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NORDCAPS - MOU between Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden

Memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Finland, the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Norway, and the government of the Kingdom of Sweden concerning Nordic co-ordinated arrangement for military peace support (NORDCAPS)

The Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Finland, the Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Norway and the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden, hereinafter referred to as the Participants,

Recalling that the Ministers of Defence of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden on the 2 nd> of April 1997 agreed to establish the Nordic Co-ordinated Arrangement for Military Peace Support (NORDCAPS),

Also recalling the decision of the Nordic Defence Ministers meeting on the 25 th> of April 2000 to establish, within NORDCAPS, a Planning Element to be located in Stockholm,

Further recalling the decision of the Nordic Defence Ministers meeting on the 15 th> of May 2001 aiming at the establishment of a multinational pool of forces as a foundation for combined Nordic forces, for land forces up to a brigade size unit, available on a case by case basis from 1 July 2003, for peace support operations.

Having established, in order to facilitate NORDCAPS, the NORDCAPS Steering Group, the NORDCAPS Military Co-ordination Group, the NORDCAPS Planning Element and a Nordic Pool of Force Register,

Desiring to further develop the co-operation within these frames, including possible collaborations and relationships with other countries,

Taking into account the Letter of Intent concerning the legal status of forces engaged in NORDCAPS activities signed by the Nordic Defence Ministers on the 23 rd> of April 2002,

Have come to the following understanding:

Section I

Purpose and scope of this MoU

  1. This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a framework document for NORDCAPS and NORDCAPS activities. The purpose is to define the overall aim, structure, working principles, security and financial arrangements for NORDCAPS, as well as the legal status of forces engaged in NORDCAPS activities.
  2. This MoU will not apply to deployment and operations.
  3. This MoU may be supplemented by Technical Arrangements (TA).
  4. This MoU is not intended to conflict with the national law of the Participants or with international law. In the event of conflict, national and international law as well as existing agreements and arrangements between the Participants will prevail. The Participants will notify each other in the event of any such conflict.
  5. Until further notification this MoU will not apply to Greenland and the Faroe Islands or to the Åland Islands.

Section II

Definitions

  1. In this MoU the expression:
  1. NORDCAPS means the Nordic Co-ordinated Arrangement for Military Peace Support.
  2. NORDCAPS Steering Group (NSG) means the highest level within NORDCAPS on behalf of the Ministers of Defence.
  3. NORDCAPS Military Co-ordination Group (NMCG) means the group consisting of representatives from military headquarters in the Nordic countries whose main function is to prepare, plan and co-ordinate the military co-operation within NORDCAPS.
  4. NORDCAPS Planning Element (PLE) means the multinational element with a military staff function for administrative support to the NMCG.
  5. NORDCAPS activities will, in addition to the activities of NSG, NMCG, PLE and authorised working groups, include such possible activities as courses, conferences, meetings, training and exercises.

Section III

Purpose of NORDCAPS

  1. The overall purpose of NORDCAPS is to adapt and further develop Nordic co-operation within the area of military peace support operations, utilising the proven ability of Nordic military interaction and enhancing the Nordic profile in such operations, in order to achieve more beneficial efforts to support international peace and security.
  2. NORDCAPS aims at strengthening and expanding the existing Nordic co-operation in the field of military peace support operations, focusing on the foreseen requirements for political as well as military timely consultations and co-ordination, and emphasising the multinational aspect as well as the intention to draw forces from a pool of forces on a case by case basis.
  3. The practical aim of the co-operation is to develop generic concepts and planning, multinational training and procedures in order to be able to generate Nordic robust and cost-effective forces for military peace support operations. Force generation will be a national responsibility.
  4. The Participants do not intend to establish standing forces or permanent command structures for the purpose of NORDCAPS. This will not preclude the establishment of working groups or other arrangements necessary to plan and prepare for deployment.
  5. NORDCAPS is a Nordic arrangement. Co-operation with third parties will be based upon a pragmatic approach, as a result of a defined needs assessment.

