From the event

9 Oct. 2008

Focus on NATO's operations in Budapest

In the first day of their meeting, NATO Defence Ministers reviewed progress on NATO’s operations and looked at the challenges for the months ahead.

Defence Ministers discussed the ISAF operation in Afghanistan and looked at current progress in the Alliance’s support for the development of the Afghan National Army. Ministers  reiterated the Alliance’s readiness to support the voter registration and electoral process in next year’s elections.   They also had an exchange of views about  ISAF’s counter-narcotics mandate.

On Afghanistan, the NATO Ministers also  had a meeting with Defence Ministers of the ISAF non-NATO troop-contributing nations,  together with the Defence Minister of Afghanistan, the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and a European Union senior representative.

 In their discussions, Ministers agreed that  Pakistan must be part of a regional solution to the challenges faced in Afghanistan.

NATO Allies thanked all NATO Partners for their important contribution to the stabilisation of Afghanistan and reiterated that ISAF remains NATO’s most important operation.

NATO Defence Ministers also talked about the Alliance’s operation in Kosovo and agreed that NATO will ensure that KFOR continues to have the resources in place to fulfill its UN Security Council mandate for a safe and secure environment.  They reiterated that in Kosovo,  NATO and KFOR will continue to work with the local authorities and to cooperate with the United Nations, the European Union and other international actors  to support the development of a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo. 

At the request of the United Nations, Ministers agreed that NATO will contribute to deter piracy in the waters off the coast of Somalia. In this context, NATO will provide a number of ships from the Alliance's Standing Naval Maritime Group to patrol the waters off the coast of Somalia and escort ships carrying food supplies for the World Food Programme. In this mission, NATO will also coordinate with other organizations, including the European Union.