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Annual CIOR and CIOMR joint Mid-Winter Meeting (MWM23) in NATO HQ

The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) in conjunction with The Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers (CIOMR) will hold a joint Mid-Winter Meeting (MWM23) in Brussels (BEL) during the period 30 January – 03 February 2023.  In cooperation with NATO National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC), a seminar will also be held in NATO HQ Press Theatre on February 1st. This year the seminar is dedicated to war in Ukraine, its consequences to Europe, Russia and the whole world as well as reserve forces role in Ukrainian conflict.

The MMW23 is the first of two key annual CIOR and CIOMR meetings during which both organisations’ Presidents and Vice-Presidents will exchange information to determine how the two organisations will contribute to the coherent development of national Reserves and enhanced cooperation between member nations. The Vice-President’s represent their country’s national Reserve organisations with strong links and responsibilities to their MoDs and Defence Forces who support their position as CIOR or CIOMR delegates.

This year’s MWM meeting is significant. NATO National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC), CIOR, CIOMR and Interallied Confederation of Reserve Non-commissioned Officers (CISOR) from across our NATO or affiliated to NATO member countries responsible for national Reserve issues will be in attendance to support collaborative working.

The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers, commonly referred to by its French acronym CIOR (Confédération Interalliée des Officiers de Réserve) is a formal NATO-affiliated, non-political and non-profit umbrella organization of member nations’ national reserve officer associations. CIOR represents the interests of over 1 million reservists across 34 participating nations within and beyond NATO, making it the world’s largest military reserve officer organization.

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Seminar speakers

 

Estonian Defense Forces commander warns about the next phase of Russian aggression

MARTIN HEREM: Russia’s defeat in Ukraine would not put an end to the danger that lurks us.

“We have no right to underestimate Russia’s aggressiveness in the future, and there is also no reason to think that the defeat of the Russians in Ukraine would be the end of any danger lurking in wait for us.”, emphasizes the commander of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF), Lieutenant General Martin Herem, in a post published on social media.

“We naturally have to focus on Ukrainian victory right now, since this is the primary and inevitable goal on the way to securing a better future. This is, however, only the first goal. Second, we have to be prepared for Russia’s next aggression against us in Estonia, against our allies and our values. We are all waiting for the end of the war between Ukraine and Russia. It is widely believed that, in order to end the conflict, the Russian Federation must withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory. This includes eastern Ukraine and Crimea. This is what we all desire, and hope for.” he writes.

Based on Lt Gen. Herem´s social media post (link in Estonian). Published and translated by Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR).

Read the full article here: https://news.err.ee/1608840238/martin-herem-we-must-be-ready-for-the-next-phase-of-russian-aggression

The high-tech mass of Estonia and its allies is superior to our opponent's technology.
Photo: Valmar Voolaid/Estonian Defense Forces

Reservists from Denmark, Estonia, Canada and Latvia train at NATO exercise

Reserve officers and NCOs from Denmark, Estonia, Canada and Latvia take part of the exercise Knight Lion 22 from 16 to 25 November in Adazi military base, Latvia.

“ Reserves are playing a very important role in manning the headquarters of the Multinational Division North and conducting exercise KNIGHT LION, as well as sharing experience and promoting interoperability and cooperation among participating personnel and nations,” Major General Flemming Mathiasen, Commander of Multinational Division North said.

Knight Lion 22 is preparatory exercise for exercise Griffin Lightning 23, where NATO´s Multinational Division North units improve their readiness and enhance the NATO interoperability based on common use of doctrines, tactics, procedures and functional services, ensuring that NATO and Partner Nations can operate together effectively to keep our nations safe.

Former CIOR YROWs Captain Ronny Vossen from Denmark and Lieutenant Mari Uuemaa from Estonia stationed now in the MNDN.

Multinational Division North is an integral part of NATO force structure. The division was established to demonstrate NATO´s will and ability to defend Baltic States and secure peace and stability in the region.

