SPEECH BY SECRETARY GENERAL

          It is an honour for me to be in Tirana today and to
address the Albanian Parliament.  This is the first time that a
Secretary General of the Atlantic Alliance has visited Albania. 
Just a few years ago, such a visit would have been unthinkable,
not only because your country was then governed by a totally
different political and value system from that prevailing in our
Alliance countries; also because Albania had largely turned its
back on the outside world.  Today a new Albania is emerging from
those long years of self-imposed isolation.  It is seeking
cooperation with our Alliance and integration into the new
Europe.  So the once impossible is today wholly natural.

          Why have I come to Tirana?  What message do I bring?

          First I want to tell you why our Alliance values
cooperation with Albania, and talk about why your country is
important to the security and stability of the Balkan region and
Europe as a whole.

          Second I want to tell you something about the new
Atlantic Alliance, about its new roles and missions in
projecting security and stability throughout Europe.

          Third, and finally, I have come to extend the hand of
cooperation to Albania, and thus to build further on the warm
relations that we have established since President Berisha
addressed the North Atlantic Council last December.  I want, in
particular to discuss with you what we can do together to deepen
our cooperation and make it as relevant as possible to your

          Let me address my first point.  Albania may well be a
small country but it has an important role to play.  It is at
the heart of Europe's most turbulent region, so the success of
Albania's internal reform programme and the policy it pursues
vis--vis its neighbours has a significance extending far beyond
your borders.  The active participation of Albania in the search
for security and stability in the Balkans and in South Eastern
Europe is essential, and something which our Alliance very much
wishes to encourage.

          Of course, your country is in a very difficult and
delicate situation.  In view of the conflict which is raging
just over your borders, and your understandable concern at the
fate of ethnic Albanians outside your country, I imagine that is
not always easy to exercise restraint.  But the fact that you
have exercised restraint has been a vital factor in preventing
the Yugoslav conflict becoming even more dangerous.  I thus very
much hope that you will continue this policy of restraint,
despite the considerable pressures on Albania.  We know only too
well in this respect how the Yugoslav conflict is hampering your
efforts in internal reform.

           NATO Foreign Ministers have called for serious
negotiations on the restoration of autonomy to Kosovo and the
guarantee of full human rights, and have supported the idea of a
UN preventive presence in Kosovo.  The Alliance, together with
the international community, has made clear its deep concern
about the possible spillover of the conflict and about the
situation in Kosovo.  NATO Foreign Ministers have stated that an
explosion of violence in Kosovo could, by spreading the
conflict, constitute a serious threat to international peace and
security and would require an appropriate response by the
international community.  A spillover of the conflict to Kosovo
and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia would have
terrible consequences.  Our Alliance, for its part, will support
the international efforts to prevent this from happening.  And
all of us in the Alliance are very much relying on Albania to
continue its constructive and reassuring diplomacy.

          The Alliance is already helping to implement the
decisions of the UN in the former Yugoslavia.  NATO and WEU
ships are enforcing sanctions in the Adriatic.  We are
especially pleased that Albania has agreed to cooperate fully
with NATO in enforcing those sanctions.  Your help has been
invaluable in making this enforcement programme effective.  It
is a notable example of how the Alliance can work with a
cooperation partner, such as Albania, in carrying out its new
mission of supporting UN peacekeeping.  

          NATO aircraft are monitoring the no-fly-zone over
Bosnia.  NATO command elements are helping the UN Protection
Force.  We made a further step last December when we offered the
UN our help in implementing the no-fly-zone and in monitoring
heavy weapons.  Currently the UN is endeavouring to obtain
agreement on a peace plan for the former Yugoslavia.  If and
when a peace plan is agreed, the UN may look to NATO to play a
major role in implementing that plan.  I believe that the
Alliance will respond positively. 

          After its long years of isolation, Albania is moving
rapidly to be an active member of the international community. 
You have joined the CSCE process and also our Alliance's North
Atlantic Cooperation Council.  You have signed a trade and
cooperation agreement with the EC.  In doing so, you have shown
your attachment to our common democratic values and that you
look towards the modern world after so many years of seclusion. 
Our Alliance, and the other Western institutions, will give
Albania material as well as political support to proceed along
this path.

