The NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine celebrates its 20th anniversary
The NATO Information and Documentation Centre (NIDC) in Ukraine celebrated its 20th anniversary in Kyiv. A first-ever public information office opened in a NATO Partner nation, the NATO Information Centre has served for twenty years to increase awareness about NATO and promote NATO in Ukraine.
The NATO Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller, who visited Kyiv on 6-7 April, addressed the gathering via a video message from Brussels: ‘Twenty years ago, NATO decided to establish an office in Kyiv. Its mission was to open its arms to anyone eager to learn more about NATO. Today, the mission remains the same. Only by learning about each other we can dispel the myths and stereotypes, and build trust and friendship in each other’.
On 7 May 1997, Javier Solana, the then NATO Secretary General, and Hennadiy Udovenko, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, inaugurated NATO’s Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv. The NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership Charter was signed two months later deepening the NATO-Ukraine cooperation and creating the NATO-Ukraine Commission.
For twenty years, the NATO Information and Documentation Centre (NIDC), has been hosted by the Institute of International Relations of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. During this time, the Centre has organized more than two hundred study trips and visits for students, journalists, academics, parliamentarians to the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Overall, two thousand Ukrainians have visited the NATO HQ in the framework of such visits. It has implemented over 600 information and media projects.
The NIDC has always supported Ukraine’s civil society and contributed to open dialogue about NATO. It actively supported many non-governmental actors during the Revolution of Dignity, such as the Ukrainian Crisis Media Centre, to provide the world with factual information and news about the events on the ground. It provided financial assistance to grass-root activists who fought Russian propaganda and we assisted in the formation of new independent Ukrainian media.
The Centre is also actively supporting the Ukrainian government to establish effective strategic and crisis communication.‘In its twenty years of active engagement in Ukraine, the NATO Information and Documentation Centre has made an important contribution to Ukraine. The topic of NATO is no longer taboo and many of the myths and stereotypes about NATO have been dispelled through active dialogue:’ said Carmen Romero, the Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy during her address at the celebrations of the 20th anniversary in Kyiv.