The 13th ATHINA 09, Crisis Management International Conference was held at the “Metropolitan” Hotel, organized by the HNDGS, under the auspices of the Ministry for National Defence.
Initially, it was an activity meant to support the candidate countries of Eastern Europe for accession to NATO (in the spirit of PfP). Gradually, it developed incorporating more countries. As a result, 312 representatives of 40 states and international organizations attended ATHINA 09 with an agenda including 27 lectures.
On the first day of the conference, the Chief HNDGS, General (Air) Ioannis Giagkos, after welcoming participants, underlined the fact that the ‘crisis management is one of the main security projects that both International Organizations and individual states have undertaken to carry out. In an intensely globalised world, security environment will keep transforming while being affected by a number of political, social technological and military unpredictable parameters’.
He also stressed the fact that ‘future threats, risks and security challenges require the establishment of flexible, well trained and equipped forces, capable of deploying very rapidly over strategic distances. Those forces should be capable of undertaking and sustaining the whole spectrum of crisis management operations, including stabilization and reconstruction operations’.
Concluding his address, the Chief HNDGS said that the personnel involved in crisis management should explore the strategic horizon thoroughly so as to detect underlying crisis. Crises should be prevented or dealt with using imagination and foresight. Taking into account the role and the possibilities of the mass media’.
The second day the Chief HNDGS welcome two military EU and NATO leaders, General Henri Bentegeat, Chairman of the EU Military Committee and Vice Admiral Marc P. Fitzgerald, Allied Joint Forces Commander, Naples.
General Henri Bentegeat in his presentation with the title “ESDP : which added value in crisis management?” analysed the actions taken and achievements of EU in various missions all over the world, the future of EU and the transatlantic relations.
Vice Admiral Marc P. Fitzgerald gave a presentation on “NATO Approach to Crisis Response” focusing on future risks, challenges and lessons learned from previous or current operations such as Kosovo or anti piracy operations, in the Indian Ocean off the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden.