|The Nordic Defence Cooperation|
| [17.11.2011, 07:40pm, Thu. GMT]|
|The Nordic ministers met today on 15 November and have confirmed their commitment to the Nordic cooperation as a broad, flexible and effective cooperation. In a European setting of Economic instability and reduced defence budgets in many countries, Nordic countries expressed a will to enhance our cooperation even further. The Nordic defence cooperation has already proven to produce tangible results both politically as well in practical terms.- We have underlined the need for continued Engagement of Key Leaders on political level as well as in our National Armed Forces in order to uphold and further develop our cooperation.|
- We have had valuable discussions on Pooling & Sharing of capabilities. Through Nordic cooperation we see opportunities to increase our operational capability, cut costs and achieve improved sustainability. It is our strong conviction that an enhanced and more focused cooperation will bring gains for the Nordic region and will increase our abilities to act within an international or regional framework.
- The Ministers took stock of the important Nordic cooperation on the support for capacity building of the Eastern African Standby Forces. The significance of providing African partners with military capacities that make it possible to handle own security challenges was stressed. The ministers expressed their continued support to this endeavour.
The ministers have also discussed veteran soldier issues based on a survey conducted this year. The ministers agreed on the intention to establish a common ground for future work, in order to further explore the potential for cooperation on concrete veteran issues.
The Nordic countries have suffered tragic losses in operations abroad.
- We express our deepest respect for and honour the fallen soldiers who have risked their lives in support of peace and security. We offer our condolences to the families of these soldiers and we extend our gratitude to all veterans for their personal commitment to the security of our respective nations.
Enhanced Nordic Cooperation Afghanistan
The ministers agreed that it is important to continue to contribute with support to and training of the Afghan security forces, thereby enabling a continued transition of responsibility of security in our Areas of Responsibility.
- We all share the view that there has been considerable progress by the Afghan security forces together with ISAF forces in several areas of the country which has weakened the opposing forces and their resistance. Despite positive signals on improved security the situation in Afghanistan remains serious.
- We have agreed to continue to study the possibilities for a strengthened and deepened Nordic cooperation in Afghanistan.
Cooperation on Tactical Air Transport
The ministers have agreed to explore possibilities for cooperation on tactical air transport. The need for strategic, operational and tactical mobility has become increasingly decisive for the efficient use of military means. Our defence forces contains fewer, but more advanced units that needs quick transportation to where they are best needed, whether that is nationally or abroad. Furthermore, tactical air transport is a crucial asset in support for humanitarian operations.
The ministers believe that cooperation on tactical air transport could increase operational effectiveness, ensure economic efficiency and sustainability.
- The ministerial and military structures within NORDEFCO are tasked to explore a wide range of possibilities for cooperation. The main countries for the study will be Denmark, Norway and Sweden who today operate the C-130 system. However, close cooperation with Finland and Iceland with their existing capabilities will also be studied.
- As incoming chair of NORDEFCO, Denmark presented its priorities of work for 2012, which included Nordic cooperation in Eastern Africa, High North/Arctic, bi- and multilateral cooperation/Pooling and Sharing and the Nordic Defence Industry Seminar in Copenhagen in May 2012.
Minister for Defence, Denmark
Minister for Defence, Finland
Espen Barth Eide
Minister for Defence, Norway
Minister for Defence, Sweden