The “Vienna Document 2011 Compliance and Verification Course”, organized in cooperation with the Republic of Slovenia and supported by the Federal Republic of Germany, was held from 8 to 10 November in RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation. The three-day Course was designed as a combination of theoretical lectures conducted at RACVIAC premises and practical activities carried out in the Republic of Slovenia.
In order to facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the Vienna Document RACVIAC has been organizing Vienna Document courses for the countries of the South East European region since 2001.
The purpose of this Course was to provide participants with a theoretical overview of the Vienna Document 2011 (VD ’11) offering a comprehensive analysis of both the theoretical and practical level of the implementation of these activities. It is organized in the spirit and the letters of the VD’ 11.
Opening the Course RACVIAC Deputy Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, welcomed all the participants, especially those who have never been involved in a RACVIAC activities before, and said: “Although we live in critical times, since the security situation in Europe has deteriorated sharply, we have come to learn the contrary. We believe that, as a key set of confidence- and security-building measures, the Vienna Document should play an essential role in promoting military transparency and stability within the OSCE area”. He also took the opportunity to express utmost gratitude to Slovenia for hosting the practical part on behalf of the whole RACVIAC family as well as to Germany for the provision of financial support.
The Course was designed as a combination of theoretical lectures conducted at RACVIAC premises in the Republic of Croatia and practical activities carried out in the Republic of Slovenia. The invited lecturers/experts covered a wide range of topics, giving a comprehensive and detailed overview of the relevant parts of the VD ’11.
The innovation in this year’s course was the table-top-exercise on the 2nd day. The participants had the opportunity to practice in small syndicates what they have learned about the evaluations and inspections.
In addition to providing the participants with the opportunity to gain solid theoretical knowledge, the great plus of the Course was that they were able to familiarise themselves with the realities of the Vienna Document activities, since during the 3rd day of the Course a visit has been be made to the Slovenian Armed Forces’ 72. Brigade in Maribor where the evaluation visit took place.
The Practical Part was aimed to train on the procedures of the execution of the planning and conducting of the Vienna Document 2011 and it provided an excellent opportunity for the participants to gain experience in carrying out the formation/unit commanders’ duties as well in receiving a VD ’11 inspection or evaluation visit.
The Course has gathered almost 30 participants and lecturers from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, Greece, North Macedonia, Norway, Montenegro, Kosovo*, Serbia, Slovenia, BACA, the US Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and RACVIAC.
RACVIAC would like to express gratitude to Norway, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and DTRA for providing support to our joint activity and to the speakers for undertaking the challenge. We are convinced that their good knowledge and experience contributed to the success and quality of the course itself.
* 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.