Conference of Commandants – 42 Edition, Oslo (Norway)
The 42nd Conference of Commandants of Alliance Defence Colleges was held from 27 to 30 May 2013, at the National Defence University College (NDUC) in Oslo.
This year’s meeting, on "The Role of Education in the post-Afghan Era", was attended by 66 distinguished participants from 23 NATO nations, with a total of 33 institutions represented.
The opening remarks on the first day were provided by Lt Gen Arne Bård Dalhaug, Commandant of the NDC, and a welcome address was delivered by Rear Admiral Louise Kathrine Dedichen, Commandant of the Norwegian Defence University College (NDUC).
Throughout the four-day event, high-level speakers addressed participants on a number of specific topics: changes in - and challenges for - military educational systems, perspectives on knowledge and learning, and the academies of the future.
The Conference of Commandants of Alliance Defence Colleges was established by Vice-Admiral J.C. O'Brien (Canada), Commandant of the NDC from 1970 to 1973, acting on a suggestion from Rear Admiral S. Mathwin Davis, the Commandant of the Canadian Defence College.
The first Conference was held in Rome, from 24 to 26 May 1972. The annual meetings were set up to provide a forum in which Commandants of institutions responsible for higher defence education could have fruitful exchanges of views.
Since the early 90s, participation has been progressively enlarged to include countries with higher defence education establishments within the Partnership for Peace (PfP), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD). In this way, the Conference has been a major part of the NDC’s outreach activities.
The Conference has a dual purpose. Its first aim is to foster mutual understanding and awareness, and to facilitate the exchange of information between those responsible for higher defence education, with a view to improving curricula and teaching methods. The second aim is to promote cooperation in higher defence education between Colleges in NATO countries and their counterparts in other participating countries, as well as to identify areas in which Colleges can provide assistance or support to each other.