Opening remarks

by the Chairman of the Military Committee, General Petr Pavel at the joint press conference with the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis M. Scaparrotti and the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Denis Mercier

  • 17 May. 2017 -
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  • Last updated: 17 May. 2017 21:44

General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the Military Committee

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Let me begin this press conference by giving you an overview on the outcomes of second Chiefs of Defence meeting in 2017.

It is exactly these meetings where the Chiefs of Defence have the opportunity to assess the current and future work, engage in an open exchange of views and offer additional guidance and recommendations. Translating political objectives into military reality is at the core of the work we do. What is also crucial is that the military advice we provide is clear, concise and importantly able to deliver the desired strategic effects. Our work today will assist our Heads of State and Government in their meeting on the 25th of May and Defence Ministers in June to make deliberate and considered decisions.

So what did we discuss today? We started off with a very fruitful exchange of views with the Secretary General on ongoing NATO priorities and work strands. Our first strategy session had the Chiefs of Defence look at the threats and challenges to the South of the Alliance’s borders. We discussed how to further enhance NATO’s role in fighting terrorism, including potential NATO membership in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, which will be one of the key topics for the Heads of State and Government meeting. We also addressed ways to move forward with the implementation of Projecting Stability, including remaining fully committed to the stability and security of the Western Balkans and the next possible steps with regard to NATO’s involvement in Iraq.

The Chiefs of Defence reiterated their strong support to NATO’s Projecting Stability activities as part of the broad efforts of the international community and the need to work closely with our Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partners, with the European Union and other international organizations. The role the Hub for the South will play in coordinating these activities is very important. It will improve our abilities to anticipate crises in the region and respond to them. During the meeting with our Partners in the RESOLUTE SUPPORT format, discussions centered on recommendations for 2018, and beyond, including on the continued requirement for a flexible and conditions-based approach due to the volatile security situation.
The Chiefs of Defence emphasized their long-term commitment to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, including through the support to the 4-year ANDSF Roadmap.

The Afghan security forces are faced with a challenging security environment, they continue to be tested, but they also continue to endure. It is unquestionable that a stable Afghanistan is in everybody’s interest, and not just for regional stability. NATO will continue to support all initiatives which will help achieve this objective.

In our final sessions of the day, we first completed the strategic security overview, which included Russia. The Chiefs of Defence then developed recommendations on capability development and resource requirements to continue to underpin NATO’s current and future tasks, operations, missions and activities relating to both Defence and Deterrence and Projecting Stability. Finally the Allied Chiefs of Defence took the opportunity to note an update on the NCS adaptation.

With that introduction, let me pass the pass the floor to both Strategic Commanders. Will start with SACEUR, General Scaparrotti. Mike, over to you.