Updated: 15-May-2003 May 2003

13 May 2003


Military Committee prepares
for June Ministerial meetings

NATO's highest military authority, the Military Committee, held one of its three annual meetings at the level of Chiefs of Defence Staff, at NATO HQ, 13-14 May.

During a Chiefs of Staff session, the Military Committee discussed the transformation of the military command structure, as well as the implementation of the NATO Response Force (NRF). At a press conference, the Chairman of the Military Committee, General Kujat, stated that a military concept for the NRF and proposals for the downsizing of the command structure would be put forward to Ministers of Defence in June for approval. They also took stock, he said, of progress made so far in the Prague Capabilities Commitment, which is directly related to the implementation of the NRF. There is considerable inter-dependence between the two, General Kujat stated, since all capabilities are linked to the NRF.

The Chiefs of Staff held a second session with the participation, for the first time, of the seven invited partner countries - Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. They also met with their Ukrainian counterpart, as well as their Russian counterpart, against the background of the NATO-Russia Council meeting that was taking place the same day in Moscow. They discussed the Annual Work Plan with Russia for Military-to-Military cooperation and, in particular, ways of increasing cooperation in the area of training and exercises.

Chiefs of Staff also met with other member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). During the EAPC session, partners were given an operational update on the Balkans and discussions took place on ways of strengthening cooperation.

The Military Committee is the senior military advisory authority in NATO under the North Atlantic Council, the Defence Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group. It recommends measures considered necessary for the common defence of the Euro-Atlantic area and provides guidance to NATO's two strategic commanders (the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic).

Additional information:

  • Audio file of the press conference by General Harald Kujat, Chairman of the Military Committee (.MP3/11397Kb) - 14 May 2003
  • IMS Press Advisory: NATO’s Highest Military Authority holds meetings at Chiefs of Staff level at NATO Headquarters - 12 May 2003
  • Photos of NATO’s Highest Military Authority holding meetings at Chiefs of Staff level at NATO Headquarters
  • Audio file of the press point by General R.B. Myers, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (.MP3/4756Kb) - 13 May 2003