NATO community supports diversity and inclusion at the NATO Run for All

  • 13 Oct. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 13 Oct. 2023 11:16

Under a sunny blue sky at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, people of various ages, nationalities and backgrounds recently gathered to support diversity at the NATO Run for All. Organised by three NATO staff resource groups that advocate for a more inclusive work environment for racial minorities, LGBTQ+ staff and working parents, the Run for All was an inspirational race dedicated to promoting diversity and fostering unity, embodying the values at the heart of the Alliance.

Supporting diversity at the NATO Run for All

The event featured different race categories – including an 8 km individual run, a relay for teams of four and a fun run for children – accommodating runners of all fitness levels. Clapping and cheering, spectators encouraged runners along the route, which passed beneath the Allied flags in front of NATO HQ.

Admiral Rob Bauer, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, joined fellow NATO officials in the race, as part of a relay team called “Easier said than Run”. 

Opening the event, Admiral Bauer noted that, “Run for All is a trailblazing initiative that helps celebrate our differences and recognise the beautiful mosaic that is NATO, as well as reinforce the ties between our nations, our people and within our community. Every day at this HQ, 31 (soon 32) nations work to turn our differences into our greatest strength – ultimately, choosing to put the ’we’ above the ’me’. This event is a powerful statement about our common commitment to diversity and inclusion. Meaningful change will take time. But the good thing is: we don’t have to do it alone. The fact that so many people showed up today proves that.”

Supporting diversity at the NATO Run for All

More than 150 people participated in the event. As runners crossed the finish line, they were not just celebrating their personal achievements but also the collective strength of a united NATO. The run reinforced the idea that diversity is a source of unity and strength for the Alliance. 

“Diversity brings an additional richness of perspectives,” explained one runner. “It not only makes NATO a more enjoyable place to work, but as an institution it also allows us to make better policy.” 

Another runner echoed the same point, reflecting on the scale of NATO’s impact on its diverse citizens and societies: “When we’re dealing with issues where the security of one billion people is at stake, we need as many diverse perspectives as possible so that we can make good decisions.”

Supporting diversity at the NATO Run for All

Throughout the event, attendees were asked to share their personal pledges to support diversity, emphasising that it is everyone’s responsibility to build a more inclusive environment together. Written on posters, some of the messages included:

Supporting diversity at the NATO Run for All

“Diversity makes NATO stronger. Inclusion makes NATO a community.”

“I pledge to contribute to a world where we all feel free to be who we are without prejudice and discrimination.”


The NATO Run for All was organised by NATO’s three Staff Resource Groups: Elevate Diversity, Proud@NATO and Working Parents. The three groups decided to host the event together to demonstrate the value of collective action across the NATO community. 

“By participating side by side, we break down barriers, challenge stereotypes and foster a culture of inclusivity,” they explained. 

By signing up for the run, participants demonstrated their commitment to diversity and celebrated the wide range of people that make up this multinational and multicultural Alliance.

As one runner put it at the finish line: “Diversity is more than just accepting everyone’s differences – it’s welcoming those differences and recognising their value for everyone.”

Supporting diversity at the NATO Run for All