Tuesday, December 23, 2014

NATO and Mongolia review cooperation through science

Since Mongolia became a global partner of NATO less than two years ago, the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme has supported a number of projects in the field of science and innovation. An event to review these efforts and identify ways to further enhance collaboration took place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 27 November.


Common goals

The first of these projects, entitled “IT support to the Mongolian Academy of Sciences”, was designed to strengthen the Academy’s capability in the area of cyber defence. Launched in 2012, it was the first cooperative effort between the Alliance and Mongolia through the SPS Programme. The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) collaborated with the Academy to carry out the project. The project marked an important new chapter in relations and offered a platform for strategic dialogue and practical cooperation on shared challenges.

“This cooperation is an important step in the development of the capabilities of the Academy of Sciences to defend its own IT networks and will also help to develop the capabilities of other Mongolian government institutions in the future,” said Dr Professor Batbold Enkhtuvshin, President of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.

Delegates also reviewed a project to support the establishment of a geo-database for the restoration of former military sites. This represents an important first step in the process of rehabilitating degraded land. The Slovak Environmental Agency and the Institute of Geo-ecology at the Mongolian Academy of Sciences are leading this project which after almost two years has already achieved very impressive interim results. The project will continue for another two years.

Global partner

Mongolia is also participating in an SPS project entitled “NATO Global Perceptions - Views from the Asia-Pacific Region”. In this joint effort, the Mongolian Institute for Strategic Studies, together with scientists from Australia, Estonia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand, will analyse the images and perceptions of NATO as a global security actor in the Asia-Pacific region. The Institute’s Dr Munkthur underlined that the project fits very well to Mongolia’s foreign policy and complements efforts for a potentially increasingly active role of his country in the region.

Senior Advisor for NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division, Mr Michael Gaul, said, “The success of these projects and the perspectives to intensify the Mongolia-SPS cooperation underline, in addition to the Alliance’s cooperation in other areas, our continually deepening and broadening partnership with Mongolia”.

The event was hosted by the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Academy of Science and supported by the NATO SPS Programme.

Later, the Mongolian Vice Minister of Defence, Mr Avirmed Battur, emphasised his desire to build on the successful cooperation so far and to improve the IT infrastructure of the Mongolian Ministry of Defence and the Mongolian Armed Forces through intensified cooperation with the SPS Programme.

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