News Archive 2010

14 December 2010

Unprecedented Wave of Security Vulnerability: Cyber Security Threat in SEE

RAKITJE – Raising awareness and enhancing regional cooperation in the field of cyber security threats and vulnerabilities will be in focus of a two-day conference entitled ‘Unprecedented Wave of Security Vulnerability: Cyber Security Threats in SEE’, which opens today, 14 December 2010, at RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation. Approximately 30 participants and speakers coming from Albania, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia representing governmental policymakers, experts and law enforcement authorities will participate in a two-day event. They will be joined by representatives of other MAG countries, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), Cybercrime Research Institute, (Germany), Regional Cooperation Council, International Cyber Investigation Training Academy (Bulgaria), (NCIS) Field Office Europe & Africa Cooperative Cyber Defence-Centre of Excellence Tallinn, (Estonia), Host Exploit (United Kingdom), Information Systems Security Bureau, (Croatia) and other relevant international organizations and NGO’s, in an effort to share experiences and good practices in countering cyber attacks and cyber crime, while outlining areas for potential improvement. Increasingly large-scale cyber attacks by terrorist groups and organized criminals have threatened security in recent years. The lack of cooperation on cyber security issues is leaving countries vulnerable to potentially catastrophic attacks since governments cannot fight these threats single-handedly.In this light, the conference aims at raising awareness and enhancing regional co-operation in the face of emerging cyber security threats and vulnerabilities, and at discussing the defense capabilities of Southeast European countries, not only from an investigative point of view, but also from a legislative one. The conference will also serve as an excellent platform for exchanging best practices and experiences in fostering a culture of cyber security in SEE.

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

07 December 2010

Military Base Conversion (MBC) Workshop

The Annual Workshop on Military Base Conversion (MBC), co-organized with the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia, started today at Air Force Base “Cerklje” (Republic of Slovenia). The main objectives of the workshop are to discuss all aspects of MBC, to learn from the national experience of the Republic of Slovenia in implementing MBC projects and to evaluate the progress achieved in this field by the countries of the region since last workshop. This year’s workshop has gathered 22 participants and 10 lecturers from Albania, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, as well as other representatives of regional and international organizations with interest in regional defence conversion processes.

01 December 2010

The South-East Europe’s Path Towards the EU: Progress through reforms and the way ahead regarding CFSP and CSDP

A two-day seminar entitled ‘The South-East Europe’s Path Towards the EU: Progress through reforms and the way ahead regarding CFSP and CSDP’ starts today, 1 December 2010, at RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation. The seminar, gathering approximately 35 participants and lecturers from AL, BA, HR, ME, MK, RS and MD, mostly civilian and military officials at decision-making level and experts representing relevant ministries, focuses on supporting the capacity-building process in the SEE countries that are either candidates or potential candidates for acquiring a full EU membership.

The SEE countries’ capacity-building process (in terms of accepting EU standards and values) and the main challenges on their EU path will be discussed against the background of the Common Foreign Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security Defence Policy (CSDP).RACVIAC, together with its international partners stands committed to SEE’s progress toward EU membership, for which reason an experienced group of lecturers has been assembled, including the President of the Croatian National Committee for Tracking the Negotiations on the Accession of Croatia to the EU, dr.sc. Vesna Pusic and Croatian State Secretary for European integration, Mr.sc. Andrej Plenkovic.

This event will serve as a perfect opportunity for the participants to exchange opinions and lessons learned regarding the alignment between the EU and SEE countries in foreign and security policy terms.

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

24 November 2010

Strengthening Inter-Religious and Inter-Ethnic Dialogue in South East Europe

From 24 to 26 November, the Albanian city of Shkodar will be hosting the Conference on ‘Strengthening Inter-Religious and Inter-Ethnic Dialogue in South East Europe’. The Conference is a result of joint efforts of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Albania and RACVIAC-Centre for Security Cooperation, and their commitment to contribute to a more constructive dialogue on security matters among the SEE countries. The Conference participants will be provided with a forum for discussion on religious and ethnic tolerance, both of which are vital dimensions of the security policy-making process in South East Europe, and their efforts will be focused on accomplishing the following objectives:

- To promote inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue as a means of enhancement of the stability in the region, and to examine and assess how they can constructively contribute to the progress of the region;

- To highlight the intrinsic value of religious and ethnic dimensions of the dialogue in SEE;

- To promote inter-ethnic dialogue among the peoples in SEE as a tool to further improve mutual understanding;

- To raise public awareness of the positive impact of ethnic and religious co-existence, understanding and harmony by exchanging views, experiences and best practices, as well as lessons learned;

- To create a space where religious diversity can not only coexist peacefully but also actively work together to promote a sense of social cohesion.

Approximately 35 participants, representing relevant ministries, institutions and organisations, will be taking part in the Conference lectures and discussions.

23 November 2010

Human Resources Management Workshop

Human Resources Management Workshop started on 22nd November 2010 at RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation. The Netherlands Defence College and RACVIAC recognized the importance of the transformation of the human resources management system as one of the crucial elements and the key prerequisites of a successful reform of armed forces from a predominately compulsory military service toward the all-volunteer military service. This is especially important for the countries in the region, trying to complete the process of modernization of their military organizations, and for the initiated European security integration processes. Thus, the Netherlands Defence College and RACVIAC have joined resources and brought together the Human Resources Management (HRM) workshop closer to the regional PfP countries.

08 November 2010

Physical Security and Stockpile Management Course

"Physical Security and Stockpile Management Course”, organised in cooperation with the Verification Centre of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) – USA, started at RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation, on 8 November 2010. The seminar has gathered participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herezegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Hungary, EUFOR, ITF (International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance), NATO, OSCE and UNDP. The purpose of the course is to train executive managers to assess national stockpiles, operational procedures, and infrastructure and to explore the ways for potential improvements in security and stockpile management, while introducing best international practices in Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM).

