Updated: 22-Nov-2001 Week of 13-19 October 1999

13 Oct. 1999
Kosovo update

KFOR force size is approximately 49,000 troops with primary missions continuing to focus on providing a secure environment to all ethnic groups, monitoring the establishment of the newly formed Kosovo Protection Corps and supporting, within means and capabilites, the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) with its civil implementation tasks.

A major effort is being put into winterisation programmes for the civil community by all Multi-national Brigades (MNB) in KFOR. They have distributed shelter kits in the Maticane area, in coordination with the UNHCR, and provided food to the people living in the over 1200-meter altitude villages of the Rugova Valley, Kuciste, Boge, Skrelje and Duganjive. Other major winterisation activities continue to be organised such as the roof repairs being conducted at the orphanage in Prekale.

KFOR also conducts mine awareness training throughout the region. In addition, MNB Civil/Miltary implementation personnel are assisting the Serbs in removing water from the Trepca mines in order to allow them to return to work and assisting in rebuilding schools.

13 Oct. 1999
Cooperative Support 99

Between 13-19 October, a computer exercise was conducted by officers from NATO and Partner countries in the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine. The scenario revolved around the logistics of peacekeeping, search and rescue, and humanitarian operations.

Organised within NATO's Partnership for Peace programme, "Cooperative Support 99's" aim was to participate in the general effort to promote closer military cooperation between the armed forces of NATO and Partner countries.

13 Oct. 1999
Security Cooperation courses in BiH

An update on NATO's current agenda has recently been given to officers from both Entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH: Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation). The NATO and Bosnia Task Force-sponsored seminar was held at SFOR HQ in Ilidza, Sarajevo. It is one of a series of activities sponsored by NATO for Entity Armed Forces. Security Cooperation courses were first introduced for them in June 1997.

13 Oct. 1999
NATO issues a statement on research, development and acquisition programmes relating to non-lethal weapons.
14 Oct. 1999
Arrival of new Secretary General

Lord Robertson, NATO's new Secretary General, arrives at NATO HQ, Brussels, on 14 October. He has left his position as Secretary of State for Defence, United Kingdom, and will steer the Alliance through the security challenges it is confronted with throughout the Euro-Atlantic region.

Additional information:

15 Oct. 1999
Visits to NATO HQ

The new Secretary General, Lord Robertson, had a busy first week at NATO HQ, with the visit of numerous high-level officials. In the course of the NATO-Japan Conference on 15 October, he met with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr Ryozo Kato. On the same day, he discussed the situation in the Balkans, and more specifically in the two republics (Serbia and Montenegro) and the province (Kosovo) which form the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic.

On 18 October, Finland's new Defence Minister, Jan-Erik Enestan, met with Lord Robertson to discuss subjects touching on NATO-EU relations and South-eastern Europe. The Secretary General then met with the Norwegian Parliament's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.

On 19 October, Hungarian Prime Minister, Mr Viktor Orban, also came to Brussels. He announced a substantial rise in his country's defence spending next year so that Hungary may modernise its force structure and equipment, and work toward a smaller professional army. This was followed by a visit by UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs Sadako Ogata on 20 October. The Minister of Defence of Argentina, Mr Jorge Dominguez, and Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Boris Tarasyuk met Lord Robertson in the afternoon.

Additional information:

18 Oct. 1999
New Secretary General's first Address

During the 6-day Atlantic Treaty Association annual conference in Strasbourg, NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, gave a speech in which he underlined four main priorities for the Alliance : Alliance forces must remain effective and interoperable, the Alliance must help build a new, maturer transatlantic security relationship, a stronger relationship with Russia and a lasting peace and stability in the Balkans.

This annual conference brought together the 19 Associations from NATO member countries and associated members from Partner countries. It was organised as part of NATO's 50th anniversary programme and was attended by President Chirac.

Additional information:

18 Oct. 1999
Change of command for SFOR

The NATO-led Stabilisation Force, SFOR, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is preparing itself for a change of command and a transfer of authority on 18 October. General Montgomery C. Meigs, who has been in command since October 1998, will be replaced by Lt. Gen. Ronald E. Adams. A ceremony to mark the transfer of authority will be organised at the SFOR Headquarters in Ilidza.

Lt. Gen. Ronald E. Adams will eventually lead a reduced force as a result of the improved security situation in the country. Cuts in the present force of 32,000 soldiers are expected to be announced this month.