During peacetime, the Multinational Division North is manned by regulars but during exercises reservists are called up to train together. This year, more than 14 nations are represented on exercise Knight Lion, among them many reserve officers and non-commissioned officers. Reserve personnel at Multinational Division North mainly comes from Denmark, Latvia, Estonia and Canada.

By: Multinational Division North public affair officer

Reserve personnel at Multinational Division North mainly comes from Denmark, Latvia, Estonia and Canada.

IBM done!

Successful working sessions and visit to the Finnish National Defence University

By: 1st Lieutenant (r) Susanna Takamaa, the Finnish Reserve Officers’ Federation/CIOR StratCom

The first IBM (1/4) lead by the Estonian Presidency was helIBMd in Helsinki, Finland, with fifty international reserve officers around the CIOR from the 27th to 29th of October 2022. The meeting was planned and executed as hyper meeting, so delegations were able to take part in the meetings also remotely.


Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France and Germany Vice-Presidents

The first full working day of the IBM took off with opening remarks from the President followed by council working session and a presentation from the NRFC secretary general at the Paasitorni Congress Center. After the morning session the reserve officers took a trip to military island Santahamina, where the Guard Jaeger Regiment operates. Santahamina also provides a home for the Finnish National Defence University.

The IBM attendees were given a presentation of the Finnish Defence System, they got an overview of the Finnish officer’s education and how the Finnish reserve is trained. Pistol shooting event was organized in Santahamina for the IBM participants.


FNDF Head Of Department (Military Technology) Col Mauri Etelämäki and CIOR President LtCol Toomas Luman

“It was great to introduce our system to foreign reserve officers, we had excellent conversations and also planned the CIOR Summer Congress scheduled to take place in Helsingi next summer” 1st Lieutenant (r) Aaro Mäkelä from the Finnish Reserve Officers’ Federation says. “We are well prepared for the upcoming Summer Congress and warmly welcome our fellow reserve officers to Helsinki”.

Saturday held within a council working sessions. The council had presentations from the CIOMR and CISOR and there were discussions over the strategic program and finance. The next meeting will be the Mid-Winter Meeting, which will take place in Brussels at the end of January 2023.


IBM participants

Autumn IBM to take place in Helsinki

First Estonian Presidency IBM 1/4 in Helsinki at 27-29 October 2022.

By: Susanna Takamaa, 1st LT, Finnish Reserve Officers’ Federation/ CIOR Public Affairs.

The Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) will hold an In Between Meeting One (IBM 1/4) of the Estonian Presidency through 27th to 29th of October 2022 in Helsinki, Finland. This will be a hybrid event – physical meetings shall take place at Helsinki Congress Paasitorni with virtual participation in some CIOR and/or CIOMR organized working sessions.

The CIOR President’s intent is to develop a sustainable and balanced financing strategy for the organization and define the responsibilities and rights of the committees. The meetings will seek to realize outcomes in accordance with Presidential Aims, Strategic Objectives and CIOR Business and Planning.

“This is a planning meeting for CIOR” says Lieutenant Colonel (r) Toomas Luman, the President of CIOR.
Committees are expected to present they reports about current situation and plans for next year in this meeting. Council is to discuss the matters in agenda and prepare topics that need council decision for the next meeting, that is a meeting with the power make legally binding decisions.
“We wish participants to have progressive work sessions to develop the organization and prepare it for the next year, but also introduce the Baltic Sea region security issues and allies hopefully very soon to be CIOR full members, such as Finland” Luman adds.

Registration period will be open from Monday, 5 September until Thursday, 13 October. All participants must register through Fienta online registration using the link provided to those who are expected to participate. All meetings will be hosted in the Helsinki Congress Paasitorni, Finland, whereas virtual participation will be in Teams. Link for virtual participants to join virtual sessions will be sent out 27 October, link is valid from icebreaker until the end of the IBM.

“This event is short and mainly just working sessions, but the highlight would also be the one day visit to Santahamina, where the IBM attendees will be briefed about the Finnish defence system and military education” 1st Lieutenant (r) Aaro Mäkelä, the President of Finnish Reserve Officers’ Association tells.

