19 Dec. 2001
NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson
at the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
in Defence Ministers Session
Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Welcome to this meeting of Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Defence
- The new flag behind me is the flag of the EAPC based on a winning
design submitted by Janis Krievs from Latvia, and it will be increasingly
used as a symbol of this forum.
- Today we meet against the background of the appalling attacks against
the United States on 11 September. The EAPC acted promptly following
the attacks and on 12 September issued a powerful statement of condemnation
and solidarity. In the face of this new threat, our Partnership has
once again demonstrated its value. The EAPC is, and must continue to
be, an essential pillar of the international coalition against terrorism.
- This year we celebrate a decade of Partnership and Cooperation. Almost
exactly 10 years ago, in this same room, NATO Foreign Ministers held
their first official meeting with colleagues from Central and Eastern
Europe. We have come a long way, and we have every reason to be proud
of what we have achieved. EAPC and PfP are, by all accounts, the most
successful programme of international security cooperation ever attempted.
- Our co-operation spans a broad spectrum of activities. We cooperate
in the NATO-led operations in the Balkans; we work together to increase
interoperability and to reform our armed forces for today's and tomorrow's
tasks; we promote regional co-operation; our programmes contribute to
human security; and we act in harmony with other international organisations.
The various reports before us are testimony to the breadth and the depth
of our successful co-operation.
- There are three important subjects on our today's agenda: improving
co-operation and capabilities to address terrorism and other non-conventional
threats to security; practical co-operation under Partnership for Peace;
and approval of the PARP Ministerial Guidance 2001.
- I look forward to a stimulating exchange of views.