Virtual Summer Congress kicked off

The first ever fully virtual Summer Congress in CIOR started with an inspirational keynote speech from Rear Admiral Ralf Kuchler, German Navy, to set the tone – before the President moved to more ordinary agenda points like the budget plan for the next fiscal year.

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

Last year’s Summer Congress had been cancelled at the planned venue in Ghent, Belgium, before Estonia offered to hold a ‘Late Summer Congress’ in Tallinn. That one was hybrid, meaning that quite a few delegates and committee chairs were on site, whilst the majority was online – taking part in the discussions via the Internet.

This time, the only people physically in the same room were the current German Presidency, which actually were gathered for the very first time since they took over from the British Presidency last fall. All the other about 70 participants called in via the video tele conference tool that so many of us have been familiarised with over the last year and a half – “Zoom”.

North Macedonia confirmed

The discussion on finances was followed by an update on the enrollments for the Non-Profit Organisation CIOR has moved to be, the new membership of North Macedonia, which later was confirmed by Council, and adjustments to the CIOR constitution/by-laws.

Symposium shared Best Practices

The symposium this time was a 90 minutes embedded event consisting of two lectures:

Wing Commander Graham Banks, Royal Air Force, lectured on Best Practices in use of Reservists during the pandemic. (Photo: Squadron Leader (R) Robin Wilkinson, Royal Air Force.)
  • How various countries have been using their Reserve Forces during the pandemic, and;
  • Sharing ideas about future preparation on Reserves to increase national resilience and readiness

The content of these two lectures will be shared later.

Future Meetings

The day was rounded off with an outlook to future meetings. The first one, the fall IBM (“in-between-meeting”) with Council and committee chairs, will – if possible at all, be held as a physical meeting in Berlin 28-31 October.

The next one after that will be the Mid-Winter Meeting (MWM) at NATO Headquarters some time during the second half of January – and the venue for the spring IBM is planned for Wilhelmshaven on Germany’s North Sea Coast. The latter event is planned for April or May. Finally, Greece has offered to host the Summer Congress of 2022 in Athens, in lieu of this year’s cancellation.

However, before all that, there’s another day left of the virtual Summer Congress 2021.