Updated: 10-Sep-2001 Week of 29 September- 5 Oct. 1999

29 Sep. 1999
Kosovo Update

KFOR continues with its mission to provide a secure environment for all ethnic groups in Kosovo, including minorities. Throughout Kosovo, daily escort assistance is being provided for vulnerable groups, such as the Roma children in Istok attending the multi-ethnic school. KFOR also escorted UNICEF during their vaccination campaign in Mitrovica. Security for the transportation of customs fees is a new task, and reconnaissance patrols are being conducted to deny wood poachers access to the national forest. Joint patrols with UNMIK police and the monitoring of border crossing points also continue, as does the monitoring of the newly-established Kosovo Protection Force or TMK. A total of 21 Partner and other non-NATO nations are committed to providing contributions to the Force, which now numbers some 49,000 troops.

On the humanitarian front, KFOR medical facilities in all Multi-National Brigades continue to provide emergency medical assistance to the local population. KFOR engineers have been restoring vital water supplies, as well as repairing roads, railways and bridges. KFOR personnel and vehicles have helped clean and refurbish local schools to ensure their timely opening. Help has been given to the winterisation and reconstruction programme, through the distribution of shelter kits and building materials, and support to the Humanitarian Logistics Centre. KFOR also continues to conduct mine awareness training for the local inhabitants.

29 Sep. 1999
Reinforcing cooperation

This week, 2 seminars took place within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) - composed of the 19 member and 25 non-NATO member countries. One was held in Latvia on the economic transformation of former military sites. The other was held in Naples on air defence and ways of developing a common understanding of air defence training and peace support operations. Both seminars enabled NATO members and partner countries to exchange views and experience on practical issues.

30 Sep. 1999
Inauguration of new military headquarters

The new NATO Joint Headquarters Southwest (JHQ Southwest), Madrid, officially opened on 30 September. NATO Secretary General, Dr Javier Solana, attended the inaugural ceremony. He was received by His Majesty the King of Spain and also held meetings with the President of the Government, Mr José María Aznar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Abel Matutes, and the Minister of Defence, Mr Eduardo Serra.

The activation of the headquarters marks Spain's decision to join NATO's integrated military structure. JHQ Southwest will be directly subordinated to the regional headquarters Allied Forces Southern Europe. The move forms part of the reorganisation of NATO's Command Structure that will reduce the number of headquarters from 65 to 20 by 2003. The 20 new headquarters are all operational. Two others have already been officially opened: the Joint Headquarters SOUTHEAST (Izmir, Turkey) and the Joint Headquarters SOUTHCENT (Larissa, Greece).

4 Oct. 1999
Joint NATO-WEU Council

A meeting between NATO and the Western European Union (WEU) was held on 4 October at NATO Headquarters. This was the last NATO-WEU meeting chaired by Dr Solana in his capacity as NATO Secretary General. Regular meetings between both organisations were set up in 1995 (the first joint session took place in 1992) and are generally held every 3 months.