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Results of the NATO Military Committee Conference in Tirana

Szöveg: General Staff |  2017. szeptember 20. 9:00

The NATO Military Committee Conference took place in Tirana, Albania between 15–17 September. At the event, the Hungarian delegation was headed by Chief of Defence Gen. Dr. Tibor Benkő, and its members included the Military Representative of Hungary Maj. Gen. László Domján and designated experts from the Office of the Military Representative.


On the eve of the conference, the chiefs of defence were received with military honors during the official welcome ceremony in Brigade Palace, Tirana, and then President of Albania Ilir Meta gave a gala dinner.

On Saturday, 16 September, ahead of the professional work, the Prime Minister of Albania and the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee welcomed the participants in their opening remarks.

During the conference the chiefs of defence formulated proposals for NATO’s response to challenges from the south, and for supporting the Projecting Stability agenda and the progress of NATO’s engagement in the fight against terrorism. They unanimously welcomed a new organizational element, the Naples-based HUB for the South achieving Initial Operational Capability. The emphasized the need for more effective cooperation among organizations involved in the activity, and the security threats related to illegal mass migration. In what followed, they discussed the timeline of approving the military strategy currently under revision by NATO. They also discussed the strategic commanders’ NATO Command Structure Review and considered it to be acceptable from a military point of view, which must be finalized until the upcoming Defence Ministerial to be held in in February 2018.


In the afternoon, the topics on the agenda were NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and the current and future tasks of the Kosovo Force (KFOR). The sessions started with briefings providing updates on the operational situation from two operational commanders, Gen. John W. Nicholson and Maj. Gen. Giovanni Fungo. The chiefs of defence reaffirmed that these missions remain conditions-based, and several nations made concrete contributions in the interest of the success of these operations. The chiefs of defence pointed out the need for increasing strategic communication with regard to NATO operations.


In their final session, the chiefs of defence elected the next chairman of the Military Committee who will take office in the summer of 2018. As the result of the secret ballot, Gen. William Peach, the current British Chief of Defence will fill the position from July next year.


In his contributions to all three sessions of the conference, Gen. Dr. Tibor Benkő highlighted Hungary’s commitment to the success of the operations, projecting stability and the proposed adaptation of the NATO Command Structure.

The Hungarian chief of defence took the opportunity to brief the attendees of the conference about the V4 Multinational Capability Development Initiative which was approved by the Visegrád Four countries in Krakow this June.