Meeting of the
15 Dec. 2000
Mr. Wladyslaw Bartoszewski,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
Ms and Mr Ministries,
Every half-year we all gather here in the Euro-Atlantic format. Yet I
am not sure we are fully aware of the potential this forum has, of its
extraordinary relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation,
which for the last 50 years was the fundament of peace and stability in
the Euro-Atlantic area, or of all possibilities that are open for it.
Do understand me well: in spite of relatively short time of its existence
the EAPC gradually, has become an important actor on the international
scene, fully aware of changes which occur in today's Europe, actively
reacting to incoming challenges. It should be a surprise to nobody that
its attention was focused in particular on the Balkans. It was a result
of an extensive analysis and of a decision on establishing priorities
of co-operation in the wide Euro-Atlantic area. Priorities, which clearly
point out that at the end of the 20th century, as well as at the beginning
of the 21st one, the question we will have to ask and answer is the following:
in what way we can further contribute to solving such a difficult problem
as the conflict prevention in its regional dimension.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Making measurable contribution to the aforementioned issue implicates
the necessity of conducting a very precise analysis of all events both
of military and political character. This is the reason why we so carefully
following the development of the situation in the Balkans, noting such
important events as the recent elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina or
the last presidential election in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
In our opinion, results of the latter constitute the beginning of the
return of FRY to the family of democratic states. We hope that this process
will proceed smoothly, in accordance with international standards and
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As I have already mentioned, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council constitutes
a consultation forum on the developments of the situation in the Balkan
region. It means, that it may also be such a forum for a variety of crisis
situations. First step to this end has been already taken by elaborating
the Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PfP operations.
The other, unique advantage of co-operation at the EAPC forum is promotion
of understanding, dialogue, co-operation and security in its regional
dimension. Analysing positive results of activities of the Ad Hoc Working
Groups on Cooperation in Southeast Europe and in Caucasus, Poland would
like to encourage all Central Asian states present here to launch a common
initiative to establish within the framework of EAPC an Ad Hoc Working
Group on Central Asia. In our opinion, it would constitute a very important
sign of solidarity and taking responsibility for the security and stabilisation
of the Euro-Atlantic region.
With satisfaction, I welcome the growing role of EAPC in the area conflict
prevention, with special emphasis put on activities related to the Small
Arms and Light Weapons and the Global Humanitarian Mine Action. We expect
further enhancement of NATO/EAPC co-operation with other organisations
and institutions based on the principle of complementarity and creation
of 'the added value'.
Using this opportunity, I would also like to emphasise that EAPC in many
a respect complements activities undertaken by the Alliance. With satisfaction
we observe and engage in efforts of the EAPC member states aimed to streamline
the work of the Council and to enhance the Partnership for Peace. We also
encourage all Partners to actively participate in this process. We do
think that it should be an open one, and both the Alliance and PfP countries
should ensure its continuity as the co-operation evolves.
Ms and Mr Ministries,
At the end of my speech I would like to come back to a statement that
maybe, just maybe we are not fully aware of possibilities which stand
in front of us.
Not so long ago Poland, at the EAPC/SCEPC forum, proposed an initiative
focusing not so much on the political as on the practical, working level
co-operation. It is a new topic, resulting from a different approach to
the scope of possible collaboration. Simply, as the old truth goes, the
big words are important, yet sometimes what is even more important are
small things that we do. I advise it to the attention of all EAPC members.
Let us, when pondering what next step to take, be aware that areas and
opportunities for further development of co-operation do exist. It may
be just that we have not discovered them yet.