by H. E.
Mr Anders Oljelund
Ambassador of Sweden to NATO
at the EAPC Foreign Ministers Meeting
Mr Secretary General, Ministers,
Only six months have passed since we met in Budapest. Yet, today we meet
under fundamentally different circumstances.
We have long talked about future threats and security risks. The horrific
terrorist attacks on 11 September were a frightful confirmation of the
gravity of those risks.
One obvious conclusion is that we are all exposed to the new threats
such as terrorism. Another, that we can only deal with them together.
This is, I think, the major lesson learned from our recent experience.
All governments and all our organisations have a role to play in that
So far, our actions conform to these conclusions. Rather than dividing
us, which surely must have been the objective of the terrorists, the 11
September made us rise to the challenge, resolutely agreeing to engage
in a global struggle against terrorism.
Immediately after the attacks, we strongly expressed our solidarity with
the people of the United States and pledged to undertake all efforts to
combat the scourge of terrorism. We recognized that it was an attack on
our common values. Our statement was an important, unanimous stance and
an early contribution to the building of a global coalition.
We welcome the declaration made yesterday by NATO foreign ministers.
The spirit of that declaration is that security is broad and indivisible.
Key developments are now underway which together form parts of the same
endeavour: the new relationship that is taking shape between NATO and
Russia; the important role of EAPC with its broad membership; the future
enlargement of NATO. We look forward to furthering the partnership between
NATO and EU and to build on the practical cooperation that has developed
in the field. All those processes have the potential of enhancing our
ability to deal with new security challenges and of increasing the safety
of all of us, individually and collectively.
This is the context in which Sweden looks upon developments in its own
vicinity. It is beneficial to the security of the Baltic Sea Region that
our neighbours Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania can fulfil their security
Mr Secretary General,
It is now time to address practical ways of combatting terrorism. Several
actors have key roles in this effort. The EAPC could and should be one
Together with Finland, Sweden presented ideas on how to develop the role
of the EAPC in this field. We have been very gratified by the positive
reactions to these proposals, both from NATO members and Partner countries,
indicating a broad wish to constructively engage die EAPC. The EAPC Action
Plan, which we endorse today, reflect several promising avenues for increased
cooperation relating to the international fight against terrorism.
Sweden will make its contribution to turn suggestions into action. An
important starting-point will be the seminar, which Poland graciously
has offered to host in February.
We also appreciate the ambition by NATO to involve and inform Partner
countries of the measures undertaken by Allies following on the 11 September,
a conduct very much in the spirit of the political-military framework.
So was the early involvement of Partners in the six-month reviews of SFOR
and KFOR, a practice we hope sets a precedent for the future.
Enhancing EAPC's role in terrorism is important also in the context of
the future of EAPC as such. What good is EAPC if we fail to make one of
the dominant security policy themes an integral part of our work? Indeed,
all security policy issues of common concern to the Euro-Atlantic community,
regional or not, are legitimate questions to raise in this forum.
Next year's NATO/EAPC Summit in Prague will have to stake out the future
direction in which we should be heading. We must now start to reflect
on this, taking into account other important developments, such as the
anticipated enlargement of NATO. We must dare to be bold and innovative.
Indeed, both the PfP and EAPC were bold, innovative and forward-looking
initiatives, which at that time played a key role in our adapting to the
new security environment of the 1990s. An equal degree of visionary thinking
is called for today.
Sweden is looking forward to take active part in the comprehensive review
of the PfP cooperation which will be initiated early next year. We need
to build on the important progress made since the Washington Summit, but
we should also be prepared to move beyond those initiatives.