2020 Expert Workshop Readout NATO & the Protection of Civilians: Toward Implementation
In December 2020, the Stimson Center held a series of workshops to explore the implementation status of NATO’s 2016 Policy on the Protection of Civilians (PoC), identify research areas in this field, and consider how future conflict scenarios may need to take into account harm to civilians. The workshops brought together more than 100 practitioners, academics, and representatives of militaries and governments. This series was organized and hosted by the Strengthening NATO’s Ability to Protect and welcomed attendees from 15 allied and partner nations, NATO Headquarters, Allied Command Transformation (ACT), and Allied Command Operations (ACO).
The workshops aimed to bolster an exchange among PoC leaders working in, on, or with NATO. The format encouraged sharing expertise, presenting new research findings, and identifying a greater understanding of progress and future challenges in implementing PoC at NATO. In particular, the workshops focused on future conflict contexts. The discussion also looked at what NATO should consider while developing its next Strategic Concept, #NATO2030 planning, and a new PoC action plan.
The meetings successfully identified areas for future research and analysis and areas of progress and gaps in the implementation of PoC across NATO. Further, the conference fostered a network of policymakers, military officers, practitioners, and experts interested in seeing PoC effectively implemented.
About this publication
Strengthening NATO’s Ability to Protect is a research initiative of the Transforming Conflict and Governance Program at the Stimson Center. This project seeks to build bridges between NATO stakeholders and the expert community to act on the Alliance’s ambition to protect civilians in its operations around the world. To help NATO succeed, Stimson launched this project, in partnership with PAX and supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to cultivate and offer external expertise to NATO as well as assess the current levels of doctrine and guidance on PoC within NATO nations and partners. Emphasis is on solutions-focused research and building bridges across governments, academia, international organizations, and NGOs. In support of this project, Stimson is commissioning a series of papers authored by leading experts in their fields that considers protecting civilians and NATO’s future missions, capabilities, and approaches. The papers, published throughout 2021 and 2022, aim to engage NATO stakeholders as they consider NATO’s role in future conflict, support further implementation of the NATO Policy on the Protection of Civilians, and focus on NATO’s 2030 agenda and beyond.
About this report
Date of publication:
Mar 18, 2021
Victoria K. Holt & Marla Keenan (The Stimson Center)
The Stimson Center
This publication is part of the "Strengthening NATO’s Ability to Protect" project, a partnership with Stimson and PAX, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.About the "Strengthening NATO’s Ability to Protect" projectMore publications from the "Strengthening NATO’s Ability to Protect" project