US-ADRIATIC CHARTER DEFENSE MINISTERIAL
„INTEGRATION IS THE GOAL, COOPERATION IS THE WAY “
1 DECEMBER 2017 • OHRID, REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
••• USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THE MEDIA •••
The Republic of Macedonia will host the forthcoming US – Adriatic Charter Defence Ministerial, which will be held on December 1, 2017 in Ohrid.
The meeting will be attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, Defense Ministers or official representatives of the United States of America, the member states, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, as well as the Defense Minister of Bulgaria and the Defense Ministers or official representatives of the observer states, Kosovo*, Serbia and Slovenia.
During the meeting they will discuss the regional projects, the possibility of intensifying the regional defense cooperation through other forms of cooperation, the joint contribution in the “Resolute Support” Operation in Afghanistan and the current security situation facing the region. The participants will also discuss possibilities for improving and strengthening the gender perspectives in the Ministries of Defense and Armed Forces.
SHORT OVERVIEW AND SECURITY
The meeting will be held in Hotel Metropol – Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia.
For entry and presence on the event, all media will have to possess accreditation issued prior to the beginning of the event, regardless of their official press pass.
Approval of the accreditation for the media will allow access to the premises designated for the media, as well as presence on activities of the event, but does not guarantee access to certain events.
ACCREDITATIONS AND ACCESS
All media representatives that will express their intent to report on the event on the spot, must apply for accreditation, no later than Wednesday, 29 November 2017, by 14:00 hours.
The accreditation form may be downloaded here.
It is required that you send your accreditations on the following e-mail address: A5DefMinOhrid@morm.gov.mk.
AGENDA AND POSSIBILITIES FOR MEDIA COVERAGE
Media representatives will be able to follow the following activities:
1. Official opening of the Conference
- address by the Minister of Defense, Radmila Shekerinska;
- address by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev;
- address by US Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Laura Cooper;
- address by Chief NATO Liaison Office Skopje, captain (N) Gorazd Bartol.
2. Short video clips from the plenary session
3. Recording the signing of the Joint Statement
4. Press-Statement after the signing of the Joint Statement
Additional statements and requests for interviews with Heads of delegations are required to be sent to the following e-mail address no later than 29 November 2017, 14:00 hours: A5DefMinOhrid@morm.gov.mk
For the needs of the media, on 01 December a press-centre will be put in function in Hotel Metropol with computers and internet communications (LAN and wi-fi) where media representatives will have the opportunity for timely reporting. Media representatives will also be provided with a press-corner for additional statement or stand – up.
Live statements are possible, but with prior notice and in line with the Agenda of the Conference. For all requests of this type please send a request as soon as possible, but no later than 29 November 2017, until 14:00 hours, on A5DefMinOhrid@morm.gov.mk.
ACCOMMODATION AND TRANSPORT
For media representatives in and outside the Republic of Macedonia, two options for transport will be organized:
1. Transport from in front of the Ministry of Defense in Skopje to Hotel Metropol – Ohrid and back on the day of the Conference (01 December 2017). Departure from the MOD is at 06:00 hours.
2. The Ministry also provides accommodation in Hotel Metropol on the night of 30 November 2017 in line with the requests and needs of the media.
Regarding the accommodation and transport please send your requests no later than 29 November 2017, 14:00 hours on the following e-mail address: A5DefMinOhrid@morm.gov.mk.
For the media from Ohrid and those that will travel to Hotel Metropol with their own vehicle, please arrive no later than 08:30 hours, with the aim of respecting the entrance procedures.
For all additional questions and requests please contact us on the following telephones and e-mail addresses:
Lidija Janchovska – Hristova
“Integration is the goal, cooperation is the way”
The U.S.-Adriatic Charter is a forum that encourages joint and coordinated efforts for accelerated meeting of NATO criteria and standards and developing activities aimed at enhancing mutual co-operation and building peace, democracy, stability and prosperity in the Region.
The Ministerial Conference reflects the enduring high level cooperation in the defense area among the U.S.-Adriatic Charter member countries nations and the observer nations. The primary goal of the Conference is to spark dialogue and exchange of views on the promotion of regional cooperation, enhancement of national and regional capacities and the joint contribution to international operations.
During the conference, the participants are expected to engage in an open discussion on regional projects and other forms of regional defense cooperation, discuss in more detail the joint contribution to the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, as well as to exchange views on the current security situation and the challenges that the region is facing.
The possibilities for promoting and enhancing gender perspective in the Ministries of Defense and the armed forces, as well as gender perspective in peace operations, will be discussed as part of the Conference.
The potential for a more inclusive approach of the security sector to gender perspective will enable enhanced leadership, exchange of experiences and lessons learned, creating common capabilities and capacities, operational effectiveness and efficiency in peace operations and dealing with contemporary security challenges.
This event represents an excellent opportunity for reaffirmation and concrete support from all countries of the intentions and commitments of the Republic of Macedonia to achieve full fledged NATO membership. The Republic of Macedonia and its Euro-Atlantic future are essential for overall regional stability.
OVERVIEW OF THE US-ADRIATIC CHARTER
On the initiative of the Republic of Macedonia, within the NATO / EAPC Summit in Prague (November 23, 2002), meetings were held by the Presidents and Foreign Ministers of Macedonia, Albania and Croatia, where the initiative, informally called Ohrid – Adriatic, was promoted and accepted.
The goal of this initiative is joint and coordinated activities for the more rapid fulfilment of the criteria and standards for NATO membership, undertaking joint activities for intensification of the cooperation in South Eastern Europe and development of activities aimed at building peace, democracy, stability and prosperity in the Region.
The defense cooperation in the A-3 context began after the signing of the Partnership Charter between the United States, Albania, Croatia and Macedonia, in Tirana, on May 2, 2003, by the Foreign Ministers of the three countries.
Within the Macedonian Chairmanship of the Adriatic Charter, on the sidelines of the 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations, held on September 25, 2008, a decision was brought in New York to send an invitation for membership in the Adriatic Group of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as an incentive and means for their accelerated movement along the path of Euro-Atlantic integration. Full membership of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina was formalized on the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Conference, which was held on 4-5 December 2008 in Helsinki.
In January 2009, a Partnership Plan was agreed for the first time for the implementation of the US – Adriatic Charter in a new format (A-5), which included the new member states of the group: Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Adriatic Charter is based on the shared vision of stability in SEE and full membership in the Euro-Atlantic integrations. In fact, the basic idea of the Charter is to intensify the mutual cooperation between Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, under the auspices of the United States and fully-fledged membership in NATO. The signatories of the Charter reaffirmed their determination to work together through the strengthening of democratic reforms, respect for human rights, economic reforms, as well as the establishment of stability and security in the region, which together with the basic goal – full Euro / Atlantic integration, represent the basic principles of partnership. Having in mind the basic goal of the initiative, Albania and Croatia became equal members of NATO in 2008 and Montenegro in 2017.
Within the US-Adriatic Charter, the following projects have been implemented and are being implemented since their initiation:
1. Deployment of the Combined Medical Team in the ISAF Mission in Afghanistan from August 2005 – July 2009 (successfully completed joint project, a total of 8 rotations).
2. Opening of the Regional Communications Training Centre in Skopje in November 2005, which from June 25, 2013, has officially become the 25th Centre in the network of the NATO Partnership Training and Education Centres.
3. On September 1, 2011, in line with the US and Croatia initiative, members of the Armed Forces of the US-Adriatic Charter (A-5) were deployed as mentoring staff within the Military Police School of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Kabul (completed mandate in March 2013). The ARM contributed within the Military Police School with a total of 12 officers and NCOs.
4. Joint participation in the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. In March 2015 the Republic of Macedonia deployed one officer in the Operational Centre in Mazar-i-Sharif within the contingent in the A5 format.
5. Realization of NATO’s Multinational Initiative on Balkan Regional Approach to Air Defense (BRAAD),
6. Establishing a pool of experts from certain areas, where each country will be able to coordinate and request expertise on a regional principle.
In 2017 the Republic of Macedonia chairs the Initiative. The Minister of Defense of the Republic of Macedonia will host the Conference at the level of Ministers of Defense, which will be held on December 1 in Ohrid. The Chief of General Staff of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia hosted the 21st Conference of Chiefs of Defense of the member states of the A-5, which was held from 08-10 November 2017 in Skopje. In the framework of the initiative, the “Joint Reaction” exercise was held in the Military Range Krivolak from September 22-25, 2017.
MINISTRY OF DEFENSE OF THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
Department for Communications, Analytics and Operational Support
Section for Media and Multimedia Affairs
24 November, 2017
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence
Here you can download the accreditation form, fill it and submit it to the following e-mail: A5DefMinOhrid@morm.gov.mk, no later than Wednesday, November 29th 2017 , 14:00 o’clock.
The US Adriatic Charter Ministerial in Ohrid has begun
With opening remarks by the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, the Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, US Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Laura Cooper, and the Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Skopje, Navy Captain Gorazd Bartol, the US-Adriatic Charter Ministerial officially began today in Ohrid with the motto “Integration is the goal, Cooperation is the way”.
Fourteen years ago, with the help of our American friends, we jointly started the journey that meant integration into NATO and that process is still ongoing, the Minister of Defence said in front of the Heads of delegations of the United States, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia, Kosovo and NATO.
“Despite all the challenges, we can say that the Initiative is successful, but it is not completed. Our friends, Albania and Croatia, received the official invitation for NATO membership in 2008 and are full members of the Alliance”, the Minister said. She added that the same year Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro joined the US – Adriatic Charter, and Montenegro has only recently become part of NATO.
