Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The First Working Session Day of the Seminar

The first Working Session day of the seminar began with the Keynote speaker, mr Jan Salestrand, State Secretary at the Swedish Ministry for Defence.

The XI Seminar for Legal Advisors of the Armed Forces. Photo: Paulina Sundel/FHS

The Use of Force in Contemporary Military Operations

Professor Jann Kleffner (Director of the International Law Centre at the Swedish Defence Univeristy and host for the seminar) chaired the first Work Session on the theme the Use of force in Contemporary Military Operations.

General Michael W. Meier (Special Assistant for Law of War Matters, Office of the Judge Advocate General, International and Operational Law Deparment of the Army, USA), gave a presentation on the legal challenges when participating in a training and advisory mission.
General Michael W. Meier. Photo: Zarah Abrahamsson

Brigadier-General Darren Stewart (OBE, Head Operational Law, Army Headquarters, UK)
highlighted the issue of when does an actor become a party to the conflict, in particular UN Peacekeeping Operations, given that the actor responds to an armed attack and uses self-defence? For state actors, the requisits are that there has to be an armed attack directed at the state. Another state comes to the attacked state's aid on the request of the attacked state. The intervening (aiding) state will become a party to the armed conflict, and the legal implications will depend on the conduct of hostilities.

The question is: would a UN Peacekeeping Operation become a party to the conflict if using force in self-defence? How long can they use self-defence? To what extent?
Brigadier-General Darren Stewart. Photo: Zarah Abrahamsson

Gender and Military Operations

The second part of the first Work Session day focused on Gender and Military Operaitons. It was charied by Cecilia Tengroth (Legal Advisor at the Swedish Red Cross). Ms Tengroth emphasized that a gender perspective strengthens international peace and security. Ms Tengroth also presented the report "IHL and Gender - Swedish Experiences" published by the Swedish Red Cross and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Cecilia Tengroth. Photo: Zarah Abrahamsson

Sally Longworth (PhD candidate at Stockholm University, Sweden) spoke about legal framework relating to gender and gender implactions of implementing law applicable in military operations. Ms Longworth stressed that if we do not understand how the conflict is affecting women and men differently, then we will not know how to best respond to the issues arising from the different ways the conflict affects people. Consequently, we will not fully understand what the implications of the legal framework will gender-related issues in armed conflicts are not taken into consideration.
Sally Longworth. Photo: Zarah Abrahamsson

Lieutenant Colonel John Moore (Legal Adviser/Gender Adviser at NATO Joint Warfare Center in Stavanger, Norway) presented how the gender perspective is integrated into NATO's operations in recent conflicts.

"We do not only talk the talk," LTC Moore said, "we also walk the walk."

One important document in this progress is Joint Headquarters Standard Operating Procedure 106 Functions in JFC & JTF Headquarters.

Furthermore, NATO Secretary General's has appointed a Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security and the chair is currentl held by Marriët Schuurman.
Lieutenant Colonel John Moore. Photo: Zarah Abrahamsson

The Seminar Director, Colonel Ben Klappe (Senior Military adviser at the Office of the Special Coordinator on improving UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse, UNHQ) completed the trio of panelists. COL Klappe, from the Netherlands, spoke of the work of the UN to combat sexual exploitation in peacekeeping missions.
Colonel Ben Klappe. Photo: Zarah Abrahamsson
The participants of the Seminar were then divided into groups and discussed issues on the matter. The groups then presented their conclusions to the rest of the participants followed by a discusison.

The Session President ended the first Working Session Day.