Updated: 31-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


of the

3 Dec. 1993

Progress Report

to Ministers by NACC Ad Hoc Group on Cooperation in Peacekeeping

    1. Building on the decisions taken at the meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in Athens on 11th June 1993, the Ad Hoc Group on Cooperation in Peacekeeping has continued to serve as a forum for consultations on political and conceptual issues related to peacekeeping in the CSCE area.It has also further developed a broad programme of concrete cooperation activities in this field.

  1. Conceptual Approaches

    1. The definitions, principles and criteria set out in the Report endorsed by NACC Ministers in Athens have underpinned the work of the Ad Hoc Group with regard to conceptual issues.The political debate has mainly focussed on concrete experiences by individual participants and on cooperation with other relevant institutions.Conceptual issues, and in particular the evolutionary nature of the concept of peacekeeping, have been discussed on a number of occasions, including the Seminar held in Prague on 30th June - 2nd July 1993.

    2. A follow-on seminar on political and conceptual aspects of peacekeeping will be held in Spring 1994, with a view to:examining the concept of peacekeeping; exchanging national experiences in peacekeeping; and discussing the military-civilian relationship in the peacekeeping framework. This, however, should not precede nor delay the practical cooperation activities but rather should flow naturally from these.

  2. Measures for Practical Co-Operation in Peacekeeping

    1. At the meeting on 17th September the Ad Hoc Group decided to institute the Ad Hoc Technical Sub-Group (TSG) envisaged in the Athens Report as a means of pursuing the development of practical measures in a coordinated manner.The TSG has reviewed the work set in train at Athens and has developed a structure for dealing with it.Work has been allocated for each main area to groups of experts chaired by a lead-nation, the International Military Staff or the International Staff.Responsibility for and co-ordination of this work rest with the TSG which will receive regular reports from the expert working groups.In its turn, the TSG will regularly submit an account of its work to the AHG, which retains overall responsibility.

    2. The high-level seminar held in Prague on 30th June - 2nd July offered participants new opportunities to discuss and develop a common understanding of operational concepts and requirements for peacekeeping together with indications of fields for enhanced practical co-operation.

    3. Bearing in mind the scope of the Athens work plan, consideration may need to be given to prioritising tasks.This issue will be pursued shortly by the TSG.Transparency is essential; and information on the progress of work in the expert groups will be provided to all nations, whether or not resources permit them to participate actively in the work of particular groups.


    4. Work in the initial stages has concentrated on exchanging information and defining the task more precisely, whilst firmly keeping in mind the objectives for the various broad areas of practical co-operation as set out in the Athens Report to Ministers of 11th June.The following paragraphs describe progress in greater detail.

      Cooperation in Planning

    5. As required by the Athens report, the NATO Military Authorities submitted three staff papers to the Ad Hoc Group, covering the assets and capabilities required for the conduct of peacekeeping operations; the possibility and utility of developing a database of available resources; and the requirements for forces, procedures and equipment to facilitate co-operation in peacekeeping operations.This initial work is now being pursued by an open-ended experts working group, chaired by the International Military Staff, which held its first meeting on 16th November.

    6. The TSG is presently discussing the need to establish a NACC database.Duplication with similar efforts in the CSCE and United Nations, in particular with the latter's recent Standby Forces System initiative needs to be avoided.As a first step, therefore, nations represented in the TSG have agreed to circulate to each other their responses to the UN initiative, when ready.In the light of these replies they will then consider the extent to which it is desirable to develop a separate NACC database.

      Development of a Common Technical Base

    7. At the request of the TSG, NATO's Military Authorities (NMAs) have developed an initial paper covering generic planning issues relating to Command and Control Standards and Procedures, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Rules of Engagement (ROEs) for peacekeeping operations, which is presently under consideration by the TSG. Command and control aspects will be pursued early next year based on a further paper by the United Kingdom.

    8. The Netherlands have undertaken to chair an expert group on Communications for Peacekeeping operations which will build on the results of the workshop held in the Hague, last May. Discussion papers were circulated in November.The first meeting of the group will take place on the 14th and 15th December.

    9. The TSG has asked the International Staff to take the lead initially on the subject of equipment interoperability. It has circulated an informal paper in the Technical Sub-Group, and on that basis the TSG has invited nations to exchange views on equipment-related aspects of interoperability in peacekeeping operations.Drawing on the results of this information exchange, consideration of the way forward will take place early next year.

    10. The International Staff, together with NATO's Military Authorities, is also taking the lead on logistics for peacekeeping.Practical work on this topic has already started with the successful seminar, held last month in Oslo. The report by the Norwegian authorities on the results of the seminar will provide an important contribution to the further work on this topic.

      Training, Education and Exercises

    11. Denmark has taken the lead on the theme of joint training and education for peacekeeping operations with an offer to establish as a first step a clearing house function.France has also offered to make a substantial contribution.The work in this context will build on the results of earlier activities, such as the pilot course for unit commanders, held earlier this year in the Czech Republic, and the seminar, held in Copenhagen, 3 weeks ago (a report on which is attached at Annex III).The objective is to share expertise and experience and possibly to develop a common approach based on an information exchange on national and NATO training programmes for peacekeeping.

    12. The United States has agreed to be the lead-nation on the topic of joint exercises for peacekeeping operations.Work on this issue has started with the US sponsored Peacekeeping Workshop, held in the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies at Garmisch early last month.The US report (attached at Annex II) on the results of the workshop will form a basis for further work in this field.Poland reconfirmed its offer to make available training areas on Polish territory to NACC partners for the purpose of peacekeeping exercises.Hungary has also offered to host a workshop dealing with the humanitarian aspects of peacekeeping.

    13. Sweden, Finland and Austria have attended meetings of the Ad Hoc Group as observers and have fully participated in some of the activities of the Ad Hoc Group, contributing on the basis of their specific experience and expertise in this field.Representatives of the CSCE Chairman-in-Office equally participated in the work of the Ad Hoc Group, with a view to ensuring an efficient coordination in their respective activities in the field of peacekeeping.The UN Secretariat has also been invited to be represented in the meetings of the Group.

    14. Attached at Annex I is the initial Work Programme of the Ad Hoc Group for 1994.

 [ Go to Comm '93 ]  [ Go to Homepage ]