Updated: 22-Nov-2001 Week of 17-23 November 1999

17 Nov. 1999
Kosovo update

Winter has arrived in the Balkans. With the first dusting of snow on the ground, the "Winterisation Programme" is taking on a new sense of urgency for the NATO-led peacekeeping force, KFOR. Throughout the Region, KFOR, in close co-ordination with international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo, has assisted in the distribution of shelter kits. Most have been delivered now so the emphasis will soon shift to shipping food and firewood.

KFOR's Force Support Brigade continues to participate in Exercise Shelter Express and has transported a total of 22 truckloads of winterisation materials. KFOR has also been involved in a multitude of other projects ranging from transportation of material for the International Medical Corps vaccination programme, distribution of 100 of the German NGO, Arbeiter Samariter Bund's school packets, and distribution of 2,418 cubic meters of firewood donated by Finnish Church Aid, to name just a few.

17 Nov. 1999
Destruction of mines in BiH

The final anti-personnel land-mine stock has been destroyed by the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) near Pale, in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). From the time the BiH government signed the Ottawa Treaty -which stipulates that all anti-personnel mines be destroyed- in September 1998, it was expected to take 4 years to destroy all stockpiles in the country. It has taken little more than a year for the VRS to complete the task, under the direction of SFOR. The Commander of SFOR, Lt. Gen. Adams was invited to witness the event by Acting Chief of Staff, Gen. Novica Simic.

18 Nov. 1999
Lord Robertson addresses OSCE Summit

For the first time ever, a NATO Secretary General addressed a Summit of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Istanbul on 19 November. In his speech, Lord Robertson stressed how the OSCE and NATO had been increasing their cooperation, namely since the Kosovo crisis. He commended the steps that had been taken during the 2-day Summit, especially the completion of the adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE). The treaty was first signed in 1990 by members of NATO and the former Warsaw Pact to work towards disarmament in Europe. Lord Robertson concluded his speech by saying that both organisations were contributing to the same goal: "a secure and stable Europe".

Additional information:

23 Nov. 1999
Towards a stronger European defence capability

During a speech given at the Western European Union (WEU) Ministerial meeting held in Luxembourg on 23 November, NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, stated that progress towards strengthening Europe's NATO role was being made. After the Kosovo crisis, European members of NATO realised that they needed to improve their military capability, with the aim of being able "to conduct military operations in support of its Common Foreign and Security Policy". Lord Robertson is confident that recent NATO initiatives and growing cooperation between the WEU and NATO will contribute to creating the capacity for future European-led operations.

Additional information: