Björn von Sydow,
Minister for Defence of Sweden
at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
in Defence Ministers session
The 11 September was a confirmation that the future has already arrived;
a future with a broader scale of security risks and threats. However,
we rose to the challenge and resolutely agreed to engage in a global struggle
against international terrorism, a struggle that must be fought with political,
economic, judicial and if need be, military means.
The on-going restructuring and adaptation of The Swedish Defence to handle
a broader scale of threats and risks, is on the right track and has been
given a new momentum in the light of this autumn.
My conclusion is that we are all exposed to the threat of terrorism and
the only way to deal with it is to work together. The challenge before
us is to develop practical ways of combating international terrorism and
its consequences. Several actors will have important roles in this effort.
The EAPC could and should be one of them.
Sweden and Finland have presented ideas on how to develop EAPC on this
issue. We have been very gratified by the positive reactions to these
proposals, both from NATO members and Partner countries, indicating a
broad wish to constructively engage the EAPC. The EAPC Action Plan reflects
several promising avenues for increased co-operation relating to the
international fight against terrorism and how to protect our population
against consequences of terror attacks. Sweden will make its contribution
in order to turn suggestions into action.
We appreciate the ambition by NATO to involve and inform Partner countries
of the measures undertaken by NATO in the wake of 11 September. The level
of transparency established is in the spirit of the Partnership for Peace,
in this regard, I would like to draw your attention to the Balkans and
the recent six-month reviews (SMR) of SFOR and KFOR, conducted by NATO
in the spirit of inclusion and transparency, Sweden welcomes the opportunity
given to Partner countries to contribute to this process. We also appreciate
that NATO share reports regarding NATO future presence on the Balkans.
1 think we all can agree to that the SMRs can be further improved through,
for example, the establishment of a more regional approach to the Balkans.
We also support the priority given by NATO to the importance of coordination,
and in particular, with other representatives from