by H. E.
Dr. Dimitrij Rupel
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia
at the EAPC Foreign Ministers Meeting
CURRENT SECURITY CHALLENGES
IN THE EURO-ATLANTIC AREA
It is twelve years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the World has
again changed dramatically: the terrorist attacks on the United States,
resulted in not only thousands of innocent victims, but also a thoroughly
changed global security environment. The brutality of the attacks demands
both a new understanding of security and the adoption of a new agenda
for fighting the plague of terrorism.
The new global insecurity challenges the conventional security concepts.
This situation is not about simple straight - forward polarisation. Aggression
is coming from many sides that are hard to define, isolate and fight.
A qualitatively new response is needed, and some conceptual questions
have to be addressed. We should not succumb to the rhetoric which claims
that terrorism is a direct product of backward social conditions. To assert
itself, terrorism in fact uses, reproduces and even produces backward
social conditions. We should not search for any justification of terrorism.
For Slovenia the fight against terrorism is of the highest priority.
We welcome the recent NAC decision to invite to an EAPC-wide inventory
of national capabilities and assets, which could be made available to
assist nations in protecting civilian populations against possible attacks
with chemical, biological or radiological agents. We have already provided
to the Director of Civil Emergency Planning the relevant information on
the inventory of national capabilities, which also include antibiotics
produced in Slovenia.
To further contribute to the enhancement of the conditions necessary
for the building of prosperous and stable societies in Southeast Europe,
Slovenia is to offer to increase its participation in NATO-led peace-support
operations with a third platoon in the SFOR mission in Bosnia.
Additionally, the Slovene managed International Trust Fund for Demining
and Landmine Victims Assistance (ITF) has announced that Kosovo has been
cleared of all landmines. The new Slovene sponsored "Together"
Regional Center for the Psychosocial Well-being of Children affected by
armed conflicts will extend our efforts in this area. We welcome donations
in support of this new Slovene initiative and would also like to take
this opportunity to warmly thank all the ITF donor nations gathered at
this meeting and inform you that the Slovenian government will propose
that ITF study the possibility of joining the demining efforts in Afghanistan
after the fighting has ended.
The new terrorist threat with its biological, chemical and nuclear components
does not divide the world between us and them, but menaces to destroy
all people and nations that appreciate freedom, human rights, individual
enterprise, democracy, quality of life and dignity of the individual person.
Therefore, a large coalition of human dignity against nihilism and fanaticism
of terrorist networks is needed.
In closing, I must emphasise that it is essential to understand that
the enlargement of NATO is not directed against anyone and that it is
just a process of building both, a common Europe and a fruitful Transatlantic
cooperation, from which no country from this area should be excluded.
Accordingly we warmly welcome the recent evolution of the relationship
between NATO and Russia.
Therefore, we believe that the decision of the respective governments
and heads of state of alliance countries in Prague concerning new invitations
should not be a difficult one.