Bi-annual Familiarization Programme demonstrates NATO’s desire to strengthen its partnership network and emphasize collective security

  • 05 Jun. 2024 - 14 Jun. 2024
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  • Last updated: 07 Jun. 2024 11:11

From 5 to 14 June 2024, 30 participants from 20 Partner countries across the globe visited NATO HQ and SHAPE to participate in the NATO Partner Staff Officers' Familiarization Programme. Participants were introduced to the structures and roles of both headquarters, and explored NATO-Partner cooperation.

30 participants from 20 Partner countries across the globe visited NATO HQ to participate in the NATO Partner Staff Officers' Familiarization Programme

 Welcoming the Partner representatives, Brigadier General Eray Üngüder, Deputy Director of NATO’s Cooperative Security Division highlighted the importance of strategic partnership in today’s security environment, “The latest NATO Strategic Concept outlines how the Alliance’s strategic environment is influenced by various trends, threats, and challenges across the globe. NATO has been a pillar of international peace and stability, and our partnerships are crucial in addressing the complex challenges of our time. Our collaboration with Partners is pivotal in fostering peace, stability, and mutual understanding among nations. By working together, sharing resources, and exchanging expertise, we can achieve our common goals more effectively”, Brigadier General Eray Üngüder said.

The first part of the Familiarization Programme was held at NATO HQ in Brussels. The schedule focused on the main partnership policy and programmes, as well as existing working tools and mechanisms. Participants discussed a wide range of Partner-related topics, such as NATO’s cooperation with Partners in the context of the Vilnius Summit and its deliverables, NATO-EU relations, aspects in the fight against terrorism, disaster response and other aspects of NATO–Partner military cooperation.
The Partner staff officers were also briefed on the developments in the various partnership policies and programmes, including the Partnership Staff Post (PSP) programme and the Individually Tailored Partnership Programmes (ITPP). Additionally, participants had the opportunity to discuss existing partnerships with their respective Missions and Delegations to NATO.
The second portion of the programme, run by SHAPE’s Partnership Directorate Military Cooperation Division, will be held from 11 to 14 June in Mons. Partners will participate in more in-depth exchanges covering diverse aspects of NATO-Partner military and defence cooperation.

The overall aim of the joint programme is to provide Partner Staff Officers serving in the Partnership-related posts in NATO, National Ministries of Defence or General/Defence Staffs with a detailed overview of NATO outreach programmes and activities. It is one of the highlights of NATO’s military cooperation with Partners and a reflection of the Alliance’s increasing interest in expanding networking and enhancing existing partnerships as underlined in the 2022 Strategic Concept and in the report recently delivered by the Group of Experts on NATO’s southern neighbourhood.

NATO Partner Staff Officers' Familiarization Programme Group photo