Updated: 07-Dec-2001 NATO Speeches

7 Dec. 2001


by H.E. Tonino Picula,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia
at the EAPC Meeting in Foreign Ministers Session

Secretary General, Dear colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure for me to be here with you today at NATO headquarters.

Allow me to make a few comments concerning Croatia's role in the current fight against international terrorism and other current security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic area.

My Government has undertaken necessary measures in order to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1373. We have begun preparing a national platform for the suppression of terrorism and have entrusted all competent bodies to elaborate appropriate measures in this regard. In the legal context, the Croatian ministries have started the procedures for the accession to and ratification of the legal instruments related to combating terrorism, notably within the framework of the Council of Europe and she United Nations. Moreover, Croatia strongly supports the initiatives aimed at drafting a global convention against terrorism, and is ready to adhere to all measures undertaken in preventing the financial support of terrorist organizations and networks.

I would like to mention a few concrete examples. Firstly, we have tightened border control and are intensively cooperating with our neighbors in this capacity. Air transport security has been intensified. Also, we have stepped up our intelligence cooperation with countries of the anti-terrorist coalition and have intensified anti-terrorist surveillance.

My Government is considering measures for a comprehensive and more efficient control of export, import, procurement and transfer of weapons. In addition, we are keen to implement relevant provisions of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, and to enhance co-operation in the areas of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy and Justice and Home Affairs.

We are fully aware of the organic link between terrorism and international organized crime, illicit traffic in drugs and arms and trafficking in human beings. This systematic illegal activity is facilitated in the context of weak or failed states, which have no institutional capacity to combat those threats. It is of utmost importance for all of us to focus on rising the capacity and capability of each and every state. Only when all states in the Euro-Atlantic area are capable to participate in an inclusive security framework it will be possible to say that Europe has reached its full security potential.

In the broader context, the Anti-Terrorist Coalition has proven to be a vehicle for significant changes in the international community. Since September llth, we have seen many important events. For example, the first visit of a Russian president to NATO has taken place. Also, it is important to mention that the arguments for EU and NATO expansion have been reinforced and the role of intemational fora like the EAPC have gained importance. Secretary General Lord Robertson has rightly noted that the events of September llth "have reinforced the logic of partnership and co-operation among nations and international institutions in the Euro-Atlantic area".

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate Croatia's readiness to contribute to the anti-terrorist effort at national, regional and international levels. We are confident that the scourge of terrorism will be successfully eradicated. This victory is important for all of us, nations and individuals, who want to live in peace and democracy.

Thank You.

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