Yerevan, Armenia – The NATO International Staff Political Affairs and Security Policy Division - Building Integrity Programme led the Building Integrity (BI) Peer Review Team’s visit to Armenia Feb. 1-4.
The visit, supported by Allied Joint Force Command Naples and others, was scheduled at the request of the Ministry of Defense after the submission of the draft Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) in April of last year. It was the first BI peer review visit support by JFC Naples.
The aim of the visit was to gain insight into the current situation emerging from the SAQ and to exchange views on best practices and practical steps to strengthen the transparency, accountability and integrity of the defense and security compartment. To this end, a series of interviews were conducted during the week with the heads of all the units dealing with BI and with the Ministry’s senior leadership.
The BI Peer Review Report helps nations identify areas of good practice and domains that may require further efforts. This NATO BI Peer Review Report is based on the results of the BI SAQ, which is designed to provide nations with a snapshot of current structures, mechanisms, systems and practices in place. These two steps compose the BI SAQ and Peer Review Process.
The BI initiative is focused on providing practical assistance with the reform of the defense and related security sector/defense establishments and on helping nations meet their anti-corruption obligations with the United Nations and other frameworks. The Republic of Armenia joined the BI Initiative in 2013.
"We are very grateful to NATO and the NATO BI team for such committed assistance and for their understanding of the situation; BI will become the cornerstone of MOD’s cooperation with NATO, which we hope will continue to grow,” said Minister Ohanyan during the wrap-up session on the visit’s final day. "The Republic of Armenia’s MOD strongly supports BI’s philosophy although the full commitment of MOD personnel and of the Armenian Armed Forces (AAF) remains a challenge.”
The minister went on to assure his personal commitment to countering corruption and ensuring greater transparency regarding access to public information.
JFC Naples has been a keystone contributor to NATO HQ BI efforts, both at an operational level and in support of the strategic/political level. U.S. Navy Admiral Mark Ferguson, JFC Naples commander, participated as guest speaker in the Workshop for Members of Parliament last year in Vienna, and JFC Naples Chief of Staff, Italian Army Lieutenant General Leonardo di Marco, established the Building Integrity Working Group.
The working group members have participated in various Building Integrity activities including the BI Training Requirement Analysis Workshop, the bi-annual BI Conference, and the BI Discipline Conference in Oslo, Norway. The working group also contributed lectures to NATO BI certified courses and seminars held at various levels.
The working group members have also been involved in the drafting of the Building Integrity Policy that is up for approval at the forthcoming Warsaw summit.
The Republic of Armenia MOD published a short report of the BI visit on its website: http://www.mil.am/en/news/3865.