Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I will focus on two issues, the international campaign against terrorism
and the pending reform and review of the EAPC and the Partnership for
The dramatic events of September 11 were intended by their
perpetrators to divide the world, to drive a wedge between civilisations.
The opposite occured. It is unlikely that the international community
was ever more united in its resolve to pursue a single cause
that to rid the world of the fear of terrorist action.
Finland joined the other EAPC-nations in a strong condemnation
of the terrorist acts against the US in the statement of the EAPC meeting
on 12 September. It is our firm belief that the EAPC should have, and
can have, a pragmatic and useful role to play in this context in close
cooperation with NATO. This is the background of the Discussion Paper
Finland and Sweden presented on EAPC and terrorism, which now has been
incorporated into the EAPC Action Plan for 2002 - 2004. It is important
that the EAPC proved its continued relevance as an instrument for cooperation
and consultation in the Euro-Atlantic area in meeting this new challenge
to security. In this, as well as other areas of policy, the EAPC should
reflect the development in the concept of security within the Alliance
The Finnish-Swedish proposal contained the idea of establishing
a Trust Fund for the benefit of stability in Central Asia and Caucasus.
The elaboration of this idea, which is not a novelty, has begun promptly.
I am in the position to give an advance pledge of financial support
by Finland to this fund, once its
modalities have been completed.
Finland welcomes the successful outcome of the Bonn meeting
on Afghanistan. We hope that the people of Afghanistan could soon start
to rebuild their nation. Finland gives its full support to these efforts
and is providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
On the future of the EAPC and the Partnership
NATO's enlargement, the development of the EAPC and Partnership
for Peace and NATO's developing relations with other nations, including
with the Russian Federation, are key factors that influence the security
landscape of Europe and the transatlantic relationship. We welcome the
efforts to improve cooperation between NATO and Russia.
NATO's open door policy is a dynamic element in European
security. I would like to comment, in particular, the situation on the
Baltic Sea region. Finland supports the right of the Baltic states to
join NATO. The consolidation of international position of Estonia, Latvia
and Lithuania is in line with
Finland's security interests.
For Finland it is important that the Alliance approaches
these major future challenges in an inclusive manner.
The fundamentals and principles of the Partnership remain
sound. It is for us to ensure the continued relevance and viability
of the EAPC/PfP after the Prague Summit in 2002. One way of doing this
is to extend, in an innovative manner, the culture of consultation embodied
in the Political-Military Framework beyond NATO-led PSO-operations to
other areas of cooperation.
We pledge our full cooperation in these efforts.
Thank you Mr. Chairman