French Air Force General Stephane Abrial, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), participated in the International Research Symposium at the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations (UN) in New York City October 21.
The purpose of the Symposium, organized by NATO Defense College (NDC) Research Division and New York University’s (NYU) Center on International Cooperation with the support of the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the UN, was to analyze steps taken since the signing of UN-NATO Joint Declaration of 2008 and its role in light of the current military operations in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo. It also provided an opportunity for military, diplomatic, and academic parties to share perspectives on goals and expectations of the UN-NATO relationship and identifying the opportunities for practical collaboration at strategic, operational, and tactical levels.
Following introductory remarks by the Turkish delegation to the UN and NDC representatives, Abrial delivered the first keynote speech, where he addressed the joint responsibility of NATO and the UN to promoting peace and stability.
“As a rule, NATO places itself within a broader framework for conflict resolution and crisis management stemming directly from the UN in its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security,” Abrial said. “In other words, the operational cooperation really is a product of a partnership in the making.
“We can and should strive to challenge our preconceived notions about each other in order to develop an effective UN-NATO partnership,” he continued. “In today’s world, such a partnership is not a matter of choice – it is a necessity for the international community. A working partnership between the UN and NATO will be a critically important tool in preventing conflict, managing future crises and – when necessary – tackling post-conflict stabilisation and reconstruction.”
Abrial also spoke on the role of the NATO-UN partnership in NATO’s Strategic Concept and Comprehensive Approach, the latter of which includes the requirement of the Alliance to operate “as one part of a broad network of security providers in which various international actors to combine to take a comprehensive approach to the solution of a particular problem.” Additionally, he highlighted the importance of civil-military cooperation in crisis response.
“Everyone who has tackled these types of crises [Haiti earthquake, Pakistan floods] knows the military has unique logistical, organizational and technical capabilities to bring to bear in the event of such emergencies,” he stated. “NATO, as a military Alliance that brings together all of these capabilities, possesses unique interoperability, capability development, planning and training tools.
“But it is also true that these military capabilities, while necessary, are not sufficient to tackle our security challenges,” he continued. “This has been long recognized in the disaster or humanitarian relief field, in which the military acts as an enabling force, providing transportation, logistical and, as needed, medical support to relief operations that are primarily of a civilian nature. But it is just as true in any conflict situation. In truth, we in the Alliance understand that no crisis can be solved without a significant civilian intervention.”
Abrial concluded by speaking about Allied Command Transformation (ACT) initiatives and how the transformation command’s unique role facilitates NATO’s support of the UN to include its training networks, Centres of Excellence and lessons learned.
In all more than 70 representatives from the UN and NATO attended the event. Panelists included Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the UN; Lieutenant General Wolf-Dieter Loeser, Commandant of NATO Defense College; Professor Lawrence Kaplan, Professorial Lecturer in History, Georgetown University and Emeritus Director, Lemnitzer Center for NATO Studies, Kent State University.
|< Prev||Next >|