NATO-ICI Regional Centre Holds First Annual Review in Kuwait
On 30 September – 1 October 2018, NATO and Kuwait held the first annual review of activities at the NATO-Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) Regional Centre. An inter-ministerial delegation from the State of Kuwait, who are the focal points for implementation of the NATO-ICI Regional Centre’s Action Plan, met at the Centre in Kuwait with their counterparts from different NATO International Staff divisions, International Military Staff and Strategic Commands. The meeting was chaired by Sheikh Fawaz Meshal Al-Sabah on the Kuwaiti side, and the Alliance’s inter-divisional delegation was led by Mr. Nicola de Santis, Head of the NATO Middle East and North Africa Section of the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division.
During this two-day meeting, NATO and Kuwaiti representatives reviewed the outcomes of the courses and activities held thus far at the NATO-ICI Regional Centre, and they discussed the successes and challenges of the first year. The purpose of the meeting was to identify the specific activities to be carried out in the second year at this Centre and to identify ways to enrich the cooperative learning environment. In the second year, the NATO-ICI Regional Centre will focus on enhancing joint ownership, regional cooperation and quality assurance for courses in the areas of focus: Military-to-Military Cooperation, Science for Peace and Security Programme, Civil Emergency Planning, Lessons Learned and Maritime Security. In addition, the 15th anniversary of the ICI in 2019 will be an opportunity for active political dialogue and public diplomacy.
In the framework of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, NATO Permanent Representatives and Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg inaugurated the NATO-ICI Regional Centre together with the His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah on 23 January 2017. The NATO-ICI Regional Centre’s objective is to improve common understanding of security challenges by creating a level of interoperability and standardisation that enables closer cooperation between NATO and its partners in the region.
Following the completion of construction of this 8000 square-meter facility, courses began at the Centre in September 2017. In the first year, 14 courses and activities carried out by 149 experts from NATO brought a total of 478 participants from ICI countries, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the GCC to the NATO-ICI Regional Centre in Kuwait.