VIEWS: 74 PAGES: 3 POSTED ON: 9/1/2012
CLOSING REMARKS SEMINAR 5+5. HIGHER LEVEL MILITARY EDUCATION General Valença, Vice admiral Maicieira, officers, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. It is a pleasure and an honour to have the opportunity to meet you in such an outstanding forum to close this innovative seminar. This Seminar is the outcome of a process carried out on the basis of the experience gained during the previous years of the Initiative 5+5 action plans and with the participation of all 10 Western Mediterranean partner countries. During these days, the participants representing the Ministries of Defence, Joint and Service Staffs, as well as educational centres have had the opportunity to discuss their interests and priorities concerning Higher Level Education as the recognition of the importance of the educational dimension for the Initiative 5+5, as its fourth pillar to be developed. As a result, today there is a broad consensus on the necessity to increase our cooperation and integration of our training tools as a key issue in development strategies and programs in the Western Mediterranean. The decision made in the 2007 Minister Meeting to establish the “5+5 Defence College”, primarily designed for civil and military personnel from Defence institutions of each of the 5+5 countries, is an illustration of this appreciation. This seminar, hosted by our Portuguese colleagues, is based on the common idea of staging an event to support the potential role played by military education in increasing the military cooperation, drawing on its long tradition among our armed forces. Hence, I would like to thank Portugal for the efforts, enthusiastic service and cooperation to organize this event where we have had the opportunity to deal with the highest quality of professionals. These sessions were devoted to a comprehensive assessment of the opportunities for regional cooperation and the implications for our own armed forces on both sides of the Mediterranean. It has been emphasized that the many factors and challenges affecting the Western Mediterranean area could be faced with a new approach through a common effort in improving our knowledge and shared education, all of them in close coordination with other actors in “5+5 Dialogue”. To continue to progress, we should develop integrative projects, primarily aimed at younger officers, because the future opportunities belong to them, the younger generations. We should strive to gain a good deal of our credibility and leverage in the Western Mediterranean Region by promoting integrative educational efforts, working on education, avoiding the perception of “double standards”, which will have a negative impact on the whole architecture of regional cooperation. A good example inside Initiative 5+5 is the Euro-Maghreb Centre for Research and Strategic Studies (CEMRES). Tunisia is the leader regarding national contributions with which we have established common long-term objectives, committing effectively concerned actors and educational centres. Regarding the Spanish commitment with education in the Initiative 5+5, we have completed the first Senior Course, organized with Algeria, just three months ago. It was a great success due to the true and efficient coordination between us. The chosen subject, “the contribution of the 5+5 Defence Initiative to the security in the Mediterranean”, was perfectly adapted to the level of the participants. It enabled high level thinking and real debates to better understand each other’s views about this issue. I can announce that Spain confirms its commitment with intermediate level offering new modules for the 2010/2011 cycle. According to the proposal of the Academic Committee, this module will be organized in coordination with France and Libya, in the general framework of the issue on “threats of the Western Mediterranean”. Spain also supports the basic training module in the area of Air Security during 2012. As you could understand basic level planning is the basis to support the Initiative 5+5 in common areas. Finally, I would like to underline that the implementation of our goals and objectives depends on the actions undertaken at the national level. It is therefore important for national military education policies to reconcile the regional requirements at the Higher Education Level, in particular by looking for cooperative approaches covering areas such as air security, maritime security and armed forces participation in supporting civilian authorities, and finally, encouraging common educational procedures for younger generations. Let me finish by expressing many thanks to Portugal, once again for such a remarkable organization and to all the participants for sharing their always interesting thoughts. This seminar has established a strong platform to widely develop our commitment with our own future. Thank you for your attention.
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