Director General of the NATO International Military Discusses International Peace with Swiss Officials
Lieutenant General Jan Broeks, Director General of the NATO International Military Staff visited Switzerland on 29-30 August 2018. During his visit, Lieutenant General Broeks met with Major General Meier, Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces Staff. He also took the opportunity to visit the Maison de la Paix and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.
Arriving in Zurich, Director General of the NATO International Staff, took the opportunity to meet with the Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces Staff, Major General Meier with whom he discussed the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe, the situation in the Western Balkans and NATO’s role in the Fight Against Terrorism. Lieutenant General Broeks thanked “Switzerland for its commitment and contributions to NATO and more specifically to the KFOR Mission. We are grateful to have such a valued partner”. During the meeting, the Director General provided an update on the ongoing adaptation of the NATO Command Structure: “NATO and Switzerland share some of the same security challenges which have required us to adapt to this changing environment. For NATO, this has translated into the review of our Command Structure to make sure we remain as alert, flexible and responsive as required”.
The next day, Lieutenant General Broeks headed to Geneva for a visit of the Maison de la Paix and its associated Centres. Starting off at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) – focused on executive education that facilitates collaboration in support of peace, security and international cooperation – the Director General had an interesting exchange with Colonel Bülhmann, the Head of the Regional Perspectives Programme. Lieutenant General Broeks acknowledged that “NATO can and does benefit from the experience and knowledge of institutes like this one. The exchange of information improves our ability to take the right decisions about security at the right time”. The General then headed over to the Geneva International Centre for the Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) who work to reduce the impact of mines, cluster munitions and other explosive hazards, in close partnership with mine action organisations and other human security actors. Lieutenant General Broeks’ last stop was at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) where he highlighted that “we are natural partners. Your organisation and NATO have the same objectives. We are both dedicated to improving the security of states and people within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights”.
The trip ended with a meeting with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Lieutenant General Broeks commended the vital work the ICRC is doing in conflict zones around the world, “NATO and the ICRC share the same values, it is the basis for our cooperation. We consult on humanitarian issues, and coordinate how international humanitarian law is covered in NATO military training and exercises”.