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

29 Oct 2010

The Recent De-mining Processes – National and Regional Approach, New Challenges

Co organized with Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Euro Atlantic Integrations and Croatian Mine Action Centre (CROMAC), Ottawa Convention Seminar was held at RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation from 26-29 October 2010. Seminar gathered 39 participants and lecturers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Italy, Serbia Slovenia and different international and regional governmental and nongovernmental organizations and institutions dealing with humanitarian and political aspects of the Convention on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel land mines and on their destruction. The purpose of this seminar was to foster dialogue on the implementation of the Anti-personnel Land Mine Convention, also known as Ottawa Convention, on the regional level, in accordance with the Article 6 of the Convention - International Cooperation and Assistance.

The special emphasis was given to the Convention proceedings, presentations and analysis of the current situation in the region referring to the Convention implementation, highlighting the most comprehensive and commonly followed rules and procedures of its execution. Seminar started with the opening speech given by Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, Director of RACVIAC, followed by speech of H.E. Ms Beverly Mercer, Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia. First day session called "Political and Humanitarian aspects of the Convention" was split in two parts. First part, about Understanding and Importance of the Utility of the Convention was opened by Ms Dijana Pleština, PhD, Counsellor at Croatian MFAEI. Subsequently, representatives of UNDP and International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance, introduced auditory more detailed with Article 6 of the Convention- International Cooperation and assistance. Second day of seminar participants paid visit to company DOK-ING where they had possibility to see its manufacture and demining machines. Third day of the seminar was reserved for the exchange of the information about current regional situation, donor's experience and international cooperation.

29 Oct 2010

Open Skies Treaty - Aerial Observation Orientation Coourse

RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation, in cooperation with Croatia, Germany, Hungary, and Montenegro organized an Open Skies Treaty (OST) Aerial Observation Course in the period of 11-22 October 2010.Thirteen officers form nine countries took part in the course. This year the course was mainly sponsored by Germany. The theoretical part took place at RACVIAC facilities in Croatia. The practical part of the course was hosted by Montenegro. Hungary as a contributor made available the observation aircraft AN-26, certified for the purposes of the OST. All countries involved in preparation provided specialists as lecturers during the course. The purpose of the course was to train personnel in planning, organizing and executing an observation flight based on the provisions of the Treaty.

During the first week participants were given an overview of OST, highlighting the most commonly followed rules and procedures of the execution of observation flights as well as an update on the latest developments in the implementation of the Treaty. Preparations were made for the observation flight in Montenegro and participants visited the Croatian OST photo laboratory at Airbase Pleso. During the second week of the course all tasks related to and the training observation flight itself were carried out as a real mission and in compliance with the OST. The course gave an opportunity for both state parties and non-state parties of the OST to familiarize with provisions and practical implementation of the OST as well as to build good relations between representatives of national organizations and agencies engaged in the accomplishment of security and confidence building measures. RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation stands ready to continue organizing this kind of course in the following years to the benefit of the South East European Region.

21 Oct 2010

NATO School Commandant visited RACVIAC

On 21 October 2010 Colonel Mark Baines, the Commandant of NATO School, Oberammergau, visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation. He was accompanied by Sergeant Major Ivica Britvec, NATO School Course Director. The occasion for the visit to RACVIAC was the wish of Colonel Baines to make personal acquaintance with RACVIAC, as an unique international, academic organization. NATO School delegation was welcomed by RACVIAC Director, Ambassador Todorčevski, and senior RACVIAC staff. Alongside the presentation of the current situation, organizational structure, mission and achievements of RACVIAC, Colonel Baines and his hosts engaged in a detailed discussion on RACVIAC's Programme of activities and plans for future enhanced cooperation between these two organizations.

20 Oct 2010

RACVIAC 10th Anniversary

On Wednesday, 20 October 2010, under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Prof. Dr. Ivo Josipović, RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation celebrated its 10th Anniversary. The celebration ceremony was attended by President of the Republic of Croatia, Prof Dr Ivo Josipović; envoy of the Croatian Prime Minister - Minister of Defence Mr Branko Vukelić; Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Selmo Cikotić and Mr Sven Alkalaj; Minister of Defence of Montenegro Mr Boro Vučinić; Chief of CAF General Staff General Josip Lucić; a number of ambassadors and other senior civil and military officials of RACVIAC member countries as well as others who expressed interest in its work.

RACVIAC's Director, Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, said that RACVIAC "defined as a platform for constructive dialogue, RACVIAC has been and will be able to contribute to the regional security cooperation in the future as well, and in a variety of ways". Ambassador stressed that over the past ten years RACVIAC had proved to be a successful project, having successfully hosted nearly 7,300 participants and lecturers in almost 300 activities. Emphasizing that the Centre is a unique international organization continuously contributing to stability and security in the region, he expressed its readiness for new challenges and achievements in the future. Ambassador Todorčevski rendered his "genuine appreciation to all member countries and partner organizations for the outstanding and very considerable on-going support to RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation. He thanked the RACVIAC staff, all the lecturers and participants who have worked or collaborated with the Centre in those first ten years, for committing themselves to the achievement of RACVIAC mission.

RACVIAC's first Director, Colonel Nikola Nogolica (ret), recalled the Centre's beginnings, back in 2000, when it was established on the basis of a bilateral agreement between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Germany, with a view to assisting in the implementation of agreements on arms control in all SEE countries. A representative of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ambassador Peter Gottwald, expressed his satisfaction with the development of RACVIAC which, having changed its mission in accordance with the changes in the region, has evolved into an important platform for dialogue on security cooperation. Ambassador Gottwald believes the Centre is bound to continue to develop instruments of security, stability and confidence in the region.

