Last update: 17-Nov-2003 15:09 NATO Update

12-13 Nov. 2003

Chiefs of Defence Staff discuss current issues

11/11/2003 - IMS
NATO’s Highest Military Authority holds meetings at Chiefs of Staff level at NATO Headquarters
13/11/2003 - NATO
Audio file of the questions and answers with General Kujat, Chairman of the Military Committee following meetings by the NATO Chiefs of Staff (.MP3/10.268Kb)

Over two days, 12-13 November, Chiefs of Defence Staff (CHODS) from NATO and partner countries met within the framework of the Military Committee to discuss the military, and often practical, aspects of issues on NATO's current agenda.

CHODS, when meeting in NATO member country format with the seven invited countries, devoted the end of the first day and the second day to updating, reviewing and evaluating a wide spectrum of ongoing military issues. They focused on key issues such as the military command structure review process, the implementation of the NATO Response Force and transformation in general. Both the Supreme Allied Commander Operations, General James Jones, and the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Admiral Giambastiani, gave briefings to the CHODS on their respective areas of responsibility. Chiefs of Staff also discussed the adaptation of the operational plan for Afghanistan and the Balkans, with particular attention to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Military Committee, which is NATO's highest military authority, gives advice to its political leaders and guidance to the two strategic commanders. In this respect, it covers all aspects of NATO's agenda that have a military implication and meets in different configurations. In addition to the meetings between members and the seven invited countries, CHODS also met with Ukraine, Russia and all other partners within the Euro-Atlantic Partnership.

Their discussions with Ukraine focused on assessing the achievements of the 2003 Work Plan and agreeing on the one for 2004. They also spent time discussing the reform of armed forces in Ukraine - a process to which NATO is contributing - and examined Ukraine's contribution to peace support operations and the fight against terrorism.

During their meeting with Russia, they reviewed the 2003 Work Plan and agreed on perspectives of cooperation for early 2004 that would include more exercises and training, and greater cooperation in the area of search and rescue at sea.

The meeting with all 46 members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Military Committee focused mainly on the common action plan against terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan and the Balkans. CHODS also discussed the way forward for Partnership for Peace when the seven invited countries that have participated until now in the programme will have actually become members of the Alliance.