Meeting of the
15 Dec. 2000
by Mr Keith
Vaz MP, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United
Thank you Mr Secretary General.
Let me thank Wolfgang Petritsch for his excellent briefing and the hard
work, which he and his team have put into Dayton peace implementation.
We face a clear challenge in Bosnia: building an effective state.
It is only by developing state structures, such as defence forces, which
are committed to that common aim that Bosnia can take its place in Euro-Atlantic
structures, such as PfP and the EAPC.
That brings me to today's theme: the role of the EAPC in enhancing Euro-Atlantic
security through regional cooperation. The 40 nations working together
in SFOR and KFOR offer an outstanding practical example of cooperative
security in action.
The EAPC Working Group on South Eastern Europe is also making a valuable
contribution to regional cooperation and transparency.
There is much in this cooperative approach to regional security that has
applicability elsewhere. European and regional security in the 21st Century
have to be about building long term relationships based on trust and transparency.
Let me highlight three ways in which the EAPC contributes to that vital
- first, consultation. We need to make full use of the opportunities
that the EAPC and PfP provide for information sharing and exchange.
We should also strengthen EAPC consultation with other organisations.
Benita Ferrero Waldner's address to the EAPC last month as President
in Office of the OSCE was a welcome precedent on which we need to build.
- secondly, cooperation. Practical cooperation is a key strength of
our partnership. I am particularly pleased that the nations of the region
are taking this work forward together through the South East European
Security Cooperation Steering Group. We also need to strengthen our
joint work in the EAPC on issues that impact more widely on our security.
2001 will be a crucial year for advancing work to tackle the small arms
problem, particularly with the UN conference now set for July. Energising
work on small arms and light weapons in support of the OSCE document,
agreed last month in Vienna, should be a priority.
- thirdly, confidence building. We need to spread respect for internationally
agreed norms and standards of behaviour. An example of this was the
EAPC workshop on International Humanitarian Law, which we hosted last
month in London with Switzerland. The workshop focussed on how we, as
EAPC partners, could bring change at home by incorporating IHL in our
military doctrine, training manuals and exercises. I very much hope
that the EAPC will take this initiative forward.