On behalf of the Prime Minister, Croatian Minister of Defence Mr Branko Vukelić noted that RACVIAC is playing an important role in developing trust, peace, cooperation and stability in South-eastern Europe, all of which were prerequisites for progress, not only in the region, but in whole Europe as well and beyond. "RACVIAC covers a broad area of cooperation – security – which, on one hand, gives it a possibility of long standing activity, and on the other hand, means constant modification and adaptation, anticipating new security challenges and overall international development in the area of security, in order to make greater contribution to the needs of the countries not only in this part of Europe, but also beyond", Mr Vukelić said and added that RACVIAC had a full support of the Croatian Government.

President of the Republic of Croatia Prof Dr Ivo Josipović stressed the fundamental importance of cooperation and participation in international organizations and regional initiatives. He also placed a special emphasis on good relations and cooperation with the countries in the region, primarily with neighbors, since the resolution of mutual open issues would be impossible without cooperation, discussion and agreement. "The results of RACVIAC's activities make a strong argument for that position", President Josipović said and added that "shifting the focus of the Centre's activities on the question of security in a broader sense is an indicator of overall efforts to stabilize the region". The President also expressed his belief that the Centre would further evolve in that direction.

20 Oct 2010

24th MAG and Budgetary meeting

At RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation on 19-20 October 2010 24th MAG (Multinational Advisory Group) and Budgetary meeting was held. On this autumn MAG meeting 19 RACVIAC member countries were represented. There was also representative of Regional Cooperation Council. Meeting was chaired by Mr Draško Jovanović, Deputy Minister from Montenegrin MoD. First day was budgetary meeting. Purpose of this meeting was to discuss all relevant aspects of RACVIAC's budget, especially budget for the rest of 2010 and proposal for 2011. Following the Agenda, Deputy Director Colonel Željko Cepanec and RACVIAC Programme Managers introduced the auditory with the proposed Programme of Activities for 2011.

Later on, after discussion on personnel situation and RACVIAC organizational structure, MAG gave authority to RACVIAC Management to implement the new organizational structure and to renew contracts with local employees, taking into account adopted decreased Budget for 2011. With regard to the conclusions of spring MAG Meeting and task given to RACVIAC management to prepare concise paper outlining RACVIAC's vision for the future, MAG adopted the draft Strategy Paper as a good basis for further consideration, including inputs from RACVIAC Members. According to the common practice at this autumn meeting new MAG chairman was elected. MAG confirmed Mr Zoran Šajinović, Assistant Minister of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the new MAG Chairperson.

24th MAG Chairman's Conclusions, 139 KB PDF

14 Oct 2010

Australian Ambassador visited RACVIAC

On 15th October 2010 H.E. Ms Beverly Mercer, the Ambassador of Australia to the Republic of Croatia, visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation. The occasion for visiting RACVIAC was the desire expressed by H.E. Ms Beverly Mercer to make personal acquaintance with RACVIAC's mission, aims and organization. She was accompanied by Ms Dijana Padežanin, Economic and Research Officer at Australian Embassy. The guests were welcomed by Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, Deputy Director Colonel Željko Cepanec and senior RACVIAC staff members. Beside the presentation on history of RACVIAC, its organizational structure, mission and achievements given by RACVIAC's PR Officer, Australian delegation and their hosts engaged in a very interesting discussion on RACVIAC's activities and plans for the future. Ms Ambassador expressed her congratulations on the great work which RACVIAC is undertaking to assist strengthening of peace and stability in the region.

14 Oct 2010

Netherlands Ambassador visited RACVIAC

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to the Republic of Croatia H.E. Ms Stella Ronner-Grubačić visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 14th October 2010. The Netherlands delegation also included Lt Col Frederik Jan Besselink, Military Attaché to Croatia. The guests were welcomed by Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, RACVIAC Deputy Director Colonel Željko Cepanec and senior RACVIAC staff members. The guests were provided with a brief presentation on RACVIAC's history, mission, annual programme of activities, the completed process of transformation, recently signed new Agreement on RACVIAC and plans for forthcoming period. Netherlands delegation again used the possibility to emphasize and praise the role of RACVIAC in the process of stabilization and development of the South East Europe region, and used the opportunity to assure RACVIAC of Netherlands intention for an ongoing partnership.

05 Oct 2010

Albanian Ambassador visited RACVIAC

On 5th October 2010 H.E. Pëllumb Qazimi, the Ambassador of the Republic of Albania to the Republic of Croatia, paid courtesy visit to RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation. The guest were welcomed by Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski and RACVIAC Deputy Director Colonel Željko Cepanec. They provided the distinguished guest with a brief presentation on annual programme of activities, plans for forthcoming period, the completed process of transformation of the Centre and the recently signed new Agreement on RACVIAC. Albanian Ambassador used this possibility to emphasize and praise the role of RACVIAC in the process of stabilization and development of the South East Europe region.

17 Sep 2010

Austrian Defence Minister visited RACVIAC

Mr Nobert Darabos, Federal Minister of defence and sport of the Republic of Austria visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 16 September 2010, as part of his visit to Croatian Ministry of Defence. Mr Darabos was accompanied by H.E. Mr Jan Kickert, Austrian Ambassador to Croatia, Major General Johann Pucher, Defence Policy Director, Brigadier General Alois Aschauer, Ministers Aide and Brigadier General Manfred Sulzgruber, Austrian Military Attaché to Croatia.

