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Job well done: Digital Summer Congress a Success!

Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs. 09.08.2021

The first 100% digital Summer Congress of CIOR was successfully concluded Sunday, with a lot of compliments from national delegations to the German-led Presidency. The entire agenda was adressed and discussed during the limited two-day timeframe, and all required decisions made by Council.

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

More than 70 delegates and supporting staff were logged on throughout the two-day event, alongside committee chairs and other participants. During the Symposium on Saturday there were actually almost twice as many as this, around 130 people, logged on.

The digital meeting format works well for the CIOR Council. Also on the second day over 70 participants were logged on.

“BZ”

The timetable was well managed, and only a few minutes over the estimated end-time for Council deliberations, President Jan Hörmann, Captain (R) German Navy, could thank heads of delegations for a job well done. Or (Bravo Zulu, normally abbreviated to ”BZ”, an old navy expression signalling thumbs up) as he probably would have preferred to put it.

Efficient and effective

Council meetings in CIOR have a reputation for being quite ”wordy”. Discussions have traditionally been very long. However, this has changed a lot with recent years’ streamlining and efficiency reforms. Digital meetings have contributed further to this change, which most will say is an improvement.

Day 2 of the Council meetings started with committee chairs’ reports to Council. It was an uplifting exercise, and a show of force in agility and adaptability.

Screenshot from the CIMIC exercise (CIMEX) presentation by the chairperson, Major (R) Zoe Stewart, UK Army.

Impressive committee work

Very succesful events have been carried out under the limitations of the Covid-19 pandemic: The CIOR Seminar last February; more recently the Young Reserve Officer Workshop (YROS); and CIOR Language Academy (CLA) that carried out a very impressive Mobile Training Team (MTT) deployment during a difficult period; and, closest to the Summer Congress, the Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) exercise CIMEX and the partly decentralised military skills competition (MILCOMP).

Also the other committees that do not run an external activity, have performed remarkably well during the pandemic: Legal, Defence Attitudes and Security Issues/ DEFSEC, Cyber and Outreach.

The nexy point on the agenda was dedicated to future summer congresses and precidencies.

Future summer congresses

The plan is that Greece will host the 2022 Summer Congress (regular, with physical attendance), followed by Finland in 2023 and Estonia in 2024. With regard to future leadership, less is confirmed – but options are on the table. Firstly, Estonia takes over from Germany in the summer of 2022 and will be in charge for the next two years.

Forward leaning on information technology

CIOR has also become a forward leaning organisation with regard to IT, be it the public website and social media, or intranet and information management. A plan for staying abreast of the developments in this are was dedicated a separate presentation towards the end of the day, as part of the Strategic Foresight updates.

The German-led CIOR Presidency, with the CIOR President, Captain (R) German Navy, Jan Hörmann, front and left.

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