by the Prime
Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban
It is an opportunity of historic importance and a great honour for Hungary
to host the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Foreign
Ministers two years after our country's accession to the North Atlantic
The world is looking towards Budapest, while Hungary is looking towards
We are proud of our achievements. We believe that the fact that this meeting
is taking place in a new member state, right behind the former Iron Curtain
and in the proximity of the crisis in the former Yugoslavia represents
a recognition of these achievements, one of symbolic importance. It is
a clear message to all countries in the region, one that points out that
NATO cares for this region.
We would like the Budapest meeting to become part of the history of the
Alliance and Europe as an event of success.
The meeting also serves as a means of preparation for the informal meeting
of NATO Heads of State and Government to be held in Brussels on June 13.
We consider the issues to be discussed during the Budapest meetings
an issues of crucial importance from the point of view of the future of
the Alliance as well as the further development of the Euro-Atlantic security
Following the 1999 Washington Summit and prior to the November 2002 Prague
summit, this meeting provides an excellent opportunity to review the decisions
taken and initiatives introduced by the NATO Heads of State and Government
in the capital of the United States.
NATO's continued attention is an issue of great importance to the Hungarian
public opinion, which has also been reassured by the continuation of the
U. S, engagement and the Alliance's active presence in the Balkans: democratisation
in the Balkans could not have started without NATO.
The fate of the Balkans will have an impact on security in the entire
Euro-Atlantic region: For Hungary, this region is one of particularly
The problems of the issues cannot be handled in a manner separating them
from each other there is therefore a need to develop a comprehensive concept:
attention of the international community and NATO's presence will also
be required in the long run.
We have a common interest in the enhancement of stability: this can only
be done through the application of the respective values: assistance to
the completion of the democratic processes and the establishment of respective
structure. Confidence-building between NATO and the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia should take place step-by-steps, relying on feedback from the
It is a moral duty for Hungary as well as a well-perceived security
policy interest to contribute to the continuation of the enlargement process
by admitting those countries prepared and ripe for membership.
Our goal is for the Prague summit to take a decision on the continuation
of the enlargement process.
NATO itself will therefore also have to start preparations for such a
decision in time: "Who if not us? When if not now?"
Further development of relations between NATO and EU will have to mean
further enhancement of NATO's cohesion and the transatlantic relationship.
Security policy co-operation with regard to the Balkans is a good example
to prove that the organisations are heading in the right direction.
If is of historic importance in oar view that the first meeting of the
North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the EU General Affairs Council (GAC)
at Ministerial level is taking place right here in Budapest.
We consider the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their
means of delivery of one the most serious challenges of the new millennium,
one that affects the Alliance as a whole.
The logic of the Cold War, which was based on murual vulnerability, has
lost its legitimacy. The new realities of the new age require new solutions.
The Alliance has the right and the duty to defend itself: further development
of NATO's joint military capabilities + reinforcement of the non-proliferation
regimes will have to ensure that the, dual track approach "which
has proved useful on innumerable occasion prevails.
Consultations that have started on this issue within the Alliance axe
in our view a symbolic expression of the enhancement of the transatlantic
relationship and the confirmation of the United States' continued commitment
to Euro-Atlantic security."
We note significant progress in the development of relations compared
to Florence, NATO will have to co-operate with Russia along the lines
of common interests, in a pragmatic manner: it takes two to tango.
Russia is not an adversary but a partner: this is proved by fact that
if there is appropriate political will, it is possible to develop genuine
and effective co-operation on a number of issues. (Balkans, non-proliferation).
The preservation of Ukraine's independence as well as of its commitment
to Western European integration is in NATO's collective interest: NATO
has to assist reforms in the Ukraine even if their benefits are not immediately
Giving up the goals we have pursued so far, as well as a diminished commitment
towards the Ukraine would send a very bad message.
For Hungary as a country situated in the vicinity of a region that has
been stabilising but continues to struggle with a number of security challenges,
it is of crucial importance that NATO continues to be play effective,
proactive and committed role in coping with the challenges that need to
be faced in order to ensure security and stability on our continent.
We are confident that the Budapest Ministerial meeting will contribute
successfully and substantially to the achievement of the common goals
we have set ourselves: the increase of stability in the Euro-Atlantic
region, the reinforcement of the transatlantic relationship and the further
deepening of partnership.