Senior Executive Regional Conference (SERC-10) – “NATO 2030 - The Southern Dimension”
The Senior Executive Regional Conference (SERC-10) was held at the NATO Defense College from Monday 14 to Friday 18 June 2021. The SERC-10 aims to promote mutual understanding among Allies and their partners on issues related to the stability of the South. The Conference also allows the selected SERC senior participants from NATO and Partner countries to become familiar with current and prospective issues facing NATO.
Following introductory remarks by BGEN Ferenc Molnár, Head of the Academic Operations Division (DAO), the NDC Commandant, LGEN Olivier Rittimann, opened Day 1 with Welcome Remarks and introduced the NATO 2030 vision launched by NATO Secretary General back in early 2020. GEN Paolo Ruggiero, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation addressed SERC-10 participants on the NATO adaptation process. The day concluded with a panel on “The South’s Evolving Geopolitical Landscape”, by Dr Pierre Razoux, from the Fondation Méditerranéenne d'Etudes Stratégiques (FMES), and BGEN Davide Re, Director of the NATO Strategic Direction-South Hub.
The second day of the Conference was devoted to two panels: “Expanding the Gray Zone” was addressed by Dr Eli Tenenbaum, Director of the Security Center, Institut Français de Relations Internationales (IFRI), and Colonel Major Mohamed Amaga Dolo, from Mali, and Deputy of the G5 Defense College in Mauritania. The second subject, “Russia and China in the South: New Stability Providers”, was presented by Dr. Igor Delanoë, Deputy-Head of the French-Russian Analytical Center Observo , Deputy-Head of the French-Russian Analytical Center Observo, and Dr Irene Martinez, from the Institute for Statecraft.
Day 3 of the SERC dealt with “Assessing Crisis Management and Conflict Prevention Efforts in the South”, by Ms Burcu San, Director OPS-NATO HQ, and Mr. Alex Walsh from the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance. The second panel, comprised of Ms Allison Hart, Deputy Head of the Human Security Unit at NATO HQ, and GEN (Ret.) Vincenzo Camporini, from the Instituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), focused on the need for the Alliance to broaden its security understanding to encompass new dimensions such as human security, climate change, etc.
On Day 4 of the SERC, the first panel explored “Innovation: Risks and Opportunities,” which was introduced by Dr Ion Iftimie, President of România Atlantică and GEN (Ret.) Philippe Montocchio, Deputy Director of NATO STO. The second item related to “technological development and proliferation challenges in the South,” was presented by Dr Mauro Gilli, from the ETH-Zurich.
Following an introduction to the NATO 2030 vision and its Southern Dimension by Dr Benedetta Berti, Head of NATO Policy and Planning Unit, SERC-10 participants listened to DASG Mr James Appathurai’s Keynote Speech on ‘NATO 2021 Summit Vision for the South.’ An enriching discussion about NATO’s future role in the South with the former ASG Public Diplomacy, H.E. Ambassador Tacam Ildem, and the NDC Commandant, LGEN Olivier Rittimann, concluded the conference. SERC-10 concluded with a Vin d’Honneur and the conferment of diplomas.