News 2020

11 March 2020

Visit to Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 11 March 2020 Director of RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During the meeting with Minister Fahrudin Radončić Director Bazo acquainted him with RACVIAC activities planned for 2020 and availed himself of the opportunity to thank Bosnia and Herzegovina for its ongoing and invaluable support.

In continuation the most pressing security challenges for Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the South East European region as a whole, such as illegal migration, rehabilitation and reintegration of foreign terrorist fighters, and coronavirus, were discussed. Both agreed that in the future there is a lot of space for intensive cooperation in each security area.

Minister Radončić expressed the readiness of the Ministry of Security to continue cooperating with RACVIAC as well as to organize joint activities in the forthcoming period.

At the end of the Meeting RACVIAC Director underlined the full dedication of the Centre to continue supporting Euro-Atlantic integration efforts and to foster security cooperation and dialogue between its Members thus contributing to overall stability and security in the SEE region.

04 March 2020

Croatian War College students visit RACVIAC

The 22nd generation of students of the War College "Ban Josip Jelačić" of the Croatian Armed Forces, led by Colonel Mijo Kožić, the Head, visited RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation on 04 March 2020.

The visit was a part of their Studies Program and its purpose was to familiarize students with RACVIAC as the only international organization located in the Republic of Croatia.

The students were welcomed by RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, Deputy Director BG Gordana Garašić, and other staff members.

After a presentation that covers the history, mission, and Programme of the Centre Director Bazo provided further explanations relating to the status and obligations of RACVIAC Members, secondment of personnel as well as RACVIAC role in fostering security dialogue and cooperation in the SEE region. Talking about the increasing security challenges and considering the fact that security interests and geostrategic goals of the regional countries might differ sometimes Director Bazo said that the best approach is to maintain an ongoing dialogue and cooperation.

In the discussion that followed questions about the future of RACVIAC, its new Strategy, and some new Programme areas were raised.

The 22nd generation of students of the "Ban Josip Jelačić" War College has 18 participants: 10 officers from the Croatian Armed Forces, one senior level official from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, one police advisor from the Ministry of Interior, one member of the Croatian Fire-fighting Association, two officers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one from Montenegro, one from North Macedonia, and one from Slovenia.

The "Ban Josip Jelačić" War Colege was established in 1998 as the highest-level military school in the Republic of Croatia that is offering education for senior officers and civil servants of the Republic of Croatia and partner countries.

25 February 2020

SEEBRIG Commander visits RACVIAC

On 25 February 2020 the Commander of the South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG), the Multinational Peace Force South-Eastern Europe (MPFSEE), BG Tudorica Petrache, accompanied by two staff members, visited RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation.

The guests were welcomed by RACVIAC Director MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, Deputy Director, BG Gordana Garašić, and RACVIAC staff members.

Following a presentation that covers the history, mission, annual Programme, and accomplishments of the Centre, RACVIAC Director provided some additional explanations related to the development of Programme of activities emphasizing that over the years it has been changing and evolving in order to reflect the Members’ needs and requests. MG Bazo underlined that, for almost two decades, the Centre has been serving as an excellent platform for networking and building of security and confidence among the countries in the SEE region.

Afterwards BG Petarche took the opportunity to present the history, mission, structure, troop contributing countries, force strength and core activities of the SEEBRIG. During the discussion that followed questions related to the activities of common interest as well as possibilities for more intensive cooperation in the future were raised.

The South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG) is currently a brigade-size formation established by seven participating nations in order to contribute to the regional security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, and to foster cooperation among the South-Eastern European countries. The Initiative is consistent with the purposes and the principles of the United Nations Charter and is available for possible employment in UN, OSCE, NATO or EU-led conflict prevention and other peace support operations. For the last twenty years the Brigade has passed an intensive way of organizational development and enhancement of its operational readiness. The military personnel of the currently six participating countries are working harmoniously together under the motto "One team – one mission".

25 February 2020

Chemical Weapons Convention Workshop starts

A two-day Chemical Weapons Convention Workshop, organized in partnership with the OPCW, started in RACVIAC on 25 February 2020.

The 2020 Workshop is a continuation of fruitful cooperation between RACVIAC and the OPCW in promoting the implementation of the CWC in South-Eastern Europe, which directly enhances regional stability, transparency and trust. Activities focusing on the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) have been organized in RACVIAC annually since 2004.

The purpose of this Workshop is to discuss relevant issues related to the CWC and provide a broad overview of the Convention and its implementation procedures with a specific focus on chemical safety and security. OPCW seeks to gain a clear understanding of the measures that are currently in place in the different countries in the region and of the mechanisms deployed by them.

This year the main focus will be put on the issue of “Chemical Security Management through Scenario Based Strategies - an Advanced Approach”, thus building on the last year’s conclusions to have a more advanced approach to the topic.

Opening the Workshop RACVIAC Director MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo said: “It is essential for all players in this very complex and also specialised field, encompassed by the CWC, to have a complex picture about the issues, the ways of prevention, the other players as well as the possible solutions and answers if problems arise. In order to support these players, i.e. all of you, the Workshop will provide an updated overview of the CWC implementation issues, it will explore by means of scenarios the tools for managing chemical safety and security and will, among other issues, provide a detailed overview of how to develop an effective action plan to cope with chemical threats. Furthermore, this year, we will continue with the more practical approach which proved to be very successful last year, a Table top Exercise that will be conducted within the framework of the Workshop”, concluded Director Bazo. He also took the opportunity to extend his gratitude to the representatives of OPCW, Dr Rohan Perera (Senior Programme Officer) and Mr Vaclovas Semaskevicius (Programme Officer), for their invaluable contribution and cooperation.

