conference.
Presenting Training Solutions:
The CCOE takes charge of coordinating the training solutions for the CIMIC & CMI Discipline, while FINCENT coordinates the training solutions for the Military Contributions to Peace Support (MC2PS) Discipline. These training solutions are essential for enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of NATO staff involved in these disciplines. The Requirements Authority, represented by SHAPE ACOS J9 General Zarka, played a significant role in providing the necessary guidance on training needs and requirements.
Conference Themes and Highlights:
The ADC covered a range of topics relevant to each discipline, with a primary focus on Human Security and its military contribution to it in its broadest sense, which is a shared concern for both CIMIC and MC2PS. Another major highlight was the discussion of NATO's Comprehensive Approach, which showcased the alignment of both disciplines over the past years. The conference featured the respective subject-related briefings on the topics presentations from two speakers from Ukraine, one representative from NATO HQ, and a CIMIC Officer with field experience. Their insights and needs provided valuable perspectives and sparked engaging discussions among the participants.
On Friday, 16 June 2023, the community of interest remained at FINCENT for a special Human Security session. To develop the future of Human Security for NATO, a wide audience of all different military and civilian organisations was present to discuss this important and current issue.
The session started with a detailed briefing of the CIMIC and CI aspects during their war observed by a Ukraine CIMIC staff officer. The audience had the opportunity to review the briefing and expand their understanding in a Q&A session after the briefing. Next, speakers from the organisations' PAX (www.paxforpeace.nl), STIMSON (www.stimson.org ) and CIVIC (https://civiliansinconflict.org) - which are all organisations that deal with Human security aspects like protection of civilians in armed conflicts for instance - completed the session by sharing their thoughts and experiences on Human Security.”
Impressive Participation and Engagement:
The ADC gathered an impressive attendance, with over 80 primarily NATO colleagues participating in the conference. As anticipated, there was also enthusiastic participation from interested partners and closely related civilian organisations. This diverse representation fostered rich networking opportunities and fruitful exchanges of ideas, contributing to the overall success of the ADC.
Looking Ahead to 2024:
During this year's ADC, meticulous planning was undertaken for the upcoming year. The 2024 co-located ADCs might see the addition of a third discipline, as the Building Integrity Discipline considers joining the event in The Hague, at the CCOE. Scheduled for 4-6 June 2024, this co-located conference will further enhance the multidisciplinary collaboration and knowledge sharing among the participating disciplines – specifically focusing on various elements of the civil factors of the operating environment and its mutual interdependencies and overlaps.
The co-located Annual Discipline Conference 2023, organised by FINCENT and the CIMIC Centre of Excellence, proved to be a remarkable event for NATO's Training and Education approach. With an extensive range of topics discussed and valuable insights shared, the ADC served as an invaluable platform for enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of the CIMIC, CMI, and MC2PS Disciplines. The active participation of NATO colleagues and the engagement of civilian organisations further reinforced the collaborative spirit of the conference. Looking forward to the 2024 ADCs we anticipate another year of fruitful discussions and progressive development within the NATO community.
Pictures by PAO CCOE
Video by PAO FINCENT