Updated: 24-Sep-2002 NATO Speeches

25 May 2000


by Mr Sven-Olof Petersson
Director-General for Political Affairs of Sweden

Mr Secretary General, Ministers and Colleagues,

First of all I would like to thank Mr Hombach for the interesting update on the work within the Stability pact. Sweden is actively engaged in this process, not least in the capacity as chairman of the working table for security issues. In the context of this meeting, we would also like to express our appreciation of the supportive contributions made by NATO, through the South East Europe Initiative.

Furthermore, activities within the EAPC to promote regional cooperation in South-Eastern Europe provide an important tool for confidence building within the region as well as between the region and other NATO and Partner countries. Today, it is therefore a pleasure to welcome Croatia as a new participant in the PfP cooperation and a member of the EAPC.

The development in the Balkans during the last decade is also a reminder of the necessity to create and maintain effective tools for conflict prevention and crisis management. This has also become a main concern for the European Union. We are presently developing structures and mechanisms for a common European Security and Defence Policy. Talks are about to take place on the EU-NATO relation. An evident point of departure should be the participation of all EU member states on the same basis, also with respect to the use of and participation in NATO structures.

In the elaboration and maintenance of the EU Headline Goal, the NATO defence planning process and PARP should be the essential tools. The planning process has to be transparent and based on the same information provided to all member countries. If not, our crisis management operations will not be professional!

The cooperation within PfP and the EAPC already proved to have a vital function in this respect. Among the most obvious examples of PfP cooperation in crisis management are the NATO-led peace support operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, where military units from NATO and Partner countries cooperate successfully in the task of upholding peace and stability. Correspondingly, the important coordination between military, police and other civil endeavours in connection to the operations is developing.

Another important aspect of the PfP cooperation and the work within the EAPC is the security and confidence building in all regions of the Euro-Atlantic area; the Baltic as well as the Balkans, the Caucasus as well as Central Asia.

However, for a more effective use of the PfP and the EAPC for conflict prevention and crisis management, some components still remain to be developed and improved upon.

The political-military framework, which regulates Partner involvement in NATO-led PfP operations, was agreed upon in Washington last year. Although the document itself is satisfactory from a Partner point of view, the first application in connection to the NATO-led PfP operation in Kosovo shows a need to review the procedures.

One important aspect is the need for regular consultations between NATO and troop contributing Partners. In this context, the recent Ambassadors' meeting in KFOR/SFOR format was a positive step. Troops from NATO and Partner countries share the responsibility for a successful operation and their personnel faces the same risks. Accordingly, even though we do not question NATO's decision-making authority, Partners need to be consulted on matters relevant for the conduct of an effective operation and for the security of the troops.

Sweden is looking forward to a discussion between NATO and Partner countries on how to improve the implementation of the political-military framework. We expect this issue to be a priority within the EAPC in order to bring forward a report on substantial progress to the autumn ministerials. And we are happy to see that the recent NATO paper shows positive ambitions in this respect.

It is vital that NATO and Partner countries are given the opportunity to consider and comment on reports to be endorsed at the EAPC ministerials. Sweden therefore regrets that the follow-up on the Enhanced and More Operational Partnership today is presented as a Chairman's report, without considering any views from NATO or Partner countries. We are looking forward to a consolidated report on this important initiative in time for the autumn ministerials and are eager to give our contribution.

Today, we agree upon the Training and Education Enhancement Programme and a progress report on the Operational Capabilities Concept. These two initiatives are important to strengthen the PfP and the EAPC as tools for practical security cooperation, conflict prevention and crisis management. They will help increasing the effectiveness of training and education within the PfP cooperation as well as in setting up future PfP operations. From a Swedish point of view, we especially hope to contribute through the PfP Training Centre and its gaming facility for distributed learning and exercises.

Thank you for your attention!

Go to Homepage Go to Index