“here is also possibility to take part of CIOR presidents favorited military skill – pistol shooting.

Last Day of Summer Congress

The Summer Congress drew to a close Friday morning, with only the military competition award ceremony and gala dinner left of this year’s main CIOR event. The outgoing German-led presidency summed up its achievements, and the incoming Estonian-led international management team presented their plan.

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs.

During the German tenure, Portugal and North Macedonia became members of CIOR. On German Navy Captain (R) president Jan Hörmann’s watch, CIOR also established a ’Cyber Reserve’ committee, in line with developing threats.

The theme for the German-led presidency was ’Visibility and Resilience’, and on the latter strand of work, the IT infrastructure of CIOR has been updated. During the pandemic, CIOR held its first ever fully virtual meetings, and – as an internal working tool – a digital phone book for the organisation.

Among the main efforts to better the visibility of the confederation, and consequently the visibility of the associated reserves, were major updates to the website content, e.g. the ’CIOR at a glance’ informational section, and the Wikipedia entry on the organisation.

The presidency has also done its bit to better stakeholder relations, and gave an update to the National Reserve Forces Committee (NRFC) head of delegations meeting, and also did a presentation to the NRFC staff officer meetings. In addition, members of the Presidency have lectured at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany.

Two changes in the general situation

There have been two changes in the general world situation during as many years; first the pandemic and then the Russian war against Ukraine – resulting in the Wilhelmshaven Declaration condemning the Russian aggression in the strongest possible terms.

Among the military highlights was the sailing spring meeting (IBM) on board the German frigate Sachsen-Anhalt in April, where CIOR was even allowed to hoist its flag on board the vessel – the first time that a warship from a NATO country has ” sailed under the CIOR flag”.

The transformation of CIOR as a new legal entity in accordance with current Belgian law, and development of financial guidelines have been two of the biggest challenges.

Readiness and Credibility

The Estonian Presidency’s overarching theme is ’Readiness and Credibility’. Its strategic aim will be:
• Strengthening national defence of Allies by sharing experience of national reserve components;
• Ensuring the provisions of critical services in member nations’ societies through smart cyber defence capabilities;
• Protecting civil society from malign influence and disinformation at the age of digital society through social media or other digital channels.

Ambitious Programme

The cooperation of all CIOR member national associations, committees, and the international presidency team is considered necessary for the success of what is considered a very ambitious program, by a highly motivated and determined team.

To ensure that the CIOR committees are successful, it is considered paramount to staff them properly and give them a clear direction regarding their work.

Wilhelmshaven Declaration on Ukraine

“We demand that the Russian Regime ceases its activities, seen as war crimes, immediately. [Russia] must be, and will be, held accountable for its actions.”

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs

A further condemnation of Russia’s warfare in Ukraine, and the involvement of Belarus, came out of the organisation’s spring meeting in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, yesterday. It was, in part, a reaction to shock and disbelief over atrocities committed towards the civilian population in Bucha and other occupied towns over the last few weeks.

The CIOR President had earlier condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on behalf of the Presidency.

Executed

Many civilians have been found killed, some with tied hands and head shots. Photo: Vadim Chirdal/AP.

Several hundred people have been found killed as Ukrainian forces have retaken suburbs north of and around Kyiv – some with their hands tied behind their backs and with execution-style gun wounds to their heads. Others were shot off their bikes on the way to the market, or gunned down in their front yard.

The tortured body of a mayor and her family were found buried in the forest, allegedly for being “informants” to the Ukrainian armed forces.

There are many more stories, and the full scale of the horror is yet to be discovered.

Russia has denied involvement in the killings, but forensic experts are currently on the ground collecting evidence and testimonies. Satellite imagery appears to show that many of the dead bodies were lying on the streets for several weeks, from when the area was under control by Russian forces.

Wilhelmshaven Declaration

An official statement, named the Wilhelmshaven Declaration, was approved by Council, CIOR’s highest decision-making body, and signed by the President and Secretary General of CIOR at the end of the meeting.

