17 Dec. 1997

Opening Statement

by the Chairman, Javier Solana,
NATO Secretary General

Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me welcome all of you to the second meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at Ministerial level. Today, there are 44 countries in the EAPC - united in their determination to build new patterns of political consultation and ever-closer cooperation in defence and military-related matters. The process we have begun six months ago in Sintra is firmly on track.

Today, in a significant step forward in advancing the work of the EAPC, we will endorse an EAPC Action Plan for 1998-2000. This Action Plan will be a new instrument to organise our work. We will deepen our consultation and cooperation in areas such as conflict prevention, peacekeeping, regional cooperation, and defence-related environmental issues. We will set up a Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre in the EAPC framework. In these and many other areas we foresee a greater involvement of Partners in developing together with Allies new approaches to our common security.


Le Partenariat pour la Paix est la pierre angulaire de notre coopration pratique; il s'agit du programme de coopration militaire qui a le plus de succs dans la rgion euro-atlantique. Ce Partenariat va encore voluer. Nous envisageons d'augmenter la participation des Partenaires la prise de dcision au sein du Partenariat pour la Paix, en les associant au processus de planification et de rvision, au travail des comits de haut niveau de l'OTAN et, travers le nouveau concept des lments d'tat-major du Partenariat, diffrents niveaux de la structure de commandement militaire de l'OTAN.

Aujourd'hui, notre ordre du jour comprend l'examen du plan d'action du CPEA ainsi qu'une discussion sur la faon d'engager une plus grande coopration rgionale sous les auspices du CPEA, et d'amliorer nos concepts et notre coopration dans le cadre du maintien de la paix.

Nous discuterons galement de la situation en Bosnie-Herzgovine et aux environs, une rgion dont la stabilit ncessite une implication internationale continue.

L'ordre du jour d'aujourd'hui est le reflet du dynamisme que notre processus de coopration a atteint. Le Conseil du Partenariat euro-atlantique et le Partenariat pour la paix sont devenus des instruments indispensables pour faonner le nouvel environnement de scurit. Une Alliance sans partenaires est devenue inimaginable. La runion d'aujourd'hui montrera que le partenariat et la coopration sont vraiment devenus la marque de fabrique de cette nouvelle Europe.

I would like to extend a special welcome to all of you who are with us for the first time in this forum, to the Secretary General of the WEU, Ambassador Cutileiro, and to the Chairman-in Office of the OSCE, Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen of Denmark. We are very pleased that you are with us at this meeting of the Euro Atlantic Partnership Council.

I would like first to invite our President d'Honneur, the Foreign Minister of Norway, Mr. Knut Vollebaek to make some remarks.

[Statement by Foreign Minister of Norway]

Thank you.

We have a busy morning ahead of us, so I would now request the media to leave the room so that we can get down to work.

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