Austrian delegation was welcomed by Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski and other senior staff members at the Centre. Ambassador Todorčevski expressed sincere gratefulness for all contribution and support RACVIAC received form Austria during last then years. Lieutenant Colonel Ewald Keller, RACVIAC Planning & Liaison Officer for Western Europe and International Organisations, national representative of the Republic of Austria at RACVIAC, provided the guests with a presentation on the history, mission, completed process of Centre's transformation and it's accomplishments.

07 Sep 2010

The 2nd Meeting of the Working Group on RACVIAC Financial Regulations

The 2nd Meeting of the Working Group on RACVIAC Financial Regulations was held in RACVIAC on 7th September 2010. The meeting gathered representatives of Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* and Turkey. The purpose of the second Meeting was to finalize Draft of Financial Regulations for MAG adoption at the 2010 Autumn MAG Meeting in accordance with the 23rd MAG Meeting Conclusions, and to discuss new proposed Structure.

The WG Meeting was divided into two sessions. First session comprised the join work on draft of the new Financial Regulations. After comprehensive discussion and exchange of views the WG came to a consensus on main issues and draft of the Regulations has been prepared for MAG approval. The WG also analyzed the current financial situation and possible cost-saving measures. The second Session of this meeting was dedicated to the personnel and organizational issues in RACVIAC. In order to improve the functioning of the Centre and the execution of its activities for a long-term period, the new revised Structure, including reduction of personnel posts, has been also prepared for approval of the upcoming MAG.

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

25 Aug 2010

Deputy Secretary General of RCC visited RACVIAC

Ms Jelica Minić, Deputy Secretary General of Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 24 August 2010. Ms Minić met with the Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski , and Deputy Director, Colonel Željko Cepanec, and they exchanged information on activities and plans of these two regional organizations. Since regional security and cooperation are basic preconditions for the development and Euroatlantic integration of all SEE countries, it was concluded that both RCC and RACVIAC, together with other initiatives and organizations in the region, should continue with efforts to enhance the cooperation and speed up the integration processes. It was also agreed that mutual cooperation of two Centres, especially in the area of information exchange on current and future activities, will be intensified through regular coordination meetings, with a goal to harmonize common efforts in improving overall regional cooperation and achieving more efficient response to the regional needs. RACVIAC readily welcomed the invitation of RCC to take part at the donor conference organized by RCC in spring next year, which is expected to gather all key actors involved in regional cooperation and Euroatlantic integration in SEE region.

15 July 2010

German Ambassador visited RACVIAC

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Croatia H.E. Dr Bernd Fischer visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 14th July 2010. The German diplomatic delegation also included Mr Sebastian Jost Bertram Brokelmann, the First Secretary at the German Embassy to Croatia. The guests were welcomed by Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, RACVIAC Deputy Director Colonel Željko Cepanec and by Lieutenant Colonel Stefan Miene, RACVIAC Programme Manager.

The main reason of the visit of the German Ambassador was the signing of the 2nd part of a Financial Agreement between RACVIAC and Germany for the year 2010. The German funding will be allocated for activities related to arms control and CSBMs (Confidence and Security Building Measures). In addition to that, the guests from Germany were provided with a brief presentation on RACVIAC’s mission, annual programme of activities, plans for forthcoming period, the completed process of transformation of the Centre’s structure and the recently signed new Agreement on RACVIAC’s legal status. German delegation again used the possibility to emphasize and praise the role of RACVIAC in the process of stabilization and development of the South East Europe region, and used the opportunity to assure RACVIAC of German intention for an ongoing partnership.

12 July 2010

RACVIAC on Croatia Summit

The Government of the Republic of Croatia hosted “Croatia Summit 2010 – South East Europe Facing Global Challenges”, the fifth edition of an international conference of senior European and North American leaders and key opinion makers, in Dubrovnik, from 9 to 10 July 2010. The Croatia Summit has been held in Dubrovnik on an annual basis since 2006, with the aim to serve as a forum for dialogue between political leaders, having special focus on the integration of the South East European region into European and Transatlantic cooperation structures.

The topics of this year's conference included issues such as economic governance, global security, Transatlantic relations, as well as the challenges and strains that the countries of South East Europe are exposed to due to the global economic crisis. The host of this international forum was Croatian Prime Minister Ms Jadranka Kosor, and the list of her guests included high representatives from several European countries and Canada, as well from NATO, EU, OSCE and other international organisations and institutions. The Croatia Summit was also attended by the Director of RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation, Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, who used the occasion to engage in a series of contacts and talks.

02 July 2010

NATO - RACVIAC Conference on Better Management of Defence Resources

NATO DSED - RACVIAC Conference on Better Management of Defence Resources under the title "Defence Procurement Systems and their Transparency" was held in the town of Pula on the Croatian coast, from 30 June to 2 July 2010. The third conference jointly organized by NATO DSED and RACVIAC, gathered participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Moldova, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Turkey, NATO, Transparency International, Regional Cooperation Council, „Booz Allen Hamilton“ agency and others. The purpose of this conference was the establishment of common platform for exchange of different views and experiences on the main aspects in the management of defence resources, in the context of the global economic crisis, from the perspective of various NATO member and partner countries in Europe. The introductory address on the conference was delivered by Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, and by Mr. Adrian Kendry, Senior Defense Economist at NATO's Economics Directorate for Defence and Security. The introductory lecture "The Ministries of Defence in a Recession" was delivered by Mr Davor Ćutić, Head of the International Defence Cooperation Department at the Croatian Ministry of Defence.

