Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Serbia-NATO Group meets at Assembly House

The seventh meeting of the Serbia-NATO Defence Reform Group, organised by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia, took place today at Assembly House.



The seventh meeting of the Serbia-NATO Defence Reform Group, organised by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia, took place today at Assembly House.

The meeting was opened by National Assembly Chairman, Predrag Markovic, who said that the fact that such a meeting was being held at Assembly House was an indication of ‘respect and readiness to hold a meeting devoted to reforming the defence system at the nation’s highest legislative and only constituent body.’ Markovic added that what Serbia needed today was both stability and reforms, ‘in all walks of life, including the defence system, but always in accordance with law and under democratic control.’ He said that modernisation of Serbia meant that its defence system would become a ‘guarantor of stability, not only of our country, but of the entire region as well. The Serbian Army has, for the first time, found a place in the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia; what still awaits us is the adoption of laws in line with European defence systems. The Serbian Army can educate brilliant people, not only to meet its needs, but also to ensure it is a good partner in the future. We need to establish full control over the defence system, in accordance with the Constitution and law, and to adopt standards that will make us a functional part of the European and global defence systems.’

The introductory part of the event involved speeches by the Minister of Defence, Zoran Stankovic, the Assistant Minister for Defence Policy, Snezana Samardzic-Markovic, and NATO Director of Force Planning, Frank Boland.
The meeting aimed at providing an analysis of activities implemented so far by the Serbia-NATO Defence Reform Group, its results, and problems encountered in working tables.

The Serbia-NATO Defence Reform Group began working in February 2006 with the intention of accelerating and directing the process of reforming the defence system, and thus enabling Serbia’s faster accession to Euro-Atlantic integrations. The Group was formed at the instigation of the Kingdom of Norway, and currently comprises 15 working tables, made up of Serbian MoD and Army officials, NATO officials, and representatives of other Serbian government bodies, international organisations, and NGOs.



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