50th anniversary of the NATO Defense College’s move to Rome and 65th anniversary of its foundation
On 13 and 14 October, the NATO Defense College celebrated the 50th anniversary of its move to Rome and the 65th anniversary of its foundation.
The College is particularly proud that the President of the Italian Republic, H.E. Sergio Mattarella, was able to join in celebrating this unique occasion, thus marking Italy’s outstanding contribution to NATO and in particular to the College. For this special moment in the College’s history, the College was also honoured by the presence of NATO Secretary General H.E. Jens Stoltenberg; the Italian Minister of Defence, Roberta Pinotti; the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel (CZE A); the North Atlantic Council and the Military Committee, as well as other dignitaries who were officially welcomed by NATO Defense College Commandant Major General Janusz Bojarski (POL F) and the Dean, BGen (ret.) František Mičánek (CZE).
The ceremony began with a flag-raising ceremony in the presence of the entire delegation of the NAC, the NATO Military Committee and Chiefs of Defence Forces, Senior Course 129 and NRCC-16 Course Members, other guests and College personnel. A special moment was the unveiling of the commemorative stone by H.E. Sergio Mattarella and H.E. Jens Stoltenberg.
The ceremony then continued in the Maynard-Thorn Hall with an opening address by the NATO Defense College Commandant. This was followed by the address of the NATO Secretary General, before the concluding speech by the Italian President.
In conjunction with this unique event, NDC alumni (known as the College’s ‘Anciens’) held their 63rd Conference and Seminar on Friday 14th October.
The annual Anciens’ meeting was honoured by the presence of high-ranking guests; this year, in consideration of the Alliance’s global concerns, the overarching theme was “NATO and its Partners”, with a particular focus on the MENA region.
The panellists for the first high-level panel of the day, entitled “NATO cooperation with partners in the Mediterranean and the Middle East”, were: NATO Secretary General, H.E. Jens Stoltenberg; the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Paolo Gentiloni; His Royal Highness Prince Rashid Bin El Hassan of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; His Excellency Sheikh Thamer Ali Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, President of the National Security Bureau of Kuwait; and the President of the Italian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Andrea Manciulli.
The second panel of the day, entitled: “NATO and its Partners: Strengthening ties to address contemporary security challenges”, took place later in the morning. Panellists were: Gen (ret) J. Allen, Co-Director of the Center for 21st Century Security & Intelligence, Brookings Institution, Washington D.C; Mr J. Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy and NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia; and Prof Abdennour Benantar, Associate Professor (Maître de conférences) at Université Paris 8, France.
Both panels, moderated by international broadcaster Mr Nik Gowing, gave participants the opportunity to reflect on the main challenges the Alliance is facing.
After 65 years of serving NATO and 50 years in Rome, the College maintains its ability to adapt, and will continue to play its role as NATO’s premier academic institution.