Graduation Ceremony for NATO Regional Cooperation Course 28
The Graduation Ceremony for the 28th NATO Regional Cooperation Course, with 35 Course Members representing 20 different nationalities, took place on Friday, 4 November 2022 at the NATO Defense College’s Main Auditorium. Ambassadors, Italian Authorities and Defense Attachés attended the event, as did Course Members’ families and NDC Staff.
Before Course Members were conferred their diplomas, the Dean of the NATO Defense College, Dr Christopher M. Schnaubelt, opened the Graduation Ceremony on behalf of the Commandant of the NATO Defense College, Lieutenant-General Olivier Rittimann. In his speech, the Dean highlighted the main purpose of the NATO Regional Cooperation Course: “What the NDC has provided you are the ways and means to analyse a situation, as well as the tools to find the common ground for effective cooperation.” He then added: “It is a Course that has provided a unique opportunity for interacting with fellow Course Members, as well as Faculty, Staff and guests. This interaction builds mutual understanding and develops trust.” Finally, he pointed out: “As we have seen over time, ‘security’ is very much a co-operative undertaking. And in this context, human interoperability is key to ensuring stability in our countries and in managing crises.”
The Guest of Honour for the Ceremony, the Deputy Director General for Political Affairs and Security/Principal Director for Security at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Luca Franchetti Pardo, addressed the Course Members pointing out the importance of cooperation among NATO Partners and NATO Nations: “Today more than ever, it is key to work with our Partners from the region and to leverage all tools that we have, including strengthening political dialogue and developing defence capacity building initiatives.” Then he remarked what NATO means to Italy: “For Italy, NATO is not just one of many options, one of many alternative tools which our foreign and security policy can leverage. Quite the contrary. Together with our European inspiration, the Alliance has been carved in our DNA, since our signature in 1949, as founding members, of the Washington Treaty.” Adding that: “As said, Italy’s vision of security issues is complemented by its European dimension, which is quintessential in guaranteeing our security. The new geopolitical picture in Europe has been a powerful wake-up call on the need for NATO and the EU to work together in the name of their shared values and interests.”
The NRCC-28 Course President, Brigadier General Khaled AL-GHARIB (Kuwait), then delivered a farewell speech, underlining the aims attained by Course Members: “NRCC members visited various places, listened to experts in person and improved their skills in managing and controlling discussions. Credit for all of this goes to the leadership and staff of the NDC. It is their sense of dedication and strong commitment that have led to our Course graduating today.” He then added: “Today, we can be proud of our achievements. It was a great experience for me and my colleagues from NRCC-28. We are all going home with new skills; improved strategic thinking on NATO issues; and a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives. We also take with us many fond memories of our new friends.”
The ceremony concluded with the award of diplomas to the newly graduated Course Members.
NRCC-28 brought together participants from NATO member countries, Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partner countries, as well as Partners Across the Globe. During their ten weeks at the NDC, Course Members worked in a cross-cultural environment and held discussions under the Chatham House Rule in each of the three Committees to which they were assigned, with the aim of increasing future international cooperation and finding solutions to current issues.