PRIO invites you to a physical seminar on 11 September from 11:00 to 12:30. The topic is the

legal and ethical responsibilities of states such as Norway that provide security force

assistance to other armed forces, and the challenges involved in meeting those


Globally, the provision of military training and equipment via security assistance

programmes is worth billions of dollars each year and is often motivated by a desire to

address security challenges such as violent extremism, migration, and organized crime.

There are however risks involved in assisting the development of another state’s coercive

power, especially if its security forces are fighting in a conflict. Some states that provide

security assistance attempt to assess the risks that its training or equipment could be used

by units involved in war crimes or human rights violations.

These issues are further discussed in the PRIO policy brief: Exporting Coercive Power:

Regulations and Best Practices for Security Force Assistance which can be downloaded from:


Tora Fæste currently works at the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (Forsvarsmateriell).

She has previously served in the Norwegian Army as a Major and legal adviser, and has

worked as a diplomat in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Captain Espen Høilund is serving as a company commander in Telemark Battalion in the

Norwegian Army. He has been directly involved in the provision of security force assistance,

and has been deployed to Afghanistan four times and to Iraq once.

Nicholas Marsh is a Senior Researcher at PRIO where he works on security assistance, the

arms trade, armed conflict and arms control. He has led a European research network on

armed violence and has been a consultant to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and to the

Small Arms Survey.

Simon O’Connor is a military consultant with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for

Human Rights (OHCHR) and research associate at the Institute for Ethics Law and Armed

Conflict at the University of Oxford. He has previously served as a legal officer in the British

Army, and as senior legal adviser in the Norwegian Red Cross.

Chair: Øystein H. Rolandsen, Senior Researcher and leader of PRIO’s SFA research


Due to Covid-19 regulations, all people who attend must have registered in advance, and will

be contacted shortly before the seminar.

The event is part of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence project: Lessons Learned from

Military Capacity Building and Implications for future Norwegian Engagement in the Sahel