NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform

  • Last updated: 09 Apr. 2015 15:03

NATO and Ukraine cooperation in the area of defence and security sector reform is more extensive than with any other partner country. The NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR) is the primary focus for NATO-Ukraine cooperation in defence and security sector reform.

Established in 1998 under the auspices of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, the JWGDR pursues initiatives in the area of civil-military relations, democratic oversight and civilian management of the armed forces and other security sector agencies, defence planning, development of policy, strategy and national security concepts.

The JWGDR allows Ukraine to draw on Allied countries' considerable experience and expertise, and serves as a tool through which the Allies can channel assistance. It also provides the institutional basis for NATO’s cooperation with ministries and agencies engaged in implementing defence and security sector reform in Ukraine. These include the National Security and Defence Council, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence, National Guard, Border Guard Service, Security Service of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) and others.

All NATO member states and Ukraine are represented in meetings of the JWGDR. Since 2013, these meetings are chaired by NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy (prior to this, they were chaired by the Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning).

The core group of the JWGDR meets quarterly at the expert level at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Annual meetings take place at Senior Level, involving high-ranking officials from Allied capitals and Kyiv.

Additionally, there are several programmes and initiatives supporting Ukraine’s reforms in the defence and security sector, which are implemented under the auspices of the JWGDR, such as the Professional Development Programme for Civilian Personnel of Security and Defence Sector Institutions, and Partnership Network for Civil Society Expertise Development.