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 Sep 30 2019

NATO@70 Academics Day Proves Huge Success

Brunssum, the Netherlands – Friday 27 September the JFC Brunssum (JFCBS) commander, General Erhard Bühler, hosted an ‘Academics Day’ as part of a portfolio of events designed to celebrate the Alliance’s 70th birthday on 04 April 2019. 

In April this year Foreign Ministers of NATO member nations met in Washington for discussions and to participate in a ceremony to mark 70 years since the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty.  That triggered a messaging campaign across the Alliance to mark this milestone that will culminate with a NATO Summit, in London, 3rd & 4th December 2019, when Allied leaders will gather to mark the anniversary.

JFCBS has conducted a number of NATO@70 themed events inter alia comprising briefings to local organisations, briefings to visitors groups, NATO@70 remarks as part of Expert Training Team visits to partner nations, and a NATO@70 bike ride from the HQs to the NATO School, in Oberammergau, Germany.

But the capstone NATO@70 event to be delivered by JFCBS was last Friday’s Academics Day.  Distinguished guest speakers – General (Rtd) Klaus Naumann (former Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee) & Vice Admiral (Rtd) Ben Bekkering (until very recently the Netherlands’ National Military Representative to NATO) – outlined their thoughts on the Alliance’s success to date, why it is as vital to global security today as ever, and how it might need to adapt in order to maintain its position as a key stakeholder in global security.

Following guest speaker statements a panel discussion ensued where our speakers were joined by Dr Keir Giles from Chatham House.  This session was moderated by Dr Ziya Meral from the United Kingdom’s Centre for Conflict Analysis & Conflict Research.  A lively question & answer session developed as JFCBS staff, representatives of local governance and institutions, and students from nearby universities and international schools, seized the opportunity to challenge what they had heard.   

In his closing remarks General Bühler thanked the panel and its moderator for their insightful comments, his Deputy Commander (Lieutenant General Stuart Skeates CBE) for his efforts in bringing this idea to a reality, and the audience for their willingness to engage. 

  

Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office

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