          It will not be easy for Communism has left behind it a
spiritual as well as political and economic vacuum that cannot
be filled overnight.  All of us in the Alliance admire the
courage and determination which Albania has shown to overcome
its problems.  Given the chaos surrounding the collapse of
Communism, the devastated economy and paralysed institutions,
the progress in restoring public order, reducing inflation,
privatizing the economy and restarting industrial production is
truly impressive. Albanians are famous for their determination
and resilience.  These qualities preserved your country's
independence during the years of confrontation in Europe.  Now I
believe that they can be applied with equal success to the task
of modernising your country and integrating it into the Western
community.  So, despite the hardship, I urge you to persevere
along the bold and resolute course you have charted.

          The action of the Atlantic Alliance today is based on
the premise that security is indivisible.  Our Alliance's
security concept does not stop at our borders but embraces all
of Europe.  Instability in one area will only encourage
instability elsewhere.  We therefore recognize our
responsibility to help you to consolidate your newly-won
freedoms and to complete your transition smoothly.  Only in an
environment of cooperation and peace can your determination to
become a modern, democratic society be truly successful.

          Let me address the new role of the Atlantic Alliance
in projecting security and stability throughout Europe.

          The Alliance is one of the foundation stones of the
democratic community of free nations.  For NATO binds the
worlds' two largest zones of democracy, free enterprise and
global outreach together.  We extend our cooperation to the
countries of Central and Eastern Europe.  For without the active
partnership of the industrial democracies in the CSCE region, we
cannot address the challenges of the present and future:  ethnic
conflicts, arms proliferation, disputes over resources,
environmental problems, drugs and migration.

          The radically changed circumstances in Europe now
allow the Alliance to play a more important and outward-looking
political role.  The Alliance has nothing to gain from
confrontation, nor is its future cohesion dependent on new
threats, as some have claimed.  Our strength lies in
cooperation, not confrontation.  Our aim is to locate a safer,
more durable European security order which supports political
reform and the peaceful settlement of disputes.  In order to
build such a new security system, we have had to transform the
Alliance, and gear it to the new tasks in the post Cold War
world.  To this end:

     -    we have adjusted to the new environment by scaling
          back our forces; 

     -    we have developed a new strategic concept directed
          against no specific enemy and with an emphasis on
          crisis management;

     -    we have concluded the CFE Treaty and the related
          treaty on military manpower levels.  We have been
          instrumental within the CSCE in negotiating a whole
          series of military confidence building measures.  Our
          aim is to curb the offensive power of all armed forces
          in Europe and build trust and transparency among them;

     -    we have moved to reinforce the European pillar of NATO
          so as to create a genuinely twin pillar Alliance in
          which North Americans and Europeans share
          responsibilities and leadership;

     -    above all, we have created a whole new dimension to
          our Alliance in the form of the North Atlantic
          Cooperation Council.  This enables the Alliance to
          project security and stability into Central and
          Eastern Europe.

          In the four decades of its existence, the Alliance has
become a model of the successful management of security through
collective solidarity and the sharing of burdens.  This has
brought its 16 members a degree of security, stability and
prosperity that most of them have never known before.  Even in
changed circumstances, NATO remains indispensable:

     -    it brings together Europe and North America, the
          principal actors in any credible effort to uphold
          international peace and security;

     -    it insures the member countries against remaining
          military risks;

     -    it possesses unique military capabilities and the
          ability to project them collectively through its
          integrated military structure;

     -    it is an important forum to pull the international
          community together, building consensus and stimulating
          collective action.

          With the end of the Cold War, NATO has acquired two
important new roles.

          The first is to build a security community
encompassing both East and West.  Our task today is not only to
preserve the security of our members, but to help others to be
more secure.  This is the best possible protection of the peace
we have achieved.  What I wish to stress here today is that it
is not necessary to be a member of the Alliance to benefit from
the security and stability that it provides.  

