12-11-2008 - kl. 11:48
The main focus of the meeting was Nordic Defence cooperation regarding Africa and the enhanced Nordic cooperation in NORDSUP.
The Nordic countries are important partners for Africa. When the African Union was established in 2002, the African leaders simultaneously decided to take greater ownership and responsibility for handling its own security challenges. In order to establish a tool to handle crisis-situations at the African continent, the African leaders decided to establish five multinational reaction brigades with an initial operational capacity before 2010. The reaction brigades will be multifunctional and must be able to conduct peace-support missions all over the African continent. The brigades consist not only of military components but entails also police and civilian components. This task is a big challenge for our African partners and the Nordic countries have decided to support the Africans to build up the capacities of its forces. The Nordic countries have decided initially to focus their efforts in the East African region. At the meeting the Nordic Defence ministers decided to focus Nordic support in three main areas: Support for capacity building for the East African Standby Brigade (EASBRIG), support for build up of maritime capacities in East Africa and support for conducting courses and other training with regard to peace support operations (PSO).
The Nordic Defence Ministers’ also maintained the objective of a common Nordic contribution to a UN-operation in Africa in the longer term.
The Nordic defence ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the enhanced Nordic cooperation in NORDSUP (Nordic Supportive Defence Structures). This initiative encompasses co-operation in defence related areas – e. g. procurement of defence material, education of armed forces, defence research, etc. NORDSUP is the foundation on which the Nordic countries will work to raise the Nordic cooperation to new heights. Enhanced cooperation among the Nordic countries aims to make even better use of existing defence resources.
The Nordic defence ministers also undertook a discussion on status and way ahead regarding cooperation on the Western Balkans and Ukraine in carrying out important and needed defence reforms with the aim to obtain their objects in approaching possible NATO and EU memberships. The work is carried out by the Nordic countries in cooperation with and supported by the Baltic countries. This joint cooperation is the so-called Nordic Baltic Initiative (BNI).
Finland will take over the chairmanship of the Nordic defence corporation after Denmark in 2009. Finland presented its agenda for next years chairmanship at the meeting. During the next year Finland will promote NORDSUP cooperation, African capacity building as well as comprehensive approach on crisis management.