International Week in Kyiv – 15 Edition, Kyiv (Ukraine)
The 15th edition of the annual Kyiv Week conference, jointly organized by the NATO Defense College (NDC) and the National Defence University of Ukraine (UNDU), with the support of NATO School Oberammergau (NSO), officially began on Monday, 20 April 2015.
Traditionally held at the UNDU in Kyiv, the International Week contributes to a deeper understanding of NATO’s mission, organization, operations, partnerships, cooperation and future priorities. This year, the main topic was “NATO, following the Wales Summit”.
The Ivan Chernyakhivsky National Defence University provided the scene for the opening ceremony, which was attended by the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defence - Head of Administration Petro Mekhed; Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas, who pointed out that “Russia broke the main rule: state boundaries cannot be changed by military force”; NATO Defense College Dean Dr Daria Daniels Skodnik; and Commandant of NATO School (Oberammergau, Germany) USN Captain Scott Butler.
The Commandant of the UNDU, LtGen Vasyl M. Telelym, in his opening speech, underlined the importance of national security for Ukraine. Subsequently, the Dean of the NDC, Dr Daria Daniels Skodnik (SVN C), gave the keynote address on NATO.
The first lecture of the conference was given by Dr Jeffrey Larsen (USA C), Head of the NDC Research Division, who spoke about “The Future of NATO”. Dr Larsen talked about NATO’s strategic foundation, the four periods in NATO’s history and, to conclude, he presented a personal analysis on how NATO is going to evolve given its strategic basics and the new strategic architecture. NDC Researcher Mrs Heidi Reisinger (DEU C) gave the second lecture on “NATO’s Partnerships Policy”, explaining the fundamentals of crisis management, the NATO Crisis Management concept, organization, systems and process, and finally, the cooperation between NATO and the European Union in this context.
The second day of the conference began with a lecture by Maj Mehmet Turk (TUR A), entitled “NATO Crisis Management & Cooperation with EU”. LtCol Brian Bengs (USA F) then spoke about “Legal Aspects of Asymmetry & Hybrid Warfare”. Parallel to these activities, the NDC Dean gave a lecture at the Ukraine Diplomatic University.
The lecture by LtCol Brian Bengs on “Legal Aspects of NATO Operations” and Prof G. Prepelytsia’s (UKR) talk on “NATO - UKR Relations” were the main highlights of the third day.
On Thursday 23 April, the final two lectures of the 15th International Kyiv Week were presented. The first, on “Proliferation of WMD & Ballistic Missile Defence (NDC/NSO)”, was given jointly by Capt Antonio Luis Madeira (POR N) and Maj Trevor Newsham (USA F); the second, on “NATO Rules of Engagement”, was by LtCol Brian Bengs (USA F).
Later in the day, the Commandant of the NATO Defense College, Major General Janusz Bojarski (POL F), together with the Commandant of the National Defence University of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Vasyl M. Telelym (UKR A), offered the closing remarks. Both speakers underlined the success and importance of the International Kyiv Week.
The final event of the week was the closing ceremony, on Friday 24 April.