Junior Participates in Student Seminar with NATO Secretary General

Posted: April 25, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

Last month, Luis Garzon, a George Mason junior majoring in global affairs with a self-designed concentration in global peace and security, participated in an informal student seminar at The Atlantic Council of the United States with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

Along with 23 other students from 18 colleges and universities from across the United States, Garzon participated in the moderated discussion with de Hoop Scheffer about the role of NATO in the contemporary world, the organization’s continued evolution and participation in peacekeeping missions across the globe in places such as the Sudanese Darfur region, Afghanistan and Kosovo in the Balkans, as well as its relations with the United States and the European Union.

“I feel very fortunate to have had the experience,” Garzon says. He says he learned more about NATO in general and “how its transformation is yet another example of how institutions adapt to the new challenges of globalization.”

De Hoop Scheffer’s discussion of NATO’s involvement with the African Union intervention in Darfur, the civil war-torn region of western Sudan bordering Chad, was particularly interesting to Garzon.

“His explanation of NATO’s assistance to the African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur through training and airlift support gave me a better knowledge of NATO’s role in fighting the world’s worst humanitarian crisis at the present moment. I thought the discussion was the crowning event for my concentration, global peace and security.”

Luis Garzon
Luis Garzon
Creative Services photo

Although he has not decided what career path he wants to pursue upon graduation, Garzon already has a wealth of academic and professional experience, having conducted research in Mexico on microfinances in Latin America while he was interning at the temporary headquarters for the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

He is trying to get an article he wrote on his findings published for the general Latin American public. A former secretary and president of the model United Nations, Garzon is currently participating in the Global Humanitarian Action Program through the Center for Global Education.

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