Updated: 11-Dec-2001 NATO Speeches

7 Dec. 2001


by Franz 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 Russia.

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.

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