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

29 Jun 2010

Conference on Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector

The Conference on Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector under the title ”Positive Experiences and Examples of the Parliamentary Committees for Security in SEE”, co-organized by RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation and the Joint Committee for Defence and Security of Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was held in the White Conference Room at the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, from 27-29 June 2010. The Conference was designed especially for parliamentarian staff and officials from respective MoI, MFA, MoD of the regional countries, as well as for civilian officials working in the field of defense, military and law enforcement officers, judicial authorities, IOsand NGOs’ representatives and academics. It gathered approximately 35 participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herezegovina, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, NATO HQ Sarajevo, EUFOR, OSCE, USAID, DCAF, CESS and others.

The purpose of the Conference was to provide regional forum for comprehensive discussions on parliamentary oversight of the security sector and to stage the base for better standardization in this field in Southeast European (SEE) countries. The Conference started with the opening speech given by Mr Branko Zrno, Member of Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Chairman of Joint Committee for Defence and Security of Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was followed by speeches given by Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, Director of RACVIAC, Ambassador Gary D. Robbins, Head of OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Brig Gen David B. Enyeart, Commander of NATO HQ Sarajevo.

Participants shared lessons learned and experience in the area of Parliamentary oversight of the security sector, especially mechanisms and practices of Security Committees in each SEE country. They also discussed possible ways for further improvement and the idea of establishing the military ombudsmen in the parliament of each SEE country. One of the main conclusions was to establish the Conference as a permanent regional event that will enable periodical gathering of the parliamentarians. The idea is to organize the Conference on an annual basis and in different host countries, thus enabling participants to regularly discuss new issues, challenges and solutions in the area of democratic control over the security sector.

28 Jun 2010

Representatives from People’s Republic of China visited RACVIAC

Representatives of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of the People’s Republic of China visited RACVIAC on 28 June 2010, as part of their visit to Croatian Ministry of Defence. The delegation from China was led by Major General Quian Lihua, Head of International Defence Cooperation Department in Chinese Ministry of Defence.

They were accompanied by Senior Colonel Liwei Wang, Chinese Defence Attaché to Croatia, and by Mr Davor Ćutić, Head of International Defence Cooperation Department in the Croatian Ministry of Defence. Guests from People’s Republic of China were welcomed by Colonel Ömer Faruk Baştürk, RACVIAC Programme Manager.

Lieutenant Colonel Ewald Keller, RACVIAC Planning & Liaison Officer for Western Europe and International Organisations, provided the guests with a presentation on the history, mission and accomplishments of RACVIAC. Guests from People’s Republic of China expressed significant interest in RACVIAC and the possibility of establishing mutual cooperation.

25 Jun 2010

Promotion of the publication titled "Guide through Personal Transition"

The Ministry of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation organized an official promotion of the publication titled "Guide through Personal Transition", published in June 2010. The ceremony was held on Friday, June 25th 2010 in the Army Club, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This significant event included numerous eminent guests from respective governmental institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and international organizations that contributed to the execution of PERSPEKTIVA – a programme of career transition support to the separated military personnel of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mr Sead Muratović, Assistant Minister for Personnel of the Ministry of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Colonel Željko Cepanec, Deputy Director of RACVIAC, addressed the audience with remarks on the guide and expressed their appreciation to all those that have been involved in the programme and in the creation of the guide. The Guide is actually one of the direct results of RACVIAC's Technical Assistance Project of Programme PERSPEKTIVA implementation support activities that were conducted during the first part of 2010. The entire project is funded by the Kingdom of Denmark, while NATO Headquarters Sarajevo financed the printing of the Guide.

21 Jun 2010

EMPA Journalist in RACVIAC

European Military Press Association (EMPA) visited RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation on Friday 18 June 2010. This visit was conducted as a part of the EMPA Journalist Tour 2010 to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Military journalists from Austria, Croatia, Latvia, Norway, Serbia, and Slovenia were led by Colonel Dr Jörg Aschenbrenner. They were accompanied by members of Croatian military magazine "Hrvatski vojnik", headed by editor-in-chief Mr Željko Stipanović.

RACVIAC Deputy Director Colonel Željko Cepanec welcomed the guests from European Military Press Association, while RACVIAC Public Affairs provided the guests with a presentation on the history, mission and accomplishments of RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation.

17 Jun 2010

NATO Partner Nations visited RACVIAC

As part of their participation on the annual Allied Chiefs of Army Staff Talks (ACAST) and Land Commanders Conference (LCC) organized by the NATO Allied Force Command Madrid, the delegates of the Partnership for Peace countries visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 16 June 2010. The delegates were representatives of Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, and they were accompanied by representatives of Croatian Army. Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski and Deputy Director Col Željko Cepanec welcomed the distinguished guests, while LtCol Ewald Keller, Planning & Liaison Officer for Western Europe and International Organisations, provided the guests with a presentation on the history, mission and accomplishments of RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation.

16 Jun 2010

"STARLINK" Training of Trainers Course on Security System Reform for South East Europe

The "STARLINK" Training of Trainers Course on Security System Reform for South East Europe started in RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation on 16 June 2010. The course is co-organized with CESS - Centre for European Security Studies, and is co-funded by the Kingdom of Norway and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This event completes the instructional program on a demanding topic of overall Security System Reform, which RACVIAC and CESS jointly started in November 2009.

The participants were welcomed by RACVIAC Director Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, who opened the course, while the keynote speech was delivered by Ms Willemijn Van Haaften, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Croatia. The purpose of the Training of Trainers Course on Security System Reform is to bring together potential trainers from relevant ministries, regional and local authorities, international organizations and NGOs, with a view to obtaining methodical and didactical skills necessary for teaching the principles of Security System Reform. The course comprises training exercises, a case study and open discussions on a topic that is of great importance to the SEE region.

