Updated: 14-May-2002 NATO Speeches

7 Dec. 2001


by H.E. Dr. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria

"Current Security Challenges in the Euro-Atlantic Area"

  • The terrorist attacks of 11 September have clearly shown that international cooperation and solidarity are the only possible answers to the fundamental security challenges of today. The invocation of Art. 5 Washington Treaty by the Allies as well as the statement of the EAPC, both on 12 September have been important signals in this regard.

  • I am sure that 11 September will have an important impact on our work within EAPC and PfP. This does not only apply to our activities in the military field. The menace of terrorism threat-ens us in many ways. There are links with international crime, and acts of terrorism can also be the cause of ecological disasters of a so far unforeseeable dimension. (The scenario of a terror-ist attack on a nuclear power plant is one that comes to mind.) For all these reasons Austria supported the Swedish-Finnish initiative. We hope that these issues will also become a key concern of our work in such bodies as the Committee on the Challenges of Modern Societies and the Senior Civil Emergency Planning Committee.

  • In view of the dynamic developments that next year's Summit Meetings in Prague are likely to bring about, we shall also have to begin a substantial reflection on the future of the EAPC. In this context I should like to draw your attention to Austria's specific concerns as a non-allied Member State of the European Union.

  • As you know the European Council in Helsinki decided to use existing defence planning pro-cedures, including the Planning and Review Process (PARP) of the PfP. For a country like Austria the PARP represents an essential instrument in its effort to make an optimal contribu-tion to the Common Security and Defence Policy of the Union; a mechanism that helps to avoid unnecessary duplications.

  • Finally, I should also like to refer to this year's celebration of the 10th anniversary of Partner-ship and Cooperation. The creation of a structure where NATO and partner countries are able to closely cooperate has proven to be of highest relevance to the security environment in the Euro-Atlantic area. Right from the start of the Austrian PfP-participation in 1995 we always tried to be active and committed players. Austria is determined to maintain this stance.

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