The Integrated CIMIC Key Leader Conference 2023 Begins!

Yesterday, a total of 120 participants arrived at the CCOE (Civil-Military Cooperation Centre of Excellence). Following their in-processing for the conference, an icebreaker event was organized to facilitate introductions and connections among participants, setting the stage for a busy week filled with discussions, speeches, and networking opportunities. During the icebreaker, Colonel Andreas Eckel, the Director of CCOE, and Brigadier General Editson Zarka, ACOS J9 SHAPE, warmly welcomed all conference attendees.

The official conference proceedings began with a welcome from Jan van Zanen, the Mayor of The Hague, followed by opening remarks by Rear Admiral Gunnstein Bruåsdal, DCOS PD SHAPE. Colonel Eckel and Brigadier General Zarka also extended their official greetings to the participants. The first item on the day's agenda was centered around the theme of "Military contribution to Human Security (MC2HS)," with discussions spanning political perspectives on MC2HS, Cultural Property Protection (CPP) as an integral component of human security, and strategies for operationalizing MC2HS. This was followed by a team presentation on CIMIC (Civil-Military Cooperation) Analysis and Assessment.

After a break for lunch, the conference continued with a crucial focus on Ukraine and its implications for NATO CIMIC. The discussions covered a wide array of topics, commencing with a thorough examination of the ramifications of the Ukraine conflict on ACO (Allied Command Operations) and its wide-ranging impacts. The scientific perspective on the Ukraine conflict was explored, and insights were gleaned from Ukrainian CIMIC experiences, shedding light on the distinctive challenges and strategies within that context. Furthermore, the role of UNOCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) in Ukraine was discussed, underscoring their pivotal role in humanitarian efforts. Finally, valuable lessons and perspectives were shared through the experiences of the Polish Territorial Defense Forces. These presentations culminated in a panel discussion where speakers engaged with the audience in an interactive discussion on the topic.

The day concluded with syndicate work, where participants gathered in smaller groups to discuss, debate, and present their thoughts on the various topics covered during the day's agenda, fostering further exchange of ideas and insights.