14 Jun 2010

Command and Staff School of Slovenian Armed Forces in RACVIAC

Attendants of the Command and Staff School of Slovenian Armed Forces visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on Friday 11 June 2010 as part of their study trip to several countries in the region. During their visit to RACVIAC, the guests from Slovenia were accompanied by Briagadir General Alojz Završnik, Defence Attaché of the Republic of Slovenia to the Republic of Croatia. The students were welcomed by Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski and other senior staff members at the Centre. Captain Jože Čebular, national representative of the Republic of Slovenia in RACVIAC, provided the guests with a brief presentation of the Centre – its mission, annual programme of activities, the completed process of Centre’s transformation, and especially the recently signed new Agreement on RACVIAC’s legal status.

11 Jun 2010

Parliamentarians from Bosnia and Herzegovina visited RACVIAC

Members of the Joint Committee for Defence and Security of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 10 June 2010. The delegation, led by Mr Branko Zrno, Head of the Joint Committee for Defence and Security, was accompanied by Ms Šejla Bektašević, representative of OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and by Colonel Dragoš Milanković, Defence Attaché of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Republic of Croatia.

The guests were welcomed by Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski and his Deputy Colonel Željko Cepanec. Delegation from Bosnia and Herzegovina also had a meeting with other senior staff members at RACVIAC, during which they were given a brief presentation on RACVIAC’s mission, annual programme of activities, and the process of transformation of the Centre’s structure completed with the recently signed new Agreement on RACVIAC’s legal status. Professor Branko Zrno praised the role of RACVIAC in promoting dialogue and cooperation on security matters in South East Europe, and expressed satisfaction that Bosnia and Herzegovina, as one of the chief beneficiaries of RACVIAC’s activities, is gradually becoming a strong partner and contributor to security cooperation in SEE, having gathered consideable experience in this field.

01 Jun 2010

Regional Conference on NATO Integration in SEE: Developing a Common Transatlantic Vision and Future Perspectives

From 31 May – 01 June 2010 the Ministry of Defence of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* hosted a high level event in Bitola – a Regional Conference on NATO Integration in South East Europe, organized in cooperation with RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation and NATO. The topic of the Bitola Regional Conference was the importance of NATO integration in the SEE and the development of a common Transatlantic vision, with a view at the future perspectives for the SEE.

The Regional Conference on NATO Integration was opened by Mr Zoran Konjanovski, the Minister of Defence of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*. The Conference was attended by his colleagues, the Defence Ministers of Albania Arben Imami, of Croatia Branko Vukelić, of Slovenia Ljubica Jelušič, and of Turkey Vecdi Gonul, as well as Deputy Ministers of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, and the State Secretary for Defence of Serbia. The Conference guests also included high ranking defence delegations from more than 11 countries from the Region, representatives from Brussels and NATO Command in Naples, as well as representatives of relevant institutions in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the defence diplomatic corps in Skopje. The Regional Conference on NATO Integration in SEE was the first high level event of this kind in the defence area held in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*. It served as an excellent opportunity to promote regional and international cooperation on security matters, which are imperative for long lasting stability of the whole SEE region.

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

25 May 2010

The 1st Meeting of the Working Group on RACVIAC’s Financial Regulations

The 1st Meeting of the Working Group on RACVIAC’s Financial Regulations, a body established in accordance with the conclusions of the 23rd MAG & Budgetary Meeting, was held in RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 25 May 2010. The meeting gathered representatives of Albania, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania and Turkey, as well as RACVIAC senior staff.

The WG Meeting was divided into two sessions. Session I comprised the joint work on the proposal of new Financial Regulations, the goal of which is to further improve the functioning of the Centre and the execution of its activities for a long-term period. Session II was dedicated to the personnel matters. Colonel Željko Cepanec, Deputy Director of RACVIAC, provided an overview of the current personnel situation at RACVIAC and all issues that will arise in the coming period, with special focus on vacant posts.

04 May 2010

Dayton Article IV - Orientation Course

The Dayton Article IV - Orientation Course is held in RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation from 3 to 7 May 2010. Following the well-established practice of the previous years, this course is co-organized with the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office for Article IV of Annex 1-B of the Dayton Peace Accords. It is based on the provisions of the Sub-regional Arms Control Agreement and is designed to provide training for representatives of national verification centres in the region, who serve as members in inspection or escort teams, as well as for the representatives from supporting OSCE countries, who serve as assistants in inspection or escort teams.

The Course started on 3 May with lectures delivered by Dr. Heinz VETSCHERA, Academic Lecturer in Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Sarajevo (PSOTC). The 5-day course consists of a theoretical and a practical part. The theoretical part, conducted in RACVIAC, consists of lectures about the history of Arms Control and about the details of Sub-regional Arms Control Agreement, while the practical part includes training of an inspection on a military site - Military Barracks „Pukovnik Predrag Matanović“ in Petrinja, providing the participants with opportunity to practice roles of both inspectors and escorts in accordance with the mentioned agreement.

29 Apr 2010

Seminar on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and Its Future Implementation in South Eastern Europe is the topic of the seminar which started in RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 29 April 2010. The seminar brought together an international expert forum with the aim to discuss Common Security and Defence Policy and its active implementation, with focus on CSDP’s role in the development of common European security and defence strategy. Great attention was also given to changes in the inner structure of CSDP, as well as in its organisational, financial and political aspects, brought by the Lisbon Treaty.

The CSDP seminar gathered high ranking officials representing national authorities such as ministries of defence, foreign affairs, as well as other governmental and non-governmental organisations and institutions. Altogether more then forty participants attend this seminar, coming from the following countries: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Greece, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Serbia.

