NATO Legal Conference 2011

I had the pleasure of attending the NATO Legal Conference 2011 hosted by Allied Joint Force Command Lisbon on 24-27 October 2011. The conference theme was ‘Partners, Cooperation and Ad Hoc Relations’. Here is JFC Lisbon’s brief summary of the event (reproduced with permission):

The Conference brought together more than 120 representatives from 46 NATO Legal Offices located in 23 countries as well as senior legal advisors and officials representing NATO and non-NATO countries.

As expected, a large turnout including the distinguished speakers and participation from UN Human Rights Commission, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other multinational organizations such as the African Union gave the chance to establish networks between various levels and organizations. This year, one of the main topics was establishing a knowledge sharing mechanism for the legal offices.

The welcome speech was delivered by Mr. Peter Olson, Legal Advisor to the NATO Secretary General. Major General Jose Perez Mejia, Chief of Defence of Columbia, Mr. Richard Froh, Deputy Assistant of Secretary General, and General Sir Richard Shirreff, SHAPE Deputy SACEUR gave speeches about NATO’s partnership with nations.

Lieutenant General Philippe Stolz, Commander JFC Lisbon, Mr. Gert-Jan van Hegelsom, Head of Legal Affairs Division of European External Action Service, and Mr. Hasan Aygun, Political Advisor JFC Lisbon gave speeches about East Africa and Counter-Piracy.

Ambassador Michel Rentenaar, Special Advisor to SACEUR and Mr. Francois Bellon, Head of ICRC Delegation to EU and NATO spoke about NATO’s relations with International Organizations.