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NATO-Med conferenceNATO has shown every intention of adapting to the new strategic environment of the twenty-first century, as it continues to secure a future for NATO in the post Cold War world. Today’s key threats - terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, failed states, and organised crime – transcend the traditional confines of borders and, very often, of continents as well. In an effort to meet these challenges, NATO is forging new security partnerships with countries across the Mediterranean and the broader Middle East based on practical cooperation.

Representing a major shift in Alliance priorities, this new direction has come about following the decision made at the June 2004 Istanbul Summit to enhance NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue and to expand the initiative to the broader region through the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.

Focusing on cooperation in the priority areas of counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, military-to-military interoperability, defence reform, and civil emergency planning; NATO’s success depends on developing with the countries concerned a joint sense of "ownership" for both its objectives and activities.

This two-day event, the fourth annual NATO-Mediterranean conference to be held at RUSI in co-operation with the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, will explore these issues, and the responses of NATO members, as well as the reactions of the countries included in the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. The conference will bring together senior officials from NATO, and academic practitioners from universities, think tanks and research centres from the European Union and the United States.

The conference will look at:

  • What do NATO’s initiatives add to those of other international organisations?
  • How can NATO respond to the widened range of 21st century security threats?
  • What have NATO’s initiatives achieved, and what challenges do they face?

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Colleen P. Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, United States of America
  • John Colston, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning, NATO
  • Desmond Bowen, Policy Director, Ministry of Defence, UK
  • Nicola de Santis, Head Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative Countries Section, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO
  • Dr. Alberto Bin, Head Regional Affairs and Mediterranean Dialogue Section, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, NATO
  • Brigadier Abdul Aziz Al-Mahmoud, Director of the Centre for Military Research and Strategic Study, Qatar
  • Dr. Mohammed Albaki Hermassi, Senior Researcher, Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) and former Minister of Culture and Foreign Affairs of Tunisia
  • Dr. Yasar Qatarneh, Institute of Diplomacy, Regional Centre on Conflict Prevention, Amman, Jordan
  • Dr. Ian O. Lesser, Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington and President, Mediterranean Advisors, Washington
  • Major-General Yaakov Amidror, Program Director, Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs, and Former Head of the IDF National Defence College, Israel
  • Dr. Mohamed Kadry Said, Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, Cairo, Egypt

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