Working to strengthen NATO-Ukraine scientific cooperation


Updated 12 April 2007

Members of the Information and Communications Security (ICS) panel and staff from the NATO Public Diplomacy Division (PDD) travelled to Kyiv, Ukraine, on 29 and 30 May 2006 for a panel meeting and for visits to the city’s main universities and research institutes. The PDD staff and the Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Science and Education, Prof Andriy Gurzhiy, took stock of NATO-Ukraine science cooperation.

On 29 May, the meeting of the ICS panel – which was hosted by the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (KPI), a technical university attended by 42,000 students –reviewed applications for support under the NATO Security through Science (STS) Programme. Ukrainian practitioners gave presentations to the panel on NATO-supported computer networking activities. This included the Ukrainian Research and Academic Network (URAN), the largest Ukrainian telecommunications network, which connects users from the R&D sector by providing Internet connectivity to universities and research institutes. URAN was created by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine with the help of four NATO Networking Infrastructure Grants over the period 1997-2006.

On 30 May, panel members split into four groups to give presentations on the STS Programme to students and faculty staff at the KPI, the Institute of Cybernetics, the Kyiv National University, and the Institute for Information Regulation Problems. In addition to the ICS panel meeting, the PDD staff participated in a seminar, hosted by the Canadian embassy, which focused on identifying Ukrainian priorities in environmental security in the framework on the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC). The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Development Programme set up the ENVSEC initiative in 2002. Its aim is to identify, together with regional stakeholders (such as governmental representatives and non-governmental organisations), environmental issues that are a threat to stability and peace, and to use environmental co-operation as a confidence-building exercise in vulnerable regions. Since 2004, NATO has been associated with ENVSEC through the STS Programme and the activities of the Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society.

During the meeting the PDD staff, Deputy Minister Gurzhiy highlighted the value that Ukraine attaches to scientific cooperation with NATO, and pointed to concrete projects, such as URAN, as positive elements of this cooperation. Civil science was singled out as a means to further strengthen ties between NATO and Ukraine.