Jiri Sedivy to become first Czech high up at NATO command

Jiri Sedivy, photo: CTK

Jiri Sedivy has just been named NATO's Assistant Secretary General. The former Czech defence minister and current deputy minister of European affairs will be moving to Brussels this autumn - and will become the first Czech official to occupy such a high ranking position at NATO headquarters. I spoke to Jiri Sedivy earlier, and I asked him what his new job involved.

Jiri Sedivy,  photo: CTK
"This position is responsible for reviewing and updating NATO's capabilities. It involves the formulation of strategic objectives and concepts. Another important task consists in assessing and evaluating military capacities or contributions of the allies."

Is there a particular area within NATO policy making and planning you will particularly focus on? A particular region of the world, for example?

"No, no, it's not regionally defined, it is defined functionally. The planning is divided in NATO into seven so-called planning disciplines, such as force planning, resource planning, armaments, logistics, nuclear planning, communication, and civil emergency. There is nothing like a strict specialization. The idea is to harmonize these planning disciplines so that the overall output in terms of military capabilities is adequate to the full spectrum of the tasks and missions of the Alliance."

You are the second high NATO official from a new member country. Is this a sing of any process of changing priorities within the NATO leadership?

"No, I don't think so. I believe that the fact that I am coming from a new country reflects the effort to balance or to adequately represent the new member countries within the international staff of NATO."

You will no longer be a part of the Czech government. What will your position be on the possible location of an American-operated radar base in the Czech Republic functioning outside NATO structures?

"My position will be defined by the consensus within NATO."