Updated: 14-May-2002 NATO Speeches

Meeting of the
15 Dec. 2000

"Enhancing Euro-Atlantic Security through Regional Cooperation"

Address by
H.E. Mr. Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu
Secretary of State
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This EAPC Ministerial has a special significance. It is the first to take place after wide ranging political and security related developments in Europe. We gathered today just a couple of months after a new and more democratic leadership has been established in FRY, and a few days after the Nice European Council Meeting adopted important decisions regarding the Common European Security and Defense Policy.

At the same time, this meeting takes place only two weeks before the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office will be assumed by Romania. As you well know, the presidential and parliamentary elections in my country ended last Sunday and their outcome is now clear. I am therefore bringing the message of the newly elected authorities in Bucharest. Romania will consolidate its democratic institutions and will stay the course of reforms, thus speeding up the process of economic recovery. Its foreign policy will not change. Romania will continue to enhance its contribution to the development of good neighborly relations and will further promote cooperative security in the Euro-Atlantic area. The new government and the elected President are committed to accelerate the process of Romania's integration in NATO and the European Union.

As we are discussing today about cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic area, let me reiterate Romania's commitment to better use EAPC and PfP as appropriate instruments for securing and amplifying the achievements of countries and institutions that cooperate towards solving security problems on the continent. It is my government's determination to participate any new, pragmatic and credible EAPC/PfP endeavors that cope with new security challenges throughout Europe and beyond.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The situation in SouthEastern Europe is gradually improving. SouthEastern Europe has become more secure and the region has made a new step toward enhancing its stability. Romania warmly welcomes FRY's admission to the United Nations, the OSCE, the Stability Pact and other international fora, as well as the normalization of its relationship with NATO member countries and partners.

The process of consolidating security and stability in the region gained a new momentum. However, there are still concerning evolutions and tensions in the area such are the recent clashes in the Southern part of Serbia and the violent incidents in Kosovo. In our view, they should not be allowed to reverse the positive trend that gives hope for peace and the prevention of future conflicts.

From this perspective NATO's involvement in the region is of a major importance. KFOR and SFOR should remain at the very core of the international community's efforts in support of peace and reconstruction in the Balkans. Romania will continue to participate in both NATO led-missions and will maintain its commitment of participating in other international initiatives in the region, such as the Stability Pact.

It is against this background that Romania understands to enhance its contribution towards the implementation of SEEI objectives. In our view, this initiative has become of crucial importance in setting the ground for finding common solutions to common problems in SouthEastern Europe. SEEI promotes mechanisms of interaction in the field of security, therefore substantiating NATO's commitment to support the goals of the Stability Pact.

A major development in the framework of SEEI is the SouthEastern Common Assessment Paper (SEECAP), a Romanian initiative designed to harmonize security perceptions and strategies in the region. The presence of FR Yugoslavia at the first official meeting on SEECAP, held in Bucharest, on 20th November 2000, and its inclusion in the process were greeted and subsequent participation is expected at the follow-up meetings in Brussels. Helping regional countries to agree on common security perceptions is a proof that interoperability starts with people's mind. Common perceptions and understanding on security issues provide for confidence and trust. It is therefore relevant that SEECAP participating countries agreed upon the guidelines of the process, including the scope and the envisaged content of the document as you can see in the distributed Progress Report.
Another project in the framework of SEEI is the "Retraining of redundant military personnel". This project was selected for a 2 Million-Euro funding at the Conference for Regional Financing of the Stability Pact. After the completion of a structured project using the expertise provided by several NATO countries, the Economic Committee of NATO recommended the project for financing to the World Bank, who subsequently released a first part of the funding (500.000 USD).

Romania is strongly involved in a number of other security-related initiatives from which we can highlight a few. Our country participates in the SouthEastern Europe Defense Ministerial process (SEDM) that took a more result oriented course with proposals of creating the Engineering Task Force (ETF) and the Crisis Information Network (CIN). Both are connected with the development of the Multinational Peace Force SouthEastern Europe (MFPSEE) and its brigade (SEEBRIG) that organized its first exercise at the end of September, as an expression of the already gained operational status.

The Bucharest based the Regional SECI Center for fight against crossborder crime is already operational. Apart of the countries from the region many NATO countries participate as observers, among them USA, Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy, and we explore the modalities for FRY to join in. In January next year we expect the liaison officers to take their positions at the Center and start their activity.

Romania will assume the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office having as one of the main objectives to use all the opportunities granted by this position in order to develop the OSCE-NATO/EAPC co-operation, both organizations having common interests and goals with reference to the European security. We are ready to develop a genuine dialogue on this issue in the EAPC framework.

Romania welcomes the designation of Prague as the capital for the next NATO Summit, in 2002. We share the view that this decision is a relevant symbol for the process of NATO's enlargement. Our country gives a special importance to the fulfillment of the Membership Action Plan provisions and will stay the course of preparing for being invited to join the Alliance. Romania will promote and defend the principles of self-differentiation and solidarity of all candidates to NATO membership, the cooperation of whom should be encouraged.

We consider that all these Romanian contributions to enhancing security and stability in SouthEastern Europe certify Romania's status as a security provider. Our determination to consolidate peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area stems from our national interests and complies with the spirit and the objectives of NATO and EU enlargement.

Thank you for your attention.

Go to Homepage Go to Index