NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme: Building Partnership in Montenegro
On 29 January 2013, the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro (MFA), hosted an ‘Information Day’ in Podgorica. The event was held at the University of Montenegro and was attended by over 70 scientists, experts, and students.
High-level representatives from Montenegro were also in attendance, including H. E. Ambassador Vladimir Radulovic, State Secretary for Political Affairs in the MFA, who described the SPS Programme as an important tool for providing Allies and Partners with the opportunity to strengthen cooperation through science.
The one-day event focused on the work of the SPS Programme and hoped to identify opportunities for joint scientific cooperation with Montenegro in the future. NATO Science Advisor Dr. Eyup Kuntay Turmus gave a practical introduction of the SPS Programme and provided information on the application process, grant mechanisms, and SPS Key Priorities.
The event also provided the opportunity for Montenegrin scientists with ongoing SPS projects to share their experiences and accomplishments with peers and experts. At present, the two leading SPS projects with Montenegro are ‘Improvements in Harmonisation of Seismic Hazard Maps for the Western Balkan Countries (BSHAP)’ and ‘Geographical Information Processing for Environmental Pollution-Related Security within Urban Scale Environments (GEPSUS)’. These two projects address the priority areas for Disaster Forecast and Prevention and Environmental Security.
While in Montenegro for the SPS ‘Information Day’, NATO experts were also invited to visit the NATO Information Centre in Podgorica for ‘Citizen Hour’, an interactive meeting with members of the public. Senior SPS Advisor Dr. Deniz Beten and Montenegrin Minister of Science Dr. Sanja Vlahovic spoke with local citizens – mainly students – and shared their thoughts on the SPS Programme and the role of science in peace and security today.
The visit to Montenegro proved successful in raising awareness of NATO’s ongoing support to civil scientific communities, especially in the Balkans region. The SPS Programme continues to provide Partner countries, including those wishing to join the Alliance in the future, with the opportunity to address global emerging security challenges jointly with NATO member states.