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Protection of civilians and children key topics in NATO-led human security training

SIBIU, Romania – NATO’s approach to the protection of civilians and children and armed conflict is being extensively discussed during the NATO-led training on Human Security in Operations currently taking place in the Land Forces Academy of Sibiu (Romania).

“NATO is committed to protecting civilians in the planning and conduct of operations, missions and other activities mandated by the North Atlantic Council,” said Ms Marianna Tonutti Stabilization Advisor, Grand Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). “NATO recognizes that all possible measures must be taken to avoid, minimize and mitigate harm to civilians. This week, we will examine selected operational scenarios and work to implement proven procedures to strengthen our knowledge of these measures. We have global experts here this week and already the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. »

NATO's approach to the protection of civilians and children as well as armed conflict are being discussed in depth at the NATO-led Human Security in Operations training event currently underway at the Land Forces Academy in Sibiu, Romania.  The training event continues until Nov. 10.

The second phase of the training focused on children and armed conflict. Keynote speakers discussed the roles of different actors such as UNICEF and Save the Children, followed by an update on NATO’s commitment to addressing the situation of children affected by armed conflict at political levels, strategic and operational.

“You only have to look at the Russian invasion of Ukraine to see the risks and dangers for civilian populations, but especially for children. NATO is fully committed to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1612,” said Lt. Col. Francesco Gonzalez, SHAPE Conflict Advisor. “For our practice scenarios this week, we will review and study the parameters set out by the UN Security Council, including the ‘six grave breaches’. Such violations are unfortunately seen in armed conflict, but can also be reinforced by poor values, corrupt criminal systems and a complete disregard for human life. This is not how NATO conducts deterrence and defense operations,” he added.

This conference and training event reinforces much of the work and preparation of NATO Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) staffs and SHAPE. “NATO is first and foremost about people, and human security in operations is a fundamental requirement that must be reflected in all our activities undertaken by NATO civilian and military personnel,” said Ms. Sera Gaeta, head of the civil-military cooperation branch of SHAPE. “I know how essential these topics are and will be to further develop our staffing processes and procedures. I am also particularly grateful to Romania, through the Multinational Corps Southeast Headquarters, for hosting this event, and to LANDCOM as the main sponsor.

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