Meeting of
the North

4 June 1996

Logo Berlin Meeting

Secretary General's Opening Statement
to NACC Ministerial

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to todays meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in the historic city of Berlin which today stands as a symbol of the unity which we wish to see take root and flourish in the whole Euro-Atlantic area.

This Council has also become an invaluable forum for political consultation at a time of rapid change on this continent, and an essential instrument for managing the transition towards new cooperative security structures. In a short time it has created a real spirit of cooperation and of belonging together. It contributes to build mutual understanding, trust and confidence, indispensable elements in our search for a just and lasting order of peace for this continent. Cooperation and Partnership are the hallmark of this new Europe.

The North Atlantic Cooperation Council has led to a degree of consultation and cooperation that only a few years ago was unthinkable. Most of the 42 countries represented around this table are together in contributing through IFOR to peace and stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina. A unique joint undertaking which reflects today's cooperative spirit in addressing security challenges. I am proud and deeply satisfied that NATO is at the heart of this endeavour. Todays meeting will allow us to take stock of our broad cooperation in the framework of this Council, in Partnership for Peace and in IFOR, and to assess its contribution to stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area.

We are deeply honoured and privileged to have Chancellor Kohl open our meeting. Having known Chancellor Kohl for many years, may I say I know of no one who has a greater commitment to peace and cooperation in Europe. He has made a historic contribution to the unity of this continent; that Berlin, and indeed Germany, are whole and fully free today marks a tribute to his vision, courage and commitment. Herr Chancellor, you pay us a great honour in being with us today. I thank you and the German authorities for inviting us to Berlin and for your wonderful hospitalty. Herr Chancellor, we give you the warmest welcome.

 [ Go to Speeches Menu ]  [ Go to Homepage ]