The Minister addressed the strategic goal of the country – NATO membership, which she said was a key priority, and a guarantee for regional security, stability and development. “To accomplish this goal, we must all work together and devotedly. I want to emphasize that we do not request this membership to be given as a gift, nor as a gained right, but as a result of commitment, fulfilled criteria and secured domestic and political stability”, Shekerinska said and added that Macedonia will show results and will prove that it deserves to become the 30th NATO member state.
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev stressed that the Adriatic Charter was the reason for achieving the standards and criteria for membership in the Alliance. He added that after the act of not receiving an invitation for membership, Macedonia was embroiled in retrograde political processes that culminated in the country’s most difficult political crisis thus far, but with the help of democratic forces and free-minded citizens, Macedonia rose above the crisis and continued to believe that the Euro-Atlantic integrations and regional cooperation are necessary for long-term stability of the region and the entire continent.
“Today the Republic of Macedonia is stepping forward in a stable and energetic manner. We are strongly committed to domestic reforms that promote and strengthen our democracy in order to comply with the political criteria for NATO membership. We have increased the defence budget and have decisive political will for it to increase by 0.2% of GDP every year. We have also decided to increase our participation in the peacekeeping missions”, the Prime Minister said.
Laura Cooper, US Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, pointed out that the A5 is a unique opportunity for deepening the cooperation between the allies and partners in the region and that it plays a leading role in bringing the Western Balkans closer in a union with Europe and NATO. She reminded of the visit of Vice President Pence to the Summit in Montenegro, which shows that the US-Adriatic Charter fulfils its purpose, bringing the countries from the Western Balkans closer to the NATO Alliance.
“Now Montenegro and the other regional allies, Albania, Croatia and Slovenia, can share their experience with the other A5 countries – aspirants for NATO membership, including our host Macedonia, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration. I hope that we will use today’s discussion to develop our already strong bilateral and regional relations. Together with all the allies and participants on today’s Ministerial Meeting, our goal is to strengthen the security of the Western Balkans, to promote NATO integration and to contribute to the collective security of Europe”, Cooper said.
The Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Skopje, Navy Captain Gorazd Bartol, addressed the value of the US – Adriatic Charter, which, as he said, rests on the most important principles of the Alliance – solidarity and collective defence, and he also spoke about Macedonia’s commitment to its strategic goal – NATO membership.
“With the ambitious reform agenda of the Government and our excellent cooperation with Minister Shekerinska, as we call her “our Minister for NATO”, we believe that you are closer to the strategic priority of your country to become the 30th member state of the Alliance”, Bartol said.
The Ministerial continues with the plenary session of the Heads of delegations of the US – Adriatic Charter, and the countries guests and observers, after which the Joint Statement will be signed.
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Message from the signed Joint Statement of the A5 Group countries: Unambiguous support for full NATO integration as a prerequisite for stability and security
The Heads of delegations of the US-Adriatic Charter, led by the Chairperson and host of the meeting, Minister Shekerinska, signed today the Joint Statement.
“On today’s plenary meeting all of the countries confirmed our determination to move on the road to full integration of this region within the Euro-Atlantic community. Only in this way will we be able to preserve the security, stability and prosperity of this region”,Minister Sekerinska said after the signing.
Shekerinska stressed that the Republic of Macedonia is determined to become the 30th NATO member state and the US-Adriatic Charter countries fully support this.
“One of the conclusions of the meeting is the unequivocal support for the Republic of Macedonia in gaining full membership in NATO. We also welcomed the contribution of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the NATO operations and its commitment to regional dialogue, cooperation and security”, Shekerinska noted.
The minister said that in the Joint Statement the A5 member states reaffirmed the important role of the United States, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania as fully-fledged NATO members in support of other aspiring countries.
In the context of participation in peacekeeping missions, the Mminister said that the A5 countries will continue to contribute jointly to global peace and stability. “We have noted the national decisions for increased participation in the “Resolute Support” mission and we expressed our readiness to consider other opportunities for joint participation in other NATO activities, in accordance with the needs of the Alliance and our possibilities”, the Minister added.
Part of the Joint Statement is also the positive stance of the A5 countries regarding the Macedonian initiative, the gender perspective in a wider security context, and the ambitions of Macedonia to have a leading role in its implementation are also welcomed.
As a conclusion of the successfully realized Ministerial, Minister Shekerinska said that in the past the region has many times been challenging for Europe, but that the countries will not allow history to repeat itself. “This significant initiative, the mutual contacts, the trust, demonstrate that our approach is changing. Our deeds show that regional cooperation is not just a phrase, it is a reality. We hope and are firmly committed all of our countries to be part of NATO and thus to project stability, security and prosperity.
The chairmanship of the US-Adriatic Charter for next year will be taken over by Montenegro.