NATO simulation game in Almaty, Kazakhstan

  • 27 Nov. 2014 -
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  • Last updated: 04 Dec. 2014 14:56

The fourth annual “Model NATO” student forum took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 27 November. This year it focused on “NATO's priorities in the context of a new geopolitical environment”.

Students were confronted with a contemporary crisis scenario, revealed during the forum. They debated the global security architecture, international cooperation and conflict resolution approaches and discussed the current international agenda. Special attention was paid to cooperation between NATO and Central Asian states in countering violent extremism and to the impact of the NATO-Russia crisis on Central Asian partners.

The NATO Liaison Officer in Central Asia, Alexander Vinnikov, addressed the forum by video link on “NATO’s engagement with Central Asian partners and Afghanistan: post-Summit, post-ISAF”.  Students then had the opportunity to ask questions on a variety of topics including Afghanistan and Ukraine, as well as the Alliance’s Readiness Action Plan. They also discussed the impact of sanctions against Russia on Central Asian states, threats and challenges to security in Central Asia after the ISAF mission in Afghanistan ends and NATO’s cooperation prospects with Central Asia beyond 2014.

This “Model NATO” provided students with a unique opportunity to study the role, structure and activities of NATO, as well as some of the key political, security and economic issues facing the Alliance. Participants gained a better understanding of the capabilities and constraints that shape the security policies of NATO and its Allies. Delegates represented NATO Allies, partner states from Central Asia, and Afghanistan during sessions simulating NATO’s North Atlantic Council, Military Committee and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

More than 70 students participated from Kazakhstan’s leading universities and military academies, including the Eurasian National University in Astana and the Almaty-based Military Institute of Land Forces. Students from the University of International Relations and World Languages, Kazakh-German University, KIMEP University and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University also attended. The audience included several students from Afghanistan studying at these institutions courtesy of Government of Kazakhstan scholarships.

The event was organised by the NATO Resource and Information Centre through the Department of International Relations of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and the NATO Youth Association in Kazakhstan, with support from NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division and the office of the NATO Liaison Officer in Central Asia.