Updated: 13-May-2002 Week of 6 - 12 May 2002

8 May 2002

Meeting of NATO Chiefs of Defence Staff

NATO's Military Committee convened at NATO Headquarters on 7-8 May for one of three meetings it holds every year at the level of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CHODS). During these two days, it met in different configurations: on 7 May, the NATO CHODS met with their Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in separate sessions, as well as with the other members of NATO's Euro-Atlantic Partnership Military Committee; on 8 May, they held a session without the participation of Partner countries, which was followed by a press conference given by the Chairman of the Military Committee, Admiral Guido Venturoni.

During the press conference, Admiral Venturoni explained that discussions had been held in preparation for the Spring Ministerial meetings, the NATO-Russia Summit in Rome and the Prague Summit this November. Issues covered include:

  • the fight against terrorism and the development of a military concept for defence against terrorism in the future;
  • NATO-Russia relations and prospects for enhanced cooperation;
  • NATO enlargement and the consequences for military cooperation;
  • the future of NATO's Defence Capabilities Initiative and progress made on the issue of NATO Command Structure, Command and Control Arrangements and New Force Structure;
  • the changing role of NATO and its impact on the military command structure, as well as how to improve partnership in the military field in the future; and
  • the status of NATO operations in the Balkans and the ongoing contributions of partner countries to SFOR and KFOR missions (in the form of a briefing by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe).

In addition, the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council agreed to officially open the NATO Military Mission in Moscow on 27 May. This inauguration will take place on the eve of the NATO-Russia Heads of State/ Government meeting in Rome on 28 May and coincides with the fifth anniversary of the NATO-Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation, and Security. The Mission will coordinate and support all military cooperation initiatives between Russia and NATO. Major-General Peter Williams (United Kingdom) will head the Mission and will be assisted by Deputy Head Colonel Urbanowicz (Poland) Senior Staff Officer Colonel Danzer (Germany), Staff Officers Colonel Smith (United States) and Major Volgyi (Hungary), three NATO non-commissioned Officers for administration and technical support, and two Russian Officers.

Discussions of the Military Committee are held to assist and give military advice to NATO's top decision-making civilian bodies and provide guidance to NATO's two strategic commands. The 7-8 May meetings were the last to be chaired by Admiral Venturoni, who will be handing over chairmanship in July to the German Chief of Defence Staff, General Harald Kujat.