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Friday 4 November 2011
Senior Course 119 Field Study II: Visit to New York
The NDC Senior Course 119 began its Transatlantic Field Study on November 1, in New York, with a day of informative dialogue with representatives from the United Nations (UN). Due to ongoing renovations at the UN, the group was graciously hosted by the German House and welcomed by LtCol Klaus-Willi MERKEL, Germanyís Deputy Military adviser to the UN.
Colonel Paul VAN DER HEIJDEN (NATOís Military Liaison Officer to the UN) and Ms. Eirini LEMOS-MANIATI (NATOís Civilian Liaison Officer to the UN) began the session with briefings on NATO relations with the UN and an overview of UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO). The session provided a great foundation for the dayís discussions, by tracing the UNís role in PKO, from the Balkans to present day.
Ambassador Mike SMITH, the Executive Director of the UN Counterterrorism Committee-Executive Directorate, gave an extensive overview of the UNís role in counterterrorism, emphasizing the inherent complexities and global nature of terrorism, which necessitate the UNís engagement in countering and preventing terrorism. As with the previous briefings, the Ambassador concluded with an enlightening Q&A session, which provided the course members the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the UN, its relations with other International Organisations, and its Peacekeeping and counterterrorism activities.
The SC 119 was also fortunate for its dialogue with LtGen Babacar GAYE, the UNís Military Adviser to the UN Secretary General. He was preceded by Colonel Noddy STAFFORD, also from the Office of Military Affairs (OMA), who gave an excellent and very detailed presentation on the organization and functions of the OMA and the UN's ongoing peacekeeping operations. LtGen GAYE then followed with a frank and valuable assessment of some of the challenges and opportunities the UN faces in its PKO, as well as the duties he performs as the UN military adviser. The general graciously entertained questions from the course members, making the session a highlight of the visit to New York.
The morning session ended with a panel-discussion with Military Advisors of the five Permanent UN Security Council Members (P-5): Senior Col Chi WANG (China); BGen Jean-Luc FRIEDLING (France); Capt Vladimir BELYAYEV (Russia); LtCol Guy DENISON-SMITH (UK); Col Dan MOY (USA). After brief self-introductions, each representative explained briefly his broad national positions in the UN. The panel fielded numerous questions from course members on a wide range of issues, ranging from the crisis in Libya, to the general challenges to P-5 consensus.
After the briefings, the Commandant of the NATO Defense College, LtGen Arne Bard DALHAUG, thanked the organizers of this very successful leg of the Field Study and congratulated the Course Members for their active participation. He also thanked the German House for hosting the event and presented a College crest to LtCol MERKEL. The SC 119 will next visit Washington D.C. for the next phase of the Transatlantic Field Study.