Opening Remarks

by the Chairman of the Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, at the 175th meeting of the Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence session

  • 18 May. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 18 May. 2016 09:09

Ladies and Gentlemen good morning.  Let me start by welcoming the NATO Chiefs of Defence and the Strategic Commanders to this second Military Committee meeting in Chiefs of Defence format of the year.  

I would especially like to mention the three new members of our group:

  • Lieutenant General Mirko Šundov from Croatia,
  • General Constantin Popov from Bulgaria
  • And the new Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Mike Scaparrotti.

Mirko, Constantin, Mike, congratulations on your appointments.  We are all very much looking forward to your advice, expertise and contributions in shaping our recommendations to the North Atlantic Council in these very demanding and interesting times. 

Our discussions today provide an opportunity to establish a common understanding of recent developments in our constantly evolving security environment.  We will identify the most important advice for our Ministers and Heads of State and Government as NATO prepares for the Warsaw Summit.

This morning we will discuss the delivery of a coherent 360 degree military approach to address the security challenges facing the Alliance.  We will reinforce the importance of NATO’s full spectrum capabilities to counter any current or future threats to the Alliance.  Our message is clear - NATO is and will remain the most powerful and successful military Alliance in the World; and we will protect our values, our people and our territories.     

In the afternoon we will focus on our partners.  Firstly, we will meet with our 13 RESOLUTE SUPPORT operational partners.  SACEUR and the Commander of the RESOLUTE SUPPORT Mission will update us on the strategic and operational situation.  We will then debate how best to continue improving the effectiveness of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.  The ANDSF are essential to the stability of the Afghan state and a critical component in building the confidence of the Afghan people in their society.

We will then meet with our 25 Interoperability Platform partners.  This will be our second CHODs meeting in this format since it was established at the Wales Summit.  Our Australian colleague has kindly agreed to brief us on their experiences in defence capacity building.  Thereafter the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation will present the status and the way forward on the Individual Tailored Roadmaps that have been developed to deepen our partnerships and improve interoperability. 

We will complete the day with two meetings dedicated to our Special Partners, Georgia and Ukraine, who will inform us of their perspectives of the regional security situation.  We will also be updated on the status of NATO’s substantial package for Georgia and on the progress of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Development out to 2020. 

The Strategic Commanders and I will brief the media on the outcomes of our discussions at the press conference this evening. 

I would now like to thank the media for attending our opening session and kindly ask you to leave the room.