The NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR) met today at Senior Level to discuss recent developments in the security and defence sector of Ukraine, to assess the current state of defence cooperation between the Alliance and Ukraine, and to consider the prospects for further work in this framework.
Ukraine presented its draft National Security Strategy and outlined the results of its Strategic Defence Review, explaining how these documents would guide its defence reforms as well as cooperation with NATO. Ukraine had previously consulted Allies on a new draft Military Doctrine which sets guidelines for the further transformation of its armed forces.
Established in 1997 under the aegis of NATO-Ukraine Commission and in line with the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, the JWGDR is a key mechanism for practical cooperation on security and defence sector reform. It also serves as a forum for consultations on security issues of common interest.
Since its inception, the Group has played an important role in facilitating consultations and coordinating advice and expert assistance from the Alliance and individual nations to support the transformation of Ukraine’s security and defence sector. It has also been instrumental in aligning the assistance provided with Ukraine’s overall defence policy objectives.
In the context of the overall NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership and in particular the broad security and defence reform objectives outlined by Ukraine in its Annual National Programme, and taking into consideration cooperation carried out in other programmes, such as the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) and the Military Committee with Ukraine Work Plan, the JWGDR will continue to:
- facilitate a constructive dialogue between Ukraine and the Alliance on a broad range of security and defence reform issues, addressing both traditional areas of cooperation as well as new areas related to emerging security challenges;
- consult and provide advice, upon Ukraine's request, on the formulation of the security and defence reform related objectives in its Annual National Programme, as well as support the implementation of these aspects;
- provide a forum for consultations and the provision of advice to Ukraine on the implementation of its key strategic defence and security documents, including the new National Security Strategy and Military Doctrine;
- support the implementation of the results of Ukraine’s Strategic Defence Review, and provide, as appropriate, a forum for consultations on the documents guiding the further development of the Ukrainian armed forces;
- provide a forum for consultations and the provision of expert advice to Ukraine on relevant aspects of intelligence sector reform, following up on the valuable work of the NATO-Ukraine Working Group on Civil and Democratic Control of the Intelligence Sector;
- facilitate discussions and information exchange on cyber defence issues;
- encourage the establishment of a constructive and fruitful dialogue between non-governmental organisations and public authorities in Ukraine through the implementation of the Partnership Network for Civil Society Expertise Development initiative. This work has facilitated the development and articulation of Ukrainian civil society’s proposals on international and national policies and programmes, like NATO’s new Strategic Concept, Ukraine's Annual National Programmes, the Strategic Defence Bulletin, “White Book: Defence Policy of Ukraine,” etc;
- support the establishment of an effective management system and sustainable personnel policy in Ukraine’s security and defence sector, in particular through training and education of civilian personnel under the JWGDR Professional Development Programme (PDP). In the past five years the PDP has trained over 1000 officials working in the Ministry of Defence, the State Security Service, the National Security and Defence Council, the State Border Guard Service, the Ministry of Emergencies and other state bodies.
In light of these priorities Ukraine will seek to make the best possible use of the JWGDR to gain expert assistance from NATO and Allies for the implementation of its key strategic policies.
Ukraine will also seek to use this forum to exchange views on new security threats and challenges, and in this context address its preparations for the European Football Championship to be hosted in 2012 by Ukraine and Poland, and its request for assistance from NATO for this high-profile event.
The NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine will continue to play a key role in supporting the implementation of Ukraine's Annual National Programme as well as work undertaken under the auspices of the JWGDR, facilitating effective cooperation between the Alliance, individual Allies, and Ukraine.