          To this end, we have set up the North Atlantic
Cooperation Council as a concrete structure to deal with
security issues in Europe.  As the ties between the Alliance and
our 22 cooperation partners grows, their military structures,
foreign policies and strategic concepts will all be rooted in a
common democratic culture and the practice of truly cooperative
security; as they have been among Allies for the past four
decades.  The approach of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council
is to give all its members a flexible and adaptable platform for
addressing their security concerns frankly and openly.

          In addition to its consultations within the North
Atlantic Cooperation Council, the Alliance has established with
its cooperation partners a new Work Plan.  This sets out a large
number of areas where we can help those partners with our
experience and expertise.  The major areas are the structures of
defence-oriented armies, ensuring the civilian control of armed
forces, conceptual approaches to arms control, military
doctrines and defence conversion.  We also have major programmes
underway in science and the environment, civil emergency
planning and the control of airspace.  Our objective is to make
this cooperation more practical and operational, and more
focussed on the individual situations and needs of our
cooperation partners.  That is why it is essential that Albania
participate to the full.

          The second new role of the Alliance is to support
peacekeeping operations.  Last June in Oslo we offered to place
our assets at the disposal of the CSCE for such operations. 
Last December we made a parallel offer to the UN.  The Alliance
is ready to respond positively to initiatives that the UN
Secretary General may take to seek NATO's assistance in the
implementation of Security Council Resolutions.  We can support
the UN by helping to build consensus and undertaking contingency
planning to guide its work.  I have mentioned already the
Alliance's actions in support of the UN in the former

          Most importantly, the Alliance's new role in
peacekeeping does not exclude participation by other CSCE
states.  Indeed, a major focus of the North Atlantic Cooperation
Council, is peacekeeping.  We are currently involved in
intensive discussions which will lead in due course not only to
the sharing of experiences but also to practical cooperation in
training, exercises and planning.  

          I now come to my last point:  how can NATO and Albania
work together.  We appreciate your desire to receive specific
support from NATO.  Already in recent weeks a number of Alliance
delegations have visited your country, culminating in my own
visit to Tirana today.  These NATO teams have held extensive
discussions with your government and we have together identified
many appropriate areas for cooperation.  My NATO colleagues have
also remarked on how well they are working with their Albanian
counterparts and on the friendly way in which they have been

          One is the reorganization of the Ministry of Defence
and the General Staff.  We can also provide timely advice and
assistance on the development of your defence policy and
military doctrine.  These documents have a special role to play
in confirming Albania's peaceful intentions and desire to
contribute constructively to regional and European security. 
Over the past few years, both the Alliance and individual Allies
have been revising their own policies and doctrines, as well as
restructuring their armed forces to adapt them to the new
environment.  So we have acquired a good deal of practical
experience in this area which we wish to share with Albania. 
Already Albanian officers are participating in courses at NATO's
military academies.  Among the ideas that we are also currently
considering is sending expert civilian/military teams in the
near future.  Naturally, the restructuring of Albania's armed
forces cannot be achieved overnight.  But we are determined to
help you to build modern armed forces that can not only preserve
your independence but also be our partners in upholding
cooperative security in Europe.

          Our cooperation is a dynamic process.  We sometimes
forget that the NACC is little more than a year old.  Moreover,
senior Albanian officials have the added opportunity to interact
with the Alliance by participating in the meetings of NATO
Defence Ministers with cooperation partners on 29 March and
Chiefs of Staff with cooperation partners on 28 April.  We have
come a long way very quickly.  Our frank and open exchanges of
views on security issues will become increasingly beneficial to
both sides.  

          All of you assembled here today have a unique
opportunity which previous generations of Albanians have not
enjoyed.  It is to build a new, democratic, free and prosperous
Albania, fully part of a Europe that shares the same values. 
You and we cannot afford to miss this opportunity.  The Atlantic
Alliance will support you.  It is a partner for Albania and the
other nations of Central and Eastern Europe as they leave the
tragic legacy of the past behind them and build with us the new
and better Europe of tomorrow.