Updated: 14-May-2002 NATO Speeches

Meeting of the
15 Dec. 2000


made by 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 expectations..

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.

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