As part of recognition of the corrosive effects of corruption on security the Heads of State and government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Warsaw 8-9 July 2016 issued a NATO Building Integrity Policy.
It was recognised that the cross-cutting nature of building integrity means the policy aims to incorporate building integrity within the context of NATO’s wider policy objectives and the implementation of the Alliance’s core tasks including education and training. Since then the Defence Academy’s Building Integrity UK (BI UK) programme has sought to implement this policy internationally as well as within the UK.
This has seen recent close engagement with the NATO School Oberammergau and the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) to integrate building integrity themes and delivery within existing programmes. In the last two weeks there has been delivery activity to both.
Firstly, BI UK delivered a Corruption Risk Management module as part of the Environmental Management for Military Forces course run at NATO School Oberammergau. This is the third iteration of this course BI UK has delivered and the validity of this approach was again confirmed. It is clear the NATO activities involved in environmental management are as vulnerable to the risks of corruption as any other operational activity, especially with its involvement in commercial contracting decision making in fragile operational environments.
The course was attended by 27 students from 15 countries, mostly from NATO member states but including partners from Morocco, UAE, Ireland and Taiwan and the relevance of building integrity was strongly validated by student feedback.
Most recently BI UK delivered a ‘Corruption in Conflict: Cause and consequence’ seminar and provided specialist input as part of the ESDC course ‘Conflict Analysis in a CSDP context’. The programme was delivered by Maynooth University’s Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention and the Berlin Center for International Peace Operations supported by BI UK and the European Union’s External Action Service (EEAS).This was the second time BI UK has supported the Conflict Analysis course which aims to deepen participants understanding of the nature of complex conflicts, to provide them with the critical skills to effectively analyse a conflicts dynamics and to identify and assess realistic responses. The 27 participants were from 14 countries from across the EU and partners included the UK, Portugal, Nigeria, Moldova, Cyprus and Malta.
NATO clearly recognises the importance of including building integrity:
“Allies reaffirm their conviction that transparent and accountable defence institutions under democratic control are fundamental to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and essential for international security cooperation. They also recognise that corruption and poor governance are security challenges as they undermine democracy, the rule of law and economic development, erode public trust in defence institutions and have a negative impact on operational effectiveness”.