Updated: 09-Oct-2001 Week of 17-23 March 1999

17 Mar. 1999
NATO Security Investment Programme

With their accession to the Alliance, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, have started their full participation in NATO's common-funded Security Investment Programme (NSIP). They will participate in the funding of all new investment programmes and will be fully involved in implementing the first military requirement on the Alliance's priority list, the Air Command and Control System (ACCS).

In the three new members countries, NATO's military authorities are setting up a programme to bring military facilities and systems up to Alliance standards. As a spin-off to their full participation in the NSIP, Czech, Hungarian and Polish defence industry will become engaged in implementing common-funded investment projects throughout the Alliance, including the building of various structures, communication equipment and the acquisition of air defence radars.

19 Mar. 1999

The NATO project to clear unexploded munitions in Albania has been taken a step further. Final Albanian government approval was given on 19 March for the official establishment of the new Albanian Explosive Ordnance Disposal Organisation and provision of the logistic resources it will require to proceed with the clearance of the first "hot spots" this month. The Albanian specialists, with preparatory training by NATO experts, will be undertaking the dangerous task of clearing the contaminated areas which pose a threat to local inhabitants.

20 Mar. 1999

On 20 March, the annual exercise called INTEX 99 was conducted by participants from 10 NATO and 6 Partner countries. Its general aim is to develop cooperation between countries for the exchange of information on detection and monitoring of any radiation hazard or nuclear accident. During the exercise, countries tested and evaluated agreed procedures from their national warning and detection centres, while overall co-ordination was ensured by Norway.

22 Mar. 1999

At the conclusion of the negotiations on an Interim Peace Agreement for Kosovo the Kosovar Albanian delegation signed the Interim Peace Agreement, but the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) delegation refused to do so.
Following the suspension of the talks on 19 March, the Alliance has followed with increasing concern the escalating level of violence in and around Kosovo, and the excessive and wholly disproportionate use of force by the Serb security forces which is driving increasing numbers of civilians from their homes and villages.

As a result of the mounting humanitarian catastrophe and of Belgrade's continued failure to comply with the demands of the international community, the Secretary General of NATO consulted with all Allies in accordance with the authority delegated to him by the North Atlantic Council on 30 January, about the launching of air operations. On 22 March, the Council, in view of the evolution of the situation on the ground in Kosovo, also authorised the Secretary General to decide, subject to further consultations, on a broader range of air operations if necessary. He announced on 23 March that he had directed SACEUR to initiate air operations in FRY aimed at halting the violence and bringing to an end the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo, preventing the spread of instability in the region and securing a political settlement.

22 Mar. 1999
PfP Training Centre in Ukraine

During the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) meeting on 22 March, NATO members welcomed the official designation of the Yavoriv training area as a Partnership for Peace Training Centre. This centre, as well as the one in Ankara, have been designated to help develop military cooperation and interoperability between the armed forces of NATO and Partner countries.

At the NUC, other important issues were discussed, such as the crisis in Kosovo, the preparations of the NUC at the level of Heads of State and Government that will take place in Washington, strategy and military doctrines and activities included in the NATO-Ukraine Charter such as defence reform and arms control.