Section IV

Organisational structure and procedure

  1. The co-operation between the Participants will be based upon the principle of consensus.
  2. NSG is the ministerial body for issuing guidelines and policies for the co-operation. NSG is made up of Participants’ representatives, on Director General or Deputy Permanent Secretary of State for Defence level. The chairmanship of NSG will rotate between the Participants on a one-year basis, according to the sequence of the English alphabet.
  3. NMCG is the main executive body for military policy guidance and co-ordination on military matters relating to NORDCAPS. NMCG will issue military advice to NSG. NMCG will consult NSG on all politically related matters. Each Participant will be represented in NMCG by one Senior National Representative (SNR). The Participants may bring in other personnel to meetings according to the agenda and own needs. NMCG will be led by a chairperson. The chair will rotate between the Participants on a two-year basis, according to the sequence of the English alphabet.
  4. PLE is a multinational element with a military staff function for administrative support to the NMCG. NMCG determines the size and detailed function of PLE. The Participants will assign personnel to PLE. Subject to approval from NMCG, functional specialists may be temporarily assigned to PLE for specific purposes. All resources contributed from the Participants to PLE will remain under full command of the nations respectively, unless otherwise decided.
  5. NMCG may, as necessary, establish subordinate working groups for the detailed consideration of specific areas, under terms of references laid down by NMCG.
  6. Further details about the structure, funding, functioning and administration of the NORDCAPS organisation will be laid down in Technical Arrangements.

Section V

Nordic Pool of Force Register

  1. The Participants have agreed to establish a flexible Nordic Pool of Force Register (NPFR).
  2. NPFR will comprise units from air, sea and land forces, and it will be maintained by PLE on a regular basis. For land forces the co-operation will focus on the ambition to develop a multinational force up to a brigade size unit.
  3. Units reported to NPFR should be able to take part, independently or as part of a larger formation, in military operations within the range of assistance to civilians, conflict prevention and separation of parties by force.
  4. Further details, including with regard to recommended levels of readiness and sustainability for units reported to NPFR, may be laid down in an Annex to this MoU.

Section VI

Exercises, training and education

  1. Multinational training, exercises, courses and other co-operative arrangements in order to improve interoperability between forces will be developed when feasible.
  2. Principles for conducting such arrangements will be regulated in a Technical Arrangement.

Section VII

Legal status of forces

  1. The legal status of forces engaged in NORDCAPS activities on the territories of the Participants will be regulated in an Annex to this MoU.

Section VIII

Finance

  1. Unless the Participants decide otherwise, each Participant will cover its own expenses derived from participation in NORDCAPS activities.

Section IX

Security arrangements

  1. Classified information exchanged between the Participants subject to this MoU will be handled in accordance with the principles of the multilateral security arrangement of 1 September 1995 between Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden ("Överenskommelse rörande säkerhetsskyddets utformning inom ramen för avtalet om nordiskt samarbete inom försvarsmaterielområdet").
  2. Each Participant will appoint a National Security Authority (NSA)/Designated Security Authority (DSA) responsible for security issues arising from NORDCAPS activities.
  3. Detailed security arrangements for specific purposes may be regulated in separate instructions or in Technical Arrangements.

Section X

Entry into effect, termination and withdrawal

  1. This MoU will enter into effect upon the date of the last signature.
  2. Annexes to this MoU constitute integral parts of the MoU.
  3. The MoU will enter into effect without regard to the fact that some or all annexes may be finalised at a later stage.
  4. This MoU may at any time be terminated by mutual written consent of all Participants. Any Participant can withdraw from the MoU by giving six – 6 – months written notice to the other Participants.
  5. If the MoU is terminated, or if any of the Participants withdraw from the MoU, the Participants will initiate negotiations to settle all outstanding mutual financial obligations, claims, disputes and security issues in accordance with this MoU.

Section XI

Modifications, amendments and disputes

  1. The Participants will enter into consultations and, when necessary, review the MoU on the request of one or more Participants.
  2. This MoU may be modified and amended at any time by mutual written consent by the Participants. Any proposal to modify or amend the MoU should be co-ordinated through the NMCG and/or NSG as appropriate.
  3. Any dispute regarding the interpretation or application of this MoU will be resolved through negotiations between the Participants at the lowest possible level and will not be referred to any national or international tribunal or other third party for settlement.

Signed in Ålesund this twenty-third day of April 2002 in the English language, in four originals, one for each Participant

__________________________________________

Mr. Svend Aage Jensby

Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Denmark

__________________________________________

Mr. Jan-Erik Enestam

Minister of Defence of the Republic of Finland

__________________________________________

Ms. Kristin Krohn Devold

Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Norway

__________________________________________

Mr. Björn von Sydow

Minister for Defence of the Kingdom of Sweden