March 5, 2019 – Representatives from NATO nations and partner countries gathered in Washington DC on Tuesday (5 March) to discuss how to promote better governance, accountability and transparency in the defense and security sector. They were joined by delegates from international organizations, NGOs and the private sector for the three-day “NATO 2019 Building Integrity Conference”, with a focus on the challenges to build capable defense institutions.
Speaking at the opening of the event, the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Ambassador Alejandro Alvargonzález thanked the United States Office of the Secretary of Defense for co-hosting the event.
He said that the conference will “look at the impact of poor governance on peace and security and what this means for crisis prevention”. The conference will also be an opportunity to share lessons learned and exchange best practices.
Ambassador Alvargonzález said that “since its creation in 2007, the NATO Building Integrity programme has been a key tool for NATO’s capacity-building activities” to promote good practices and strengthen integrity in the defence and related security sector in countries around the world.
Stressing that “poor governance is a main driver of insecurity”, he said that the NATO Building Integrity programme “is committed to deepen cooperation with other international organizations and other key international players to help strengthen the principles of transparency and accountability in all countries participating in the program”.
The NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Operations Mr. Jonathan Parish highlighted that the Building Integrity programme now has 23 partners that have endorsed the NATO Building Integrity Policy, together with all NATO countries.
“We will now launch a new phase in the Building Integrity programme with a stronger focus on capacity building, designed to meet the needs of individual nations. Together with them, we are looking forward to shape the next phase of the program. And we hope that more partners will join”, he said.
Around 150 participants were expected to join the NATO 2019 Building Integrity Conference throughout the week (5 – 7 March), with participation from 32 nations and international organisations including from the European Union, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the World Bank.