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After several years of construction, our Network has now reached a solid "denseness" and field work shows a remarkable maturity: the contacts have multiplied and the sharing of ideas is going steadily. Therefore we have pushed the considerations on the level the Foundation to give the currently "informal" network an incorporated structure.

By registering "The International Society for Military Ethics in Europe (Euro-ISME)" as an association under french law, the "transition year 2011" has been a milestone for our modest efforts in building a “citizens’ initiative” for peace in security.

Security (and defense) are becoming increasingly important issues in the practical implementation of a "New World Governance" which shall be based on the principles of responsibility and of universal ethics.

You only need to turn your regard to the south, especially towards the African continent, if you need to be convinced that the attitude of the security and defense forces (armed forces, police, militias, etc.) in front of the mass demonstrations was crucial for the course of crisis and for the fate of revolutionary movements.

The fact to be heard and to be able to achieve acceptance of requirements, dangle almost every time on a string and on the fact that the responsable military leaders and/or units refused to obey the orders given by their rulers to disperse the rallies by shooting on their own compatriots.

But the risks arising from overthrows of power in place and of state structures can neither be merely confined to the single territories of the affected countries nor to infected continents. They flash over to international relations and seriously challenge the Western governments, the international organizations and the whole democratic civil society with regard to stabilization and solidarity.

The self-conception of our International Network has always been to address precisely these challenges and foster an open dialogue between the various - sometimes even conflicting – “worlds "... always considering responsibility for stability and peaceful development as the basis for " good governance " and a "global approach to human security."

The year 2012 was particularly rich in encounters and in the exchange of experiences in the perspective of creating a "common security culture." Thanks to the generous support of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation, "for the Progress of Mankind" and thanks to other partners we have made lasting headway, especially through our two "flagship projects": the 2nd Annual Euro-ISME Conference in June, coorganised with the UK Defence Academy in Shrivenham, and the 1st International Symposium on "Military Ethics" at the Colombian War College in Bogota in October.

Where are we at the beginning of the year 2013 ?

Through the nearly 10 years of its existence, the International Network of Military for Peace has effectively developed to a global platform for the exchange of standpoints and experience. No one can deny the influence that is exerted over the network on the ongoing discussions on orientation, organization and training of the armed forces of many countries.

The network remains open to all military members, whether in uniform or in civilian clothes, but also to all representatives of the education sector, the media, political parties, etc... in short: for all interested representatives of "civil society". Main focus will remain on questions of ethics and responsibility of the military, but also the responsibility of so-called "multipliers" towards society in providing civic behavior and moral courage.

Since the first seminar held under the logo of the Network in 2005, in Santiago de Chile, this subject is central to all exchange of experiences of participants coming from all horizons.

The objective in setting up the various "regional forums" was therefore to promote shared visions of the "ethical standards for the engagement of military force in compliance with international law and democratic rules."

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Interview du général Padilla, CEMGA Colombie

« The conscience of the individual soldier must remain the final authority that determines military action in serving the nation. » That was the conclusion of this first seminar, which has since served as " Ariadne’s thread " for the various international meetings and seminars: Europe-Central Asia Forum, Europe-Latin America Forum and International Conferences in Bogota, Europe-Western Africa Forum and several other seminars and conferences to promote a common European security and defense culture in cooperation with CIDAN (France) and GfW (Germany).

The documents and contributions produced on the occasion of these events have become the basis for several studies and even for reference documents in the revision process of educational and training programs of various military training centers.

+ "Military Ethics for a Better World" and „Droits et Responsabilités Humaines, Ethique Militaire et Légitimité Institutionnelle“ by LtGen (ret.) J-R. Bachelet

+ „La Charte des Responsabilités Humaines, la construction d‘une communauté mondiale et l‘éthique militaire“ by Pierre Calame, former director of FPH,

+ „Ethique et déontologie : les défis de la formation“ by MajGen Eric Bonnemaison, Commander of French Army Officers Schools Saint Cyr – Coetquidan,

+ „Ethics and Deontology : Requirements on Training“ by BrigGen Franz Pfrengle, Commander of Federal Germany’s Army Officers Schools

+ „Training foe Ethics : Methods and Principles for Practice“ by Prof. Dr. Thomas R. Elssner, Federal Armed Forces Center for Leadership Training

+ „Ethical Training : How to act the best way“ by Hamadi Konte, Military Muslim minister, French Army.

The Network also has contributed to the following publications :

++ the monographie „Bringing the Violence of War under Control in a Globalized World“ gy LtGen (ret.) J-R. Bachelett

++ the « Notes» of the International Conference of Bogota on „Rights and Human Responsabilities, Ethics and Institutional Legitimacy“ commonly published by ASOCACI and the CLM/FPH Foundation,

++ a book of 170 pages written by the colombian author Arturo Guerrero, aun also commonly publishe by ASOCACI and CLM/FPH : „Wars, Humanism and Ethics" which refines the results of the Bogota conferenc literarily.

++ the 2 Compendiums "The security and defense forces in the heart of human security" and "Transnational Cooperation of Security and Defence Forces" which summarize the contributions to the International Colloquiums which were held at Dakar in November 2010 and 2011. They have become basic documents for the reform of the security sector in Western Africa and beyond.

In summary, it can be stated that through our network we achieve an important and far-reaching impact on the fundamental discussions in the field of security sector reform.

The meetings, which are organized by the network itself or to which it contributed, led to a measurable mutual enrichment and awareness, particularly regarding issues of ethics and responsibility. The network was considerably expanded and solidified. New civil society partners were involved and motivated to take up our ideas and to further intensify the exchange of ideas.

Key-Project for 2013

On the basis of the previously created reference documents and the exchange of views on those subjects, a "Memorandum on the responsibility of the military" with respect to the new edition of a "Charter of Human Responsibilities" will be developed.

In particular, the memorandum shall show the circumstances that hinder any problem-solving and it shall designate actors who are interested in maintaining the status quo. And it shall work out means and ways how to initiate change.

Finally, the memorandum shall bring foreward proposals for promoting the awareness of responsibility with members of the security and defense forces (the "military") and with all members of society.

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Published on: 23 February 2013
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