Helsinki NATO event seeks to improve cooperation in crisis management

  • 04 Mar. 2010 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 04 Mar. 2010 15:54

On 4 March, Finland and Sweden are hosting the seminar “NATO’s New Strategic Concept – Comprehensive Approach to Crisis Management” in Helsinki to discuss ways of enhancing cooperation between NATO and other international actors to improve crisis management.

From left to right:  the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Alexander Stubb; NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen.

The conference is looking at the future challenges of crisis management and NATO's role and interaction with other international actors, such as the European Union. Sessions are focusing on the evolving world order, the growing role of the European Union in security policy and crisis management, how to build capabilities by bringing actors together, and how to make future crisis management operations successful.

The logic of the comprehensive approach is compelling, but its implementation remains difficult,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in his opening speech. “Each player operates within its own stovepipe, and with its own working methods. The combined impact of our efforts remains much less than what it could be.”

He outlined the three steps that he believes are necessary for an effective approach: instill a new understanding of the need for better civil-military cooperation, build closer cooperation between all major institutions and NGOs at all levels, and increase NATO’s connectivity with the wider world.

We need to see each other as indispensable partners, and not as competitors,” Mr Rasmussen said. “It is clear from our recent operation in Marjah [Afghanistan] that we achieve better, more lasting results when the military and civilian sides work together from the outset and according to a single plan.”

Key speakers at the event also include Finnish President Tarja Halonen, Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, Finnish Foreign and Defence Ministers Alexander Stubb and Jyri Hakamies, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, NATO Group of Experts Vice-Chair Jeroen van der Veer, and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Stephane Abrial.

In addition to organising this seminar, Finland and Sweden have presented written opinions to the Group of Experts on the subjects of NATO's role in crisis management, EU-NATO cooperation and Nordic cooperation.