in Defence

2 Dec. 1997

Speaking Notes

for the Chairman, Javier Solana

Good morning. Let me welcome you to this meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Defence Ministers Session.

Let me extend a special word of welcome to Minister Dag Jostein FJAERVOLL of Norway and to Minister Jose Veiga SIMAO of Portugal, who are attending a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Defence Ministers session for the first time.

On behalf of the North Atlantic Council let me congratulate you on your appointments as Defence Ministers of your nations.

It is a great pleasure to see you with us and I much look forward to your contribution to our consideration of the vital issues of defence which face our Alliance today.

Les runions que nous aurons aujourd'hui seront les premires runions officielles des Ministres de la dfense des pays de l'Alliance depuis le Sommet tenu Madrid au mois de juillet.

Lors de cette runion au sommet, les chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement ont fix pour notre Conseil, ainsi que pour celui des Ministres des affaires trangres des pays de l'Alliance, un ordre du jour ambitieux, touchant tous les aspects de l'adaptation continue de l'OTAN aux possibilits et aux dfis issus du nouvel environnement de scurit europen.

Il appartiendra aux Ministres de la dfense des pays de l'Alliance de guider ce vaste travail d'adaptation pour ce qui concerne nos activits de dfense, tout en veillant au maintien de l'efficacit de nos forces sur le plan militaire.


Les ordres du jour des runions que nous allons tenir aujourd'hui et demain prennent en compte cette tche complexe.

Today, in the Council in Defence Ministers Session, we will consider a variety of pressing questions, including the situation in Bosnia and the internal and external adaptation of the Alliance. As part of the latter, we will need to discuss the preparations for the accession of new members and the resource consequences of enlargement.

An exchange of views on where we now stand on enlargement will be a useful prelude to our meeting later today with the Defence Ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.

Tomorrow, as you know, we will meet with Russian Defence Minister Sergeyev in the Permanent Joint Council, and with the Defence Ministers of all the Alliance's Partners in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

We thus have much to do, and I propose we get straight to work. May I therefore ask the press to leave the room?

 [ Go to Speeches Menu ]  [ Go to Homepage ]