The Ministry of Defense, the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Association of Organizations in the field of security, defense and international relations, began the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of the Army by organizing a debate at the Army House in Skopje, on “30-Year Development of the Army – Establishment, Events, Success, Challenges, Future”.
At the beginning, the President and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Stevo Pendarovski, the Minister of Defense, Slavjanka Petrovska and the Chief of General Staff of the Army, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski addressed the audience with introductory speeches.
The President of the State and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Stevo Pendarovski, said that, “In the last 30 years, the Army has been completely transformed and modernized in accordance with the Alliance’s standards. Keeping up with the latest trends in the defense, the Army gained experience by participating in many international military exercises, as well as, in many peacekeeping missions led by NATO, EU, UN and our strategic bilateral partners. In that way, we have been recognized as a state which generates stability in the world.”
“One of the best decisions supported by wide, non-party and social consensus is the persistence in our Euro-Atlantic orientation. At the time of great geo-political tension and military conflict, our NATO membership represents a stabilizing factor for the Republic of North Macedonia.” said President Pendarovski.
Minister Petrovska congratulated on the thirtieth anniversary to all entities that have contributed to the development of the Army from its establishment till today, and said: “Today, the Republic of North Macedonia is not alone, but it is a part of a united family, which is ready to respond to every security challenge. There is no other alternative today but to ally oneself with others and support each other on international level. Without security, there is no economic progress and prosperity. On the other hand, unless defense capabilities are developed, there won’t be democracy or the rule of law.”
“We became members of the Alliance at the right moment”, said Petrovska and added: “In 2022, we are seeing a new brutal reality of contemporary security risks, threats and challenges, which have been remarkably serious and unfathomable since the end of the Second World War. The conflict in Ukraine reminds us that war on European soil is not only history and that there is no guarantee of peace. It reminds us that defense capacity building is an absolute necessity, and preparation and building resilience must be taken as a continuous process, because no country can deal with today’s challenges by itself.”
General Gjurchinovski addressed the audience as the Chief of General Stuff of the Army and as a direct contributor to the three decades of development of the Army. In his speech, he said that today’s level of preparedness is due to sharing the burden of defense among all state institutions, especially the selfless efforts of all directly involved army personnel and other defense organizations.
“In the last 30 years, the Army, as the most important segment of the defense system of the country, has always been able to identify the priorities in the structural changes. The Army managed to reach the necessary NATO standards in a relatively short period of time, due to skillful command and control, as well as using the principle of unity of command and subordination.” said General Gjurchinovski.
The first Minister of Defense, Trajan Gocevski, and the first Chief of General Staff of the Army, General Mitre Arsovski also addressed the audience and shared their experience and challenges they faced at the beginning of the establishment of the Army. On the other hand, General Gjurchinovski talked about the reformation process of the Army and activities that are implemented after becoming a NATO member, as well as future plans and activities.
The debate gave an input in the future challenges and development of the Army as part of the defense within the collective defense of the country. It was given through professional expertise and analytical conclusions of the speakers, and their professional and political opinions about the achievements of the Defense of the Republic of North Macedonia.
The debate marked the beginning of series of activities that are going to be conducted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Army, including exhibitions, concerts, sports competitions, humanitarian activities, celebrations in every unit in the Army and etcetera.