The NDC at the 7th Annual Workshop for Women in International Security (WIIS-CANADA)
From 29 to 31 May 2014, the NATO Defense College (NDC) participated in the 7th Annual Workshop for Women in International Security (WIIS-Canada) at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA-Carleton University, Ottawa). The College was represented by Dr Jeffrey Larsen (USA C), Director of the Research Division, and Ms Monica Fornari (ITA C).
This interesting three-day seminar focused on issues related to “Canada and NATO: Capabilities and Priorities in an Uncertain Environment”. The event brought together scholars, officers, officials and students of International Affairs and Security Studies, focusing on the implications of current international security threats for NATO and the contribution that women can make in countering them.
The seminar was preceded by a reception, with welcome remarks by Professor Anessa Kimball (Université Laval/HEI). This was graciously offered by the US Embassy in Ottawa, on Friday 29. From 30 to 31 May, the Workshop involved four panels chaired by mentors from academia, government, and the military, and research presentations by graduate participants.
On Saturday 30 May, the event was opened by Dr Stéfanie von Hlatky, Director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy (Queen's University).
The first panel, “Alliance Dynamics and Military Cooperation”, analysed the promotion of cooperative thinking in international security. Five panellists spoke about different issues, including the lessons learned from the NATO intervention in Afghanistan, non-intervention in Syria, the politics of burden-sharing, and the politics of tactical nuclear weapons. During this session, Monica Fornari (NDC/Laval-HEI) gave a presentation on “The ICC and NATO Military Interventions”. This panel ended with an inspiring roundtable, “Women and the War in Afghanistan”, and a talk by Mrs Charlotte Isaksson, Allied Command Operations Gender Advisor, on the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
The second panel, “Defence Capabilities and Cooperation”, dealt with several related topics such as Alliance capabilities, Smart Defence and cyber security.
The third panel, “NATO and Canada”, focused on Canadian policy in the context of NATO and other regional organizations.
This fruitful first day ended with a reception, to which participants were welcomed by Mrs Julie Lindhout, President of the Atlantic Council of Canada. Mrs Vera Reifenstein announced the Best Paper Award, graciously sponsored by Women in Defence & Security (WIDS-Canada).
On Sunday 31 May, a roundtable on Careers in Security and Defence opened the second day of proceedings. This was followed by a further roundtable on Gender and Field Research.
Dr Larsen of the NDC participated in this session, acting as mentor for a number of graduate students wishing to start a career in International Security.
The final panel, “Foreign and Defence Policy Issues”, analysed specific subjects such as the relationship between NATO and the United States, Russia, France, Artic security, and civil-military relations.
Closing remarks were offered by Professor Kimball and Dr von Hlatky.
The workshop was a valuable opportunity for graduate students to join a growing network of Canadian scholars and professionals working in the areas of security and defence policy, foreign affairs and the military.
Women in International Security (WIIS) Canada is the Canadian affiliate to the larger WIIS Global network, dedicated to actively advancing women’s leadership, at all stages of their careers, in international peace and security. WIIS Canada’s objectives include: establishing and expanding the Canadian WIIS membership-based network of women and men who are dedicated to women’s leadership in peace and security, while facilitating connections to the larger global WIIS network; promoting a broader understanding of contemporary international security issues; producing ground-breaking research on women in peace and security careers; and fostering women’s leadership development and mentoring support.