NATO Summit

Madrid, Spain,
8 July 1997

Public Opening Statement

by the Secretary General

Todays meeting is a defining moment for NATO. We will open the doors of this Alliance to the first new members from Central and Eastern Europe. We will create new opportunities for co-operation and partnership, that will enhance the security of all nations in the Euro-Atlantic area. And we will pursue our efforts to make NATOs structures ready to face the challenges of the 21st century.

The new NATO will be as indispensable to the Europe of tomorrow as it was to the Europe of yesterday. Madrid will be remembered as the time when North America and Europe came together to shape the course of a new century. Our meeting today and tomorrow with our Partners, will demonstrate that we will enter the next century in a spirit of solidarity and confidence.

Since the beginning of this decade NATO has undergone rapid change and transformation. Our relationship with our Eastern neighbours has blossomed into an active security Partnership. Our strategy and our forces have been adapted to respond to the new security challenges, most visibly in our crucial role in maintaining peace in Bosnia. And most recently, our relationship with Russia has been put on a new, solid foundation. We have created with Russia a mechanism for consultation and co-operation, and we are determined to make this an effective instrument for enhancing co-operative security in Europe.

Messieurs les Prsidents,
Messieurs les Premiers Ministres,


Pendant les deux jours de notre sommet, nous aurons fort faire.

Bien sr, la question de llargissement est dans tous les esprits, puisque nous inviterons plusieurs pays engager des ngociations en vue de leur adhsion l'Alliance. Dans le mme temps, nous ferons savoir de manire trs claire que la porte de l'Alliance reste ouverte d'autres pays.

Mais, par-del l'largissement, nous serons aussi bien occups sur d'autres fronts. Ainsi, nous allons marquer notre accord sur un programme de Partenariat pour la Paix renforc.

Demain, nous signerons avec l'Ukraine une Charte de partenariat qui permettra de crer une relation spciale entre l'OTAN et l'Ukraine.

De mme, pendant ce sommet, nous nous doterons des moyens de renforcer le dialogue avec nos voisins de la Mditerrane.

Dans le mme temps, nous continuerons de dvelopper l'Identit Europenne de Scurit et de Dfense au sein de l'Alliance.

Nous dresserons aussi le bilan des progrs substantiels accomplis dans la rforme de nos structures militaires.

Enfin, nous nous pencherons sur la situation en Bosnie pour tudier les meilleurs moyens d'encourager l'dification d'une paix durable pour ce pays dans les annes venir.

Today's Summit is testimony to NATO's remarkable capacity for change and adaptation. Our Alliance will emerge stronger from Madrid and ready to assume all the new tasks we have set ourselves. But only as long as NATO maintains its transatlantic solidarity and commitment to collective defence will it preserve its vitality and effectiveness. United by common purpose and shared values, the new Alliance stands ready to shape a brighter, more secure future.

In conclusion, allow me to say a few words in my mother tongue.

La Cumbre de Madrid representa un hito en el proceso de transformacin de la Alianza. La Alianza confirma as su capacidad de adaptacin a la nueva Europa, actuando como catalizadora del nuevo entorno de seguridad en el continente.

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