Marshall Center Faculty Travel to Ukraine and Participate in NATO Seminars
By Jim Brooks
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies
KYIV (June 17, 2016) - Marshall Center Associate Dean Rick Steinke and Black Sea and Eurasia Program Director Valbona Zeneli attended the NATO Parliamentary 92nd Rose Roth NATO Parliamentary Assembly Seminar and Ukraine-NATO Inter-parliamentary Council held in Kyiv, June 14 to 16.
This Rose Roth seminar focused on “Ukraine´s Transformation in a Troubled Regional Context." Zeneli moderated a panel discussion on “Ukraine´s Reform Agenda: Anti-Corruption”. Eighty legislators from NATO member states as well as observers (including from 30 countries overall), participated in the seminar. Also in attendance were many key Ukrainian government officials including the deputy prime minister, speaker of parliament and deputy minister of defense.
“The issues discussed during the panel discussion included the need to increase the public will of NATO membership if that is to happen; and the need for institutional and anti-corruption reforms for enhancing national security,” said Zeneli. “I think this event was very successful, especially for networking with GCMC alumni represented at the NATO delegations. There were GCMC alumni from Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Montenegro and Turkey at the seminar.”
NATO holds two to three Rose-Roth Seminars per year. These seminars help legislators get a better understanding of key security and defense issues. Most importantly, they provide an excellent tool for involving and integrating parliamentarians from partner parliaments into NATO Assembly activities.
In addition to the Rose Roth Seminar, Steinke and Zeneli participated in a NATO Liaison Office-sponsored capacity building seminar held in the Verkhovna Rada, the Supreme Parliament of Ukraine. The focus of this seminar was monitoring and evaluation of the reform in the Annual National Program. At this seminar, Steinke moderated a disscusion with Deputy Chairman, Parliament of Georgia and Marshall Center alum Mr. Giorgi Baramidze, concerning the imperative of government reforms in fighting corruption.
“The only thing that was more important than participating in these important seminars was the opportunity to have one-on-one discussions with key government leaders and share with them what the George C. Marshall Center can do to help build capacity in their nations,” said Steinke.
According to Steinke, face-to-face meetings were also held with Head of the Interfactional Deputies´ Committee “Euro-Atlantic Space for Ukraine” Iryna Friz; Chief of Political and Military Affairs at the U.S. Embassy Ukraine Doug Hoyt; Vice- Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Oksana Syroid; and Chief, International Cooperation, General Staff, Colonel Hennadiy Kovalenko.
“These meetings were important to renew our relationships with many stakeholders and to bring them up-to-date on what the Marshall Center is doing,” said Steinke.