International Week in Kyiv – 13 Edition, Kyiv (Ukraine)
NATO after the Chicago Summit
The 13th International Week at the Ukrainian National Defence University (UNDU) in Kyiv took place from 20 to 24 May 2013. This event represents one of the most important annual outreach activities of the NATO Defense College (NDC).
The purpose of the International Week in Kyiv is to promote a better understanding of NATO by providing information on NATO as an organization, its working methods and by establishing common ground in the educational field, and represents an important visible example of cooperation between NATO and Ukraine.
This year’s theme for the Kyiv Week was "NATO after the Chicago Summit", enabling the NDC delegation to provide UNDU students with information about current and topical issues. Amongst the subjects being discussed were the challenges facing the Atlantic Alliance and its partners in today's security environment and a number of other relevant issues of key interest in the field of international security, emphasizing the value of strong ties between Ukraine and NATO.
The support and dedication of the NATO Military Liaison Office (NMLO) in Kyiv was instrumental to the success of this year’s conference.
Inaugurating the conference were Lt Gen Vasyl M. Telelym (UKR A), Commandant of the UNDU, honour guest H.E. Henryk Litwin, Ambassador of Poland to Ukraine and contact point for NATO, Dr Richard D. Hooker (USA C), Dean of the NDC and Colonel Stephen A. Rose (USA F), NATO School Oberammergau Dean of Academics. They stressed that the one-week event at the UNDU is the most important symposium of its kind involving the NDC. The willingness to undertake so substantial a commitment offers a clear indication of the importance that both the NDC and the Alliance at large attach to relations and partnership with Ukraine, from Kyiv’s initial aspiration to become a NATO member to the Ukrainian government’s subsequent preference for the status of non-aligned state cooperating with NATO.
The opening ceremony was followed by a NATO Partnership Framework Press Conference with the UNDU Commandant and distinguished guests engaging with journalists from the written and electronic press as well as radio.
During the Kyiv week, students from the Ukrainian Defence College were able to gain deeper insights into the NATO environment. They were assisted in this by both NDC Faculty Advisors and NATO School Oberammergau Instructors who helped promote discussion of different viewpoints for a deeper understanding of NATO’s tenants for consensus, tolerance and respect. In addition, the students benefited from outstanding lectures by experts on NATO issues, the aim being to provide both a military and a civilian perspective on the new challenges facing NATO in the near future.
Closing remarks were delivered by Lt Gen Arne Bård Dalhaug (NOR A), Commandant of the NDC, and Lt Gen Telelym, Commandant of the UNDU.
NATO’s support for senior military education in Ukraine was initiated on 28 January 2000, and the first edition of the International Week was held in February 2001. A similar Course has been run every year since then, involving more than 400 participants each time.
For a detailed schedule of this year’s event and a list of lecturers, the full programme can be viewed here.