Let me first of all warmly congratulate you for your appointment
as Secretary General of NATO.
The Kosovo operation was a major challenge to all of us. First, Kosovo
demonstrated the value of solidarity and cohesion in the trans-Atlantic
community. That solidarity was shown not only by the Allies but by
the Partners as well. It is well worth noting that the course taken
by the Alliance in response to the affront to the international community's
common values, was supported by all Partner countries present at the
Summit in Washington. The defence of common values had become a shared
Secondly, the whole operation, however successful, revealed deficiencies
that must be remedied. It is essential that we improve virtually all
aspects of our capabilities for military crisis management. We can
further improve interoperability by the means indicated by the Operational
Capabilities Concept, through the Planning and Review Process, and
through Partners' participation in some of the technical-military
areas outlined in the Defence Capabilities Initiative. Only by training,
exercising and equipping our troops to common standards, can we improve
our cooperation in view of possible future emergencies.
Thirdly, a further lesson from Kosovo is that there is a need to
prepare for comprehensive crisis management covering all stages of
a crisis. Thus, there is an obvious need to improve CIMIC capabilities
and establish a more efficient cross-institutional cooperation.
The New Strategic Concept adopted at the Washington Summit elevates
Crisis Management and Partnership to the level of fundamental security
tasks of the Alliance on par with Security, Consultations and Deterrence
and Defence. While this innovation is both important and welcome,
it is also quite challenging as words must be turned into action on
a broad range of issues.
Finland, for her part, will continue to work towards closer involvement
in Partner activities initiated by NATO, including the future Partnership
Goals. We attach great importance to the full implementation of the
political-military framework, which provides the basis for Partner
participation in NATO-led PfP operations. From the political-military
perspective, Finland's key objective is to develop and enhance interoperability
with NATO forces. We will give priority to strengthening our crisis
management capabilities through the means and mechanisms developed
in the context of the Operational Capabilities Concept for NATO-led
PfP Operations. In this respect, we place strong emphasis also on
the development of peacetime working relationships.
Finland is interested in the idea of a pool of forces and capabilities
as well as in multinational formations. We need a resource data bank
for the creation of suitable force packages for future crisis management
operations. This should be accompanied by the introduction of robust
assessment and feedback mechanisms for the Partner forces and capabilities.
We also warmly welcome the possibility of establishing liaison arrangements
between Partner forces and NATO headquarters, both within the command
and the force structure.
The PfP is one of the great innovations of the decade now drawing
to a close. Its evolution has been both faster and more substantive
than we thought possible at the outset. The programme is now both
broad and sophisticated. We must now find the will and the means to
implement it in a dynamic way.
Thank you Mr Chairman.