|Updated: 04-Dec-2003||NATO Press Releases|
2 Dec. 2003
The NATO-Ukraine Commission including Representatives of the Invitees met today in Defence Ministers Session at NATO HQ. Ministers discussed the progress that has been made in 2003 in implementing defence and security sector reforms in Ukraine and set the priorities for their work in 2004.
Minister Marchuk outlined Ukraine’s ongoing efforts to implement defence and security sector reform in Ukraine. Allied Ministers welcomed recent progress in transforming Ukraine’s defence and security sector and encouraged Ukraine to continue to implement and adequately resource necessary reforms.
Ministers also agreed that NATO-Ukraine co-operation in defence and security sector reform continues to be an effective instrument to bring about systemic changes in Ukraine’s security posture and a key mechanism for achieving the objectives of the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan. In this respect, Ministers considered the launch of the comprehensive defence review, and wider security sector reforms in Ukraine to be amongst the most significant achievements of 2003. Allied Ministers also welcomed positive developments in the area of civil control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces which should contribute to establishing an effective defence organisation provided that the recent momentum is maintained.
While reviewing their agenda for 2004, Ministers decided to continue to focus their efforts on the priority areas including further support for defence reform in Ukraine, assisting Ukraine in implementing wider security sector reforms, strengthening civil and democratic control of Ukraine’s security sector, and managing consequences of defence reform. Ministers also agreed to continue efforts aimed at strengthening the link between bilateral co-operation and NATO-Ukraine initiatives including those developed under the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR).
Ministers also noted with satisfaction that the feasibility study led by Greece for a PfP trust fund project aimed at the safe destruction of 133,000 tons of surplus munitions and 1.5 million small arms and light weapons has been completed and agreed to explore possibilities of implementing the project.
Ministers also emphasised the continuing importance of establishing a legal framework for NATO-Ukraine co-operation. In this respect, Allied Ministers took note of the fact that Ukrainian Authorities aim to complete their internal process on the Host Nation Support Agreement and conclude the Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Airlift with no further delays.
The Commission noted the Assessment of the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR) including activities for 2003 and priorities for 2004, the Annual Report on Progress Towards the Achievement of Objectives in the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan, and the Revised Concept on NATO-Ukraine Military Co-operation.
Allied Ministers reaffirmed NATO’s commitment to support Ukraine in its efforts to reform its defence and security sector in the context of the Euro-Atlantic integration perspective of Ukraine and commended Ukraine’s practical contribution to peace and stability, including its active involvement in the Balkans and contribution to the post-conflict stabilisation of Iraq.
The Commission also commended the contributions to NATO-Ukraine
co-operation made by the NATO Liaison Office and the NATO Information
and Documentation Centre, both located in Kyiv.