“We, as CIOR, stand together in solidarity. Our reservists are ready to bear our duty to protect our homelands and the democracies, freedoms, and human rights of the people”, the declaration reads.

In English and French

The declaration, that you can read in its entirety in English here, and in French here, was unanimously agreed to by all CIOR’s Vice Presidents – the heads of all national delegations – present at the meeting, and signed by the President and Secretary General in an official ceremony on the 5th of April. The declaration will now be published in all CIOR’s more than 30 member associations’ nations.

CIOR Secretary General André Roosen and President Jan Hörmann signing the Wilhelmshaven Declaration. Photo: Rob Wilkinson.

 

 

 

German Frigate under CIOR Flag

The CIOR spring meeting, formally named IBM, started with a situation briefing about the war in Ukraine from a Baltic perspective. The venue for the meeting was Wilhelmshaven – Germany’s only deep-water port, and its largest naval base.

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs

The spring meeting (IBM = In-Between-Meeting) is meant to ensure continuity between the Mid-Winter Meeting and the Summer Congress, the organisation’s main annual event, and started on Sunday, April 3rd.

A half day initial meeting was followed by transit to the harbour and an overnight tour with the German Navy frigate ”FGS Sachsen-Anhalt” to Hamburg. While on board, there were updates and discussions to prepare the Summer Congress in Athens and the handover of the Presidency from Germany to Estonia.

A frigate under CIOR flag

CIOR was well-received by the commanding officer and crew on board the 125 class frigate, Germany’s newest, and even got to raise its flag while entering the harbour of Hamburg!

CIOR delegates on board the German frigate FGS Sachsen-Anhalt.

Following the disembarkation, there was a cultural event with the Navy Band, and a reception at the Naval Museum.

The meeting was to be continued Tuesday, with a full day’s agenda.

First in-person meeting in two years

This is the first physical meeting of CIOR since the autumn of 2020, when a hybrid (for those that wanted and could travel to attend in person, with virtual attendance for the rest) ”Late Summer Congress” took place in Tallinn, Estonia. It is the first regular meeting since the Mid-Winter Meeting in Brussels more than two years ago.

February 8th: The 2022 CIOR Seminar: ‘North Africa and US-NATO/EU-relations’

Whilst the world is holding its breath for future developments in Ukraine, the rest of the world is not at a stillstand. For instance: North Africa and the Sahel region are trying to come to grips with ongoing political instability, population growth, consequences of climate change, and increasing involvement of China.

By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs

North Africa is as a matter of speaking on the border of Europe. What are the safety and security implications to our continent of these above-mentioned developments? Will it have an impact on US/NATO-EU relations? And if so, in what way will that effect these relations?

The 2022 CIOR Seminar on February 8th will make an attempt to address these issues in order to get a bit of a better understanding of what is going on – with speakers from the US Africa Command and NATO.

The seminar takes place between 15:30 and 20:00 Central European Time.

Register here!

French troops in Mali. Photo: Finbarr O’Reilly/The New York Times.

Online CIOR Seminar 2022 on February 8th!

The 2022 CIOR Seminar: ‘North Africa and US-NATO/EU-relations’

North Africa and the Sahel region are trying to come to grips with ongoing political instability, population growth, consequences of climate change, and increasing involvement of China.

What are the safety and security implications to the European continent of these above-mentioned developments? Will it have an impact on US/NATO-EU relations? And if so, in what way will that effect these relations?

The 2022 CIOR Seminar on February 8th will make an attempt to address these issues in order to get a bit of a better understanding of what is going on – with speakers from the US Africa Command and NATO.

The seminar takes place online between 15:30 and 20:00 Central European Time on the announced date: February 8th, 2022.

We are very much looking forward to your registration and participation in the 2022 CIOR Seminar!

The CIOR Seminar organizing Committee.

(Registration/joining details to follow.)

You can read more about the CIOR Seminar institution here.