Speaking on behalf of the OPCW Dr Rohan Perera said: “The work of the OPCW, a Nobel Peace Prize winning organisation, has brought the international community closer to achieving a world free from an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.” He continued by saying: ”The Convention in now close to obtaining universal adherence, with a membership that currently stands at 193 countries making it one the most successful disarmament and non-proliferation treaties.” Speaking about safety and security management Dr Perera underlined that the key approach is to reduce and eliminate the risks from the use of the toxic chemicals through the supply chain.

The Workshop has gathered 16 participants, senior/junior military or civilian recommendation-makers dealing with CWC issues and/or responsible for chemical safety and security issues, from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Kosovo* who will be also given an opportunity to deliver a short presentation on their agency’s core tasks considering the focus of the Workshop: safety and security - good practices.

* 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.

12 February 2020

Canadian Ambassador visits RACVIAC

H.E. Mr Alan Bowman, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to the Republic of Croatia, visited RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation on 12 February 2020.

After a presentation on RACVIAC history, mission and accomplishments of the Centre Director MG (Ret.) Jeronim Bazo provided further explanations related to RACVIAC members, partnerships, and execution of Programme of activities. Director Bazo emphasized that apart from enhancing dialogue and cooperation between SEE countries the Centre serves as a platform for networking thus building bridges and promoting mutual trust and supporting aspiring countries on their path towards European and Euro-Atlantic integrations.

MG (ret.) Bazo also took the opportunity to express hope to intensify cooperation with Canada as a RACVIAC observer country in the future, possibly in the fields of good governance, rule of law and human rights.

10 February 2020

Austrian Ambassador visits RACVIAC

On Monday, 10 February 2020, the Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to the Republic of Croatia, H.E. Mr Josef Markus Wuketich, paid a courtesy visit to RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation.

He was accompanied by COL Reinhard Stradner, the Defence Attaché.

The guests were welcomed by RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, Deputy Director BG Gordana Garašić, and RACVIAC senior staff members.

Following the presentation covering the history, mission, and annual Programme of the Centre MG (ret.) Bazo briefly summarized the greatest achievements and major challenges of the Centre emphasizing that it will continue to foster dialogue, mutual trust and build bridges as crucial prerequisites for stability and security of the SEE region. He also took the opportunity to express his appreciation on behalf of the Organization for the constant and invaluable contribution and support that Austria, as an Associate member, has been providing to RACVIAC since its inception in terms of finances, expertise and overall support.

In continuation some aspects related to the membership, RACVIAC main Programme areas, and some future plans were discussed.

Ambassador Wuketich thanked for the information provided and expressed his appreciation for RACVIAC contribution to security of the SEE region as a whole.

03 February 2020

Phase Two of C-WMD Network project kicks off in RACVIAC

The three-day Meeting, “C-WMD National Strategies - Nuclear Material and Security”, started today in RACVIAC.

This is the first meeting of Phase Two of the C-WMD Network project, organized with continuous support from U.S European Command (USEUCOM) that facilitates the participation of experts from the U.S. Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the International Counterproliferation Program (ICP), the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), and the Republic of Croatia.

Opening the Meeting RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, said: “Since its beginnings in 2015 the C-WMD Network aims to assist, together with our partners, in the development of C-WMD National Strategies as well as building a strong community and network of experts in this domain. Five years later the great majority of participating nations in this project have developed or adopted C-WMD National Strategies and Action Plans. The process of testing and validating at the national level is well on its way and we are hoping that the whole cycle will be completed in the upcoming year.” He continued by underlining: “The risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has increased due to the evolving nature of terrorism and is further complicated by the rapid advances in science, technology and international commerce. That’s why it is of great importance to look for the way ahead and find practical ways to enhance further regional cooperation in the field of counter proliferation.”

Maj Stephen M. Siegner from USEUCOM and LtC Donald Hausser from DTRA-ICP shortly welcomed the Meeting participants on behalf of the co-organizers.

During the next three days the Meeting will focus on further facilitating and reviewing the progress in the development of national C-WMD strategies and action plans, examining recent trends and emerging technologies in WMD proliferation, and discussing topics connected to Nuclear Material and Security. Additionally, the participants will exercise using the RACVIAC Portal established as a mechanism that will further enhance regional cooperation and information sharing in the area of C-WMD.

The Meeting has gathered 26 national representatives, members from drafting/working groups of the participating states, competent authority planners and implementers engaged in the implementation of the C-WMD national strategy, and 14 experts from USEUCOM, DTRA, US Department of Energy, European Space Agency and the US Embassy in Zagreb.

The event is designed as an expert forum and it will be conducted through open discussions, case studies, presentations from experts, group exercises and a tabletop exercise.

28 January 2020

Meeting of the WG on the new RACVIAC Strategy held in RACVIAC

On 28 January 2020 the second Meeting of the Working Group on the new RACVIAC Strategy and its Action Plan 2021-2026 was held on RACVIAC premises.

The purpose of the Meeting was to discuss and coordinate details related to the inputs received from RACVIAC Members as well as to propose new topics relevant to national and regional needs regarding the proposed draft of the new Strategy and Action Plan that outline RACVIAC way ahead and main fields of interest in the future.

Opening the Meeting RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, welcomed the representatives and subject matter experts from Members and Associate Members saying that the Centre greatly appreciates their outstanding support and cooperation that contribute to Centre’s future performance and overall stability and security of the region.

The Meeting continued with an introductory presentation by the Planning and Liaison Officer Col Josef Pulko who provided brief information on the inputs and proposals received so far.

In accordance with the Meeting Agenda participants were divided into syndicates related to a specific area of interest, and discussed several details that resulted in more precise and concrete topics and activities that support the achievement of each defined objective.

The Meeting gathered representatives and subject matter experts from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Turkey, who, with their national inputs and expertise, invaluably contributed to better shaping the Centre’s way forward.

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