NATO Building Integrity (BI) Discipline Conference 2015

 The NATO Building Integrity (BI) Discipline Conference 2015 took place at Oslo Military Society on 9 and 10 June. The event, which was the second NATO BI conference organised by the Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector (CIDS), provided an opportunity to take stock of ongoing BI work, review NATO´s updated Education and Training (E&T) requirements, and outline the way forward in the implementation of NATO´s Building Integrity Education and Training Plan.IMG_5700The opening session, attended by some 130 participants and specially invited guests, saw Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide deliver a keynote address on corruption as a threat to stability and peace from a Norwegian perspective. In her speech the Minister emphasised how BI, now a discipline, is an area in which Allies and Partners cooperate in pursuit of common goals and how it is vital to protect and promote the values, standards and principles on which the international system is built. Moreover, she encouraged all Allies to participate actively in NATO’s BI Programme: “corruption makes no regard of whether you are allied or not. Admitting rather than ignoring the risk of corruption is therefore crucial”, she said. While praising the efforts of the NATO BI team and NATO´s Military Authorities, she argued that the Alliance should require every major unit in its organization to develop comprehensive integrity plans. Ms. Søreide also used the occasion to highlight the way in which recent international events have underscored the importance of reinforcing the emphasis on co-operative security and to protect the values that unite us. “NATO’s Building Integrity Programme promotes some crucial elements that are an integral part of those values”, she concluded.

Katherine Dixon used her first official appearance as Programme Director for Transparency International´s Defence and Security Programme to give a keynote speech on trends in integrity IMG_5707building and corruption risks. She made the argument that corruption destroys state legitimacy and highlighted how countries without legitimate governments pose a serious threat to NATO. “Sustaining legitimacy should be the central goal and motivation of NATO’s efforts to build integrity whether at home or externally”, she said. Ms. Dixon also presented a summary of TI´s Defence Companies Anti-Corruption Index and the Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index, which compare companies´ and countries´ anti-corruption measures.

Over the course of the two days a number of presentations, panel discussions and syndicate sessions addressed the different requirements levels and the way forward in filling existing education and training gaps. Among the participants were staff responsible for education, training and exercises and other experts involved in anti-corruption work and integrity building.

IMG_5724Susan Pond, Head of the NATO BI Programme, highlighted how BI has gained significant momentum by pointing to the North Atlantic Council´s decision to make it a professional area of work and the ongoing efforts to develop policy and doctrine.

She also praised NATO´s successful partnership with CIDS and thanked all implementing partners, stakeholders and other experts for their contributions to the conference.

 

 

 

More of the highlights from the conference may be found under photos