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

26 Apr 2010

Israeli Ambassador Yosef Amrani visited RACVIAC

Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Croatia H.E. Yosef Amrani visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 26 April 2010. The Israeli delegation also included Mr Itai Bar Dov, Second Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission in the Embassy of the State of Israel to the Republic of Croatia. The distinguished guests were accompanied by Mr Davor Ćutić, Head of International Defence Cooperation Department in Croatian MoD, and by Ms Marijana Klanac, Head of Multilateral Section and RACVIAC’s Point of Contact at the International Defence Cooperation Department.

The guests were welcomed by Deputy Director of RACVIAC Colonel Željko Cepanec. After the reception in Director's Office, guests from Israel had a meeting with other senior staff members at RACVIAC, during which they were given a brief presentation on RACVIAC’s mission, annual programme of activities, the completed process of transformation of the Centre’s structure, and the recently signed new Agreement on RACVIAC’s legal status.

Ambassador Yosef Amrani, heading the first Israeli diplomatic visit to RACVIAC in the Centre’s 10-year existence, expressed significant interest in RACVIAC’s achievements, current activities and plans for forthcoming period, and expressed his belief that there will be future meetings resulting in a successful cooperation between Israel and RACVIAC, especially having in mind RACVIAC’s gained experience and lessons learned in the field of active support to regional stability, security and cooperation.

18 Apr 2010

23rd MAG & Budgetary Meeting

The 23rd MAG & Budgetary Meeting, the semi-annual summit of RACVIAC’s steering body - the Multinational Advisory Group, was held in the Montenegrin town of Bečići from 13 to 15 April. The meeting was organized by the MAG Chairmanship of Montenegro and it gathered the majority of member countries of the MAG. The Budgetary Meeting was held on Tuesday 13 April and it gave the opportunity to MAG representatives to discuss all relevant issues regarding RACVIAC’s Budget for 2010 and 2011.

The next day was the day of the 23rd MAG meeting. It was officially opened by Mr Draško Jovanović, MAG Chairperson, from the Ministry of Defence of Montenegro. The Meeting Agenda consisted of a brief presentation of Director’s Annual Report provided by the Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, followed by the presentation of RACVIAC’s annual programmes for 2010 and 2011 for each of RACVIAC’s three pillars. The last presentation was given by Deputy Director Colonel Željko Cepanec, who talked about the current financial issues in the functioning of RACVIAC, as well as about the current personnel situation in the Centre.

One of the most significant achievements of the 23rd MAG Meeting was the signing of the new Legal Status Agreement, previously accepted by MAG at the 21st MAG meeting as Draft Agreement and an appropriate legal framework for the accomplishment of RACVIAC’s mission. The signing ceremony was held on 14 April, following the central session of the MAG Meeting. The RACVIAC Agreement was signed in Bečići by distinguished representatives of the following countries: Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Hellenic Republic, Montenegro, Republic of Serbia, and Republic of Turkey.

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

Complete overview of the Chairman's Conclusions can be found on this link, 1018 KB PDF

12 Apr 2010

English Language Course on Arms Control Terminology

The 2010 edition of English Language Course on Arms Control Terminology started in RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 13th April. With this course RACVIAC supports the preparation and execution of arms control activities through upgrading participants’ English conversational capabilities and increasing common understanding of the arms control treaties by enlarging the knowledge of arms control vocabulary. The course is mainly designed for civilians and officers dealing with arms control in the SEE region. The lecturers and participants come from the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Moldova, Serbia, Slovenia and United Kingdom (JACIG).

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

22 Mar 2010

Security System Reform and Euro-Atlantic Integration: "STARLINK" Advanced Course for South East Europe

The cooperation between RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation and CESS - Centre for European Security Studies, which started in 2009, continues this year with the “STARLINK” Advanced Course for South East Europe. The course, which started on 22 March, gathers participants from national ministries of defence, armed forces, national parliaments, governmental and non-governmental organizations and institutions, with the aim to discuss various aspects of security system reform and democratic governance in the security sector.

In addition to that, the course comprises interactive training sessions, a full-day simulation exercise and open discussions, which include exchange of knowledge and experience. The participants were welcomed by RACVIAC Director Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, who opened the course, while Austrian Defence Attaché in Croatia Brigadier General Manfred Sulzgruber delivered the keynote speech.

17 Feb 2010

Chemical Weapons Convention Seminar

The Chemical Weapons Convention Seminar started in RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 16 February. A four day seminar is co-organized with the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and its main goal is to promote the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in SEE. The seminar has gathered participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Romania, and Serbia.

The representatives of these countries are senior and junior military and civilian recommendation makers who deal with CWC issues and are also responsible for escorting inspections from the OPCW Secretariat. The Seminar was opened with welcome addresses by RACVIAC Director Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski, and Deputy Director Colonel Željko Cepanec, followed by the keynote speech delivered by Mr John Freeman, Deputy Director in OPCW Technical Secretariat.

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

12 Feb 2010

Canadian Defence Attaché Captain Karel Heemskerk visited RACVIAC

On 12th February 2010 Captain Karel Heemskerk, the Defence Attaché at the Canadian Embassy to Croatia, visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation. The occasion for the visit to RACVIAC was the desire expressed by Captain Karel Heemskerk to make personal acquaintance with RACVIAC’s organization and to express support to efforts made by RACVIAC staff. Alongside the presentation of the current situation, organisational structure, and past achievements of RACVIAC, Captain Karel Heemskerk and his hosts engaged in a detailed discussion on RACVIAC’s Programme of Activities for 2010.

