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Thursday, 05 November 2020 14:33

In organization by the Euro – Atlantic Council of Macedonia, on 5th of November 2020 (Wednesday), the 2nd NATO Academy 2020 was officially open. Due to the current situation caused by the COVID – 19 pandemic, and in line with the government and health official’s recommendations, the Academy is held online on the ZOOM platform.

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The event began with a short introduction to the agenda by Mr. Ilija Djugumanov from ATA Presidency, after which he announced the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, H.E. Stevo Pendarovski who officially opened the Academy with an introductory lecture.
He pointed to the fact that the country is a formal NATO member since March this year, and it will significantly strengthen its presence both in the military and civil part of the Alliance’s Headquarters in Brussels. In this direction, North Macedonia’s Ambassador leaves for Brussels next week.

Regarding the Army’s reforms, Pendarovski stated, “They will continue having in mind that as a new member country of the largest political and military alliance, we have a duty to implement them, and we are being constantly monitored regarding the dynamics of that implementation”. In the same time, as President Pendarovski said “we committed ourselves to single out 2% of the GDP for the Army”.

Referring to the involvement of the Army members in the NATO peace missions, Pendarovski pointed out that recently 44 soldiers and military officers left for the Kosovo KFOR mission: “The participation in this concrete mission is especially important for the regional stability and security. I believe that our presence, as a new NATO member country, we will contribute towards reaching this goal. Because the ultimate goal of the Kosovo KFOR mission is exactly the stability of the whole region”, said Pendarovski.
In his lecture, the President also referred to the role of NATO in the prevention and reduction of the consequences of hybrid threats, which pose a new shape of security threats:

“One of the greatest gains from our membership in NATO is the fact that North Macedonia is part of the information exchange mechanism. That mechanism allows the NATO member countries, but also the countries, which are not part of the Alliance; to exchange important information between them which are helpful, let us say in some investigation for international terrorism. Some information that are being exchanged can prevent possible attacks. And this is one of the greatest gains from our membership in NATO”, the President emphasized.

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After the official address, the NATO Academy participants had the exceptional opportunity for more than hour and a half to discuss and pose questions to the President related to security, Army and the NATO integration, which provoked a fruitful debate during this part of yesterday’s lecture.

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The NATO Academy 2020 includes 45 young participants (students and young professionals), citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia, 16-35 years old, from different Universities and institutions in the country and abroad.

This project is supported by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division.

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