The annual summer congress of NATO's reserve officer organization CIOR is underway in Helsinki. The official opening of the congress was held on Monday in Senate Square, but foreign congress guests arrived in Finland already during the weekend and some started working already on Sunday. On the military island of Santahamina, the reserve officers participating in MILCOMP, military multi-competition, have been practicing sports and competing for several days.
The most significant events from the point of view of the host nation Finland was experienced on Tuesday at the Council meeting of the CIOR, where the president of the Finnish Reserve Officers’ Federation Aaro Mäkelä and CIOR's president Toomas Luman signed the full membership of CIOR of the Finnish Reserve Officers' Federation. Finland was accepted as a full member of NATO on April 4th, 2023. From then on, the Finnish Reserve Officers' Federation has also been able to function as a full NATO member country in the reserve officer organization of NATO and its partner countries in CIOR.
- As a NATO member country, Finland is now integrated into NATO's structures in many ways, Aaro Mäkelä states.
- In the case of the reserves, part of the integration and strengthening of dialogue are strong connections and cooperation with the reserves of NATO countries.
The Finnish Reserve Officers’ Federation works for its own part to promote the strengthening of connections, in strong cooperation and coordination with the Finnish Defense Administration. According to Mäkelä, the ongoing 2023 summer congress of CIOR, CIOMR CISOR, with a total of about 550 participants, is one good indication of this activity.
- As future measures, we are accepting together with the other Nordic countries, the presidency of CIOR for 2024–2026. It is a joint Nordic presidency, says Mäkelä.
- At the same time, we are updating our international cooperation structures in such a way that the number of participation opportunities for Finnish reservists in international activities, including competitions and exercises, could be expanded.