10 Feb 2010

After Oslo 2008: Seminar on Cluster Munitions

The Seminar on Cluster Munitions started in RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on 9 February 2010. This is the second time that RACVIAC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integrations of the Republic of Croatia jointly organize a seminar dedicated to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and the first time it is being held since the Convention was signed in Oslo on 3 December 2008 by representatives of 94 countries. Convention on Cluster Munitions is a very important achievement of the so called Oslo Process, which started in February 2007 when 46 of the 49 participating states agreed on the political commitment to establish a new, legally binding instrument prohibiting cluster munitions before the end of 2008.

This seminar is designed as a forum gathering experts from different ministries (defence, foreign affairs, interior), headquarters of Armed Forces, and various governmental and non-governmental organisations (namely: Cluster Munitions Coalition; International Committee of the Red Cross; OSCE Mission to Croatia; United Nations Mine Action Service; United Nations Development Program in Croatia; Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian De-mining; International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance; International Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims Croatia; Centre for Testing, Development and Training; Regional Center for Underwater Demining; Arbeiter Samariter Band; Aresa; Norwegian Peoples Aid; C King Associates Ltd.; Mine Aid Croatia; and several national Mine Action Centres), coming from 15 different countries (Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom).

The aim of the seminar is to provide the participants with an opportunity to actively discuss the latest developments in the process of signature and ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, as well as other related efforts towards prohibition of use, stockpiling, production and transfer of these munitions. A significant part of this year’s seminar is dedicated to support and assistance to civilian and military victims of cluster munitions use.

The Seminar, lasting until 11 February, started with the opening speech by Mr Davor Božinović, PhD, State Secretary at Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integrations, which was followed by the session moderated by Ms Dijana Pleština PhD, Senior Adviser for Mine Action within the same Ministry. Among distinguished lecturers was also Mr Pjer Šimunović, State Secretary in Croatian Ministry of Defence, who talked about the destruction of cluster munitions stockpiles.

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

08 Feb 2010

Croatian Military Diplomatic School visited RACVIAC

Attendants of Croatian Military Diplomatic School came to “Vitez Damir Martić” Barracks on 8th February 2010 to visit RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation and CAPSOC - Croatian PSO Center. The visit was organized for the new class of military diplomats attending the School, as an integral part of their curriculum. This year’s class includes 16 students coming from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*.

The visit started with RACVIAC and CAPSOC’s brief presentations of their respective missions, structures and achievements, followed by a lively questions & answers session and a subsequent open discussion during which the guests from the Diplomatic School demonstrated a great deal of interest in the two centres by giving a lot of questions and comments. At the end of the short visit everyone participating in it agreed that such encounters are extremely useful in promoting the visibility of RACVIAC and CAPSOC, and at the same time a nice opportunity for students of Croatian Military Diplomatic School to get better acquainted with these two Centres.

* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

27 JAN 2010

Air Force Attaché at the U.S. Embassy to Croatia Lieutenant Colonel Sean J. Cantrell visited RACVIAC

On 27th January 2010 Lieutenant Colonel Sean J. Cantrell, the Air Force Attaché at the U.S. Embassy to Croatia, visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation. It was his first visit to RACVIAC following his recent start to tour of duty in Croatia. The guest was welcomed by Director of RACVIAC Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski and his Deputy, Colonel Željko Cepanec.

After the reception in Director's Office, Lieutenant Colonel Sean J. Cantrell had a meeting with other senior staff members at RACVIAC, during which he was given a brief presentation on RACVIAC’s mission, annual programme of activities, and the ongoing transformation of the Centre’s structure and legal status. American Air Force Attaché showed significant interest in RACVIAC’s achievements, current activities and plans for forthcoming period, and expressed his belief in successful future cooperation between USA and RACVIAC.

12 JAN 2010

Croatian President Stjepan Mesić visited RACVIAC

The President of the Republic of Croatia and the Commander-in-Chief of Croatian Armed Forces Mr Stjepan Mesić visited RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on Tuesday 12th January 2010. President Mesić's delegation consisted of Mr Tomislav Jakić, Foreign Policy Advisor to the President, Ms Višnja Tafra, Defence Affairs Advisor to the President, Major General Krešimir Kašpar, Head of Military Office of the President, Lieutenant Colonel Vlado Čulina, Aide-de-Camp to the President, and Brigadier General Zvonko Peternel, Deputy Commander of Croatian Army.

Colonel Tomislav Pavičić, Commander of Military Barracks „Vitez Damir Martić“ and CAPSOC, was the first to welcome the guests, followed by RACVIAC Director Ambassador Nikola Todorčevski and Deputy Director Colonel Željko Cepanec. The occassion for this presidential visit to RACVIAC was the desire of President Mesić to make acquaintance with the new RACVIAC management, who took over their duty during 2009. In addition to that, President Stjepan Mesić wanted to reiterate his support to RACVIAC, the first international organisation of this kind based on Croatian soil.

The relationship between President Mesić and RACVIAC started with the establishment of the Centre at the begining of his first manadate in October 2000, and during past nine years President Mesić and his staff constantly provided significant support in organisation and execution of RACVIAC's activities. In the course of the visit RACVIAC management introduced the President with RACVIAC's international staff consisting of representatives of 12 nations, and provided Mr Mesić with a presentation on the current situation in RACVIAC, its process of transformation, current activities and future plans as well as on the results achieved during past nine years.

In his speech held in front of all RACVIAC staff and the representatives of media, Croatian President stressed that regional stability and cooperation are essential preconditions for the progress of not just the SEE region, but also of the whole of Europe. He emphasized that RACVIAC makes an important contribution in this regard. At the end of his visit, President Stjepan Mesić congratulated RACVIAC staff on their achievements, and wished them a lot of success in the coming period.

Video footage produced by BBL Media, MPG file 210 MB

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* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.