|Updated: 20-Nov-2007||IMS News Release|
14 Nov. 2007
New Chairman of the Military Committee elected
BRUSSELS -- NATO’s 26 Chiefs of Defense voted in private session today for a new Chairman of the Military Committee. Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, Chief of the Italian Defense Staff, a naval officer, received a majority of votes. His term of office, normally three years, is expected to start in June 2008.
“I am honoured by the confidence shown in me by my fellow Chiefs of Defense,” said Adm. Di Paola. “General Henault’s leadership has guided us through some significant changes in NATO’s history, and it is my firm intention to continue to build on this reform and transformation agenda.”
The two other candidates were Gen. Franciszek Gagor, the Polish Chief of Defense Staff, and Gen. Felix Sanz Roldán, the Spanish Chief of Defense Staff. They were first in line to congratulate the Chairman-elect.
“This is the second time Italy has won the election as the top officer in NATO,” said Gen. Ray Henault, Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee since June 2005. “Admiral Di Paola has spent almost four years as Italy’s Chief of Defense and his familiarity with the processes and issues at this political-military headquarters will certainly stand him in good stead. There is still much important work ahead of the Military Committee before next June, including our ongoing missions in Afghanistan and in Kosovo; work on a new and more deployable NATO Command Structure; and the transformation work leading to the Bucharest Summit.”
The Chairman of the Military Committee is the principal military advisor to the Secretary General and the conduit through which consensus-based advice from NATO’s Chiefs of Defence is brought forward to the political decision-making bodies of NATO, including to the North Atlantic Council.
Since 1963, when the position was made full-time and determined by election, the position has been held by 15 officers from: Germany (5 times), the United Kingdom (three times), Canada (twice), Norway (twice), and Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands (once each).
There were two candidates at Gen. Henault's election (Canada, Denmark), one for his predecessor Gen. Kujat's election (Germany), and three for Adm. Venturoni's election before that (Belgium, Italy, Norway).