von Dniken, State Secretary of Switzerland
at the EAPC Foreign Ministers Meeting
This year, as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Euro-Atlantic
Partnership Council, we can all enjoy a moment of pride for what we have
achieved in the area of security co-operation. However, 2001 has seen
an unprecedented challenge to security. The tragic events of 11th of September
call for unconditional condemnation. They force us to thoroughly review
the current security situation and our future needs. EAPC, through its
pragmatic, flexible and inclusive approach, will play a significant role
in addressing these threats.
The strength of EAPC lies in the importance it gives to the wide range
of values shared by its members. In our urgent response to the immediate
threat of terrorism, we must act both decisively and calmly. The rule
of law, the safeguarding of individual freedoms, the protection of minorities,
and other essential standards must be guaranteed at all times. As we intensify
the fight against terrorism and organised crime, we face the task of striking
a balance between somewhat conflicting objectives.
The further development of EAPC/PfP will not only be shaped by our response
to terrorism, but also by a possibly further NATO enlargement and its
relationship to the EU, as well as by closer relations between NATO and
EAPC/PfP takes an approach to security based on co-operation. The EAPC/PfP's
new lines of action are symbolised in its new flag. Today, we know there
is a modern security community in the Euro-Atlantic area that is capable
of meeting current challenges. We acknowledge the common efforts undertaken
by NATO, the EU and OSCE to stabilize the political situation in Macedonia.
As we take stock of past achievements, we should also candidly assess
the use and the value of existing EAPC/PfP tools. Of special interest
to Switzerland are: security sector reform, with a special focus on the
democratic control of armed forces; enhancing knowledge of and respect
for international humanitarian law, and the use of civil emergency planning
in a broad sense.
Terrorism together with related activities such as trafficking in arms,
drugs, and human beings call for more conceptual work. Indeed, the area
of civil-military interaction in security management within the EAPC/PfP
framework merits further elaboration which goes well beyond one-off peace-support
operations. We must include the activities of relevant state actors other
than the armed forces and diplomacy. Switzerland is interested in looking
further into this matter.
Finally, potential exists for establishing new regional initiatives.
Close cooperation with and among the Central Asian and Caucasian countries
is needed. The group of Non-NATO-countries within EAPC/PfP will be significantly
changed by NATO enlargement. Switzerland sees the enlargement process
as an opportunity to strengthen ties between NATO countries and Non-NATO
members. Switzerland believes that as NATO enlarges, its patterns for
co-operation will also widen, and that the merits of other forms of co-operation
with other partners will come to the fore.
My country is looking forward to contributing to the future work of the
Partnership by providing expertise and making concrete offers of cooperation.
We were happy to support the project on destroying toxic materials in
Albania, and to promote co-operation between the OSCE and EAPC with the
Seminar on Small Arms and Light Weapons, which Switzerland hosted together
with Azerbaijan. Thanks to the support of everyone here at this table,
international humanitarian law has become a specific area of co-operation
both within the Partnership Working Program and the EAPC Action Plan.
We want to move forward in this direction.
Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
EAPC/PfP, with its concept of co-operative security, has proven to be
more than just paperwork. It is passing the test in South Eastern Europe.
The present situation there calls for an approach that avoids the creation
of new winners and losers. Swiss policy in this region is based on adopting
a comprehensive approach to strengthening democratic, economic and social
development. The emphasis is on regional co-operation. The Stability Pact
shows that this is feasible.
Thank you for your attention.