Updated: 05-Oct-2001 Week of 24-30 September 2001

28 Sept. 2001

NATO Defense College
celebrates 50th anniversary

The NATO Defense College celebrated its 50th anniversary end September. To mark the occasion, the College organised a ceremony attended by a number of high-level NATO officials, including NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson and General Naumann, former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.

Lord Robertson gave a speech in which he congratulated the Defense College on its achievements in training generations of officers and inviting participants from partner, OSCE and Mediterranean Dialogue countries. He also outlined the parameters of the new security environment and the need to respond more effectively to the challenges of today, invest in NATO's capabilities to respond and encourage more forward-looking thinking and education in security issues.

The ceremony was followed by two conferences: one on "NATO - Where do we come from? - What is the way ahead?" and a second organised around the Anciens' Association (Alumni Association).

The NATO Defense College was initiated by General Eisenhower in 1951 and the first course was inaugurated in Paris on 19 November of the same year. The primary role of the college is to prepare senior officers, diplomats and officials for NATO and NATO-related appointments. Today, its students include participants from NATO, as well as partner, Mediterranean Dialogue and OSCE countries, extending the scope of its training beyond the borders of NATO member countries.
Italy has hosted the college since 1966 and provided new premises in the area of Cecchignola in Rome in September 1999, the year of the Alliance's 50th anniversary.

Additional information:
  • Website hosted by the NATO Defense College
  • NATO Speech: Speech by the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson, on the 50th Anniversary of the NATO Defence College, Rome, Italy - 28 September 2001