Partnerships writ large was the focus of the third annual Euro-Atlantic Partnership Day, hosted by the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine in Kyiv on 11 July 2013. The event served to highlight the importance of dialogue and cooperation between countries as well as international organisations in today’s security environment.
“Partnerships have always been a ‘two-way street’ with benefits for NATO – and for partners,” said Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, speaking via video-conference from NATO Headquarters. “They have been strong engines in spreading shared values and democratic principles, encouraged domestic reforms in partner countries, supported cooperation in the area of science and helped make the military forces in partner countries more modern and accountable and able to make contributions to international security.”
“Guided by the principles of mutual respect, mutual responsibility and mutual interest, NATO and its partners are increasingly working together in a truly cooperative effort to tackle the complex and unpredictable global risks and threats of today,” added Director of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine Natalia Nemyliwska. “The Alliance is continuing to build and expand its network of partnerships. Today, NATO has developed partnerships not only in the Euro-Atlantic area, but also in the Mediterranean and the Gulf Region as well as with other international organisations such as the UN, the OSCE and the EU.”
Ambassadors of NATO member and partner countries stretching from Finland to South Korea gave their perspectives on various aspects of partnership. Representatives from the European Union and the United Nations also underlined the necessity for cooperation between different organisations.
“The struggle against new threats requires a change in approach to crisis management and strategic thinking,” stressed Timothy Clarke, Head of the Common Security and Defence Policy, Partnerships and Agreements Division within the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate of the European Commission. He highlighted the importance of working together to address challenges such as regional conflicts, terrorism, piracy, organised crime, cyber crime and energy security.
“Security means far more than the absence of conflict,” emphasised Gaspar Bergman, a Human Development Adviser in the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator for Ukraine.
Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ruslan Demchenko focused on the mutually beneficial cooperation between Ukraine and NATO. He underlined the importance of close cooperation with influential international security structures on subregional, regional and global levels as a guarantee of Ukraine’s security in today's world.
“We need to work with our society so that there is more knowledge in Ukraine about our partnership with NATO,” said Ihor Dolhov, Ambassador of Ukraine to Belgium and Head of the Ukrainian Mission to NATO.
Ambassador Dolhov underlined in particular the importance of partnerships in the international community’s efforts to secure Afghanistan: “Ukraine and other countries have done a great job, in order to build peaceful and safe relations in Afghanistan. Now a discussion is taking place on how to build further partner relations between countries so that the work carried out in Afghanistan can yield positive results.”
Government officials, Ukrainian statesman, diplomats, representatives of the press and non-governmental organisations, independent experts and NATO officials participated in the discussions. The event was hosted by the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine and jointly organised by the NATO Information and Documentation Centre with the NATO-Ukraine Civic League Ukraine in cooperation with Ukraine’s foreign ministry.