Updated: 07-Dec-2001 NATO Speeches

7 Dec. 2001


by Ambassador Giedrius Cekuolis
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania,
Meeting of the EAPC Foreign Ministers

Current Security Challenges in the Euroatlantic Area

Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As Secretary General Lord Robertson pointed out in his letter addressed to all of us on the eve of today's meeting, the NACC met ten years ago to address the challenges of the post-Cold War era. Today, we meet to discuss the same issue in a world changed forever, which is facing new challenges and emerging threats, including those posed by global terrorist networks. Both Europe and the United States have recognized their vulnerability. This has in turn reinforced the need for a common front and a strong transatlantic security relationship.

Since September, our agenda has been dominated by the response to the threat of terrorism and focussed on measures to curb and root it out in the long term. The ongoing and developing strategies of international institutions, the co-ordination of their activities and individual national efforts are instrumental in combating terrorism more effectively.

Lithuania's commitment remains as strong as ever to act as a de facto NATO ally in the international campaign against terrorism. We are ready to send two medical teams to Afghanistan within the make-up of a Czech military hospital.

Furthermore, our law enforcement efforts are being consolidated on the domestic front to ensure strict border control, protection of key industrial facilities, civil emergency preparedness and inter-agency co-ordination. We are also promoting regional cooperation including a trilateral program with Estonia and Latvia and closer co-operation with neighbouring Poland. The action plans adopted at the Warsaw conference and by the EAPC should become a reality, to which we shall contribute in practical terms.

Mr. Secretary General,

We welcome the support given to the US diplomatic and military campaign against terror by the Alliance and non-NATO nations, particularly the Russian Federation and the countries of Central Asia. Practising co-operation and not just talking about it has always been a top priority for my country.

At the same time, we should not be loosening our grip on other current security challenges. We remain committed to the peace process in the Balkans and are contributing our share to peace support operations in the region.

The momentum must be also maintained for solving other global issues, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal migration, organised crime and proliferation of weapons within the appropriate national and international frameworks.

We should build on the unity of minds and spirits to promote joint efforts as well further mutual trust and understanding among our nations. It is our common interest to address new threats collectively. Lithuania has no doubt that a stronger and enlarged NATO will also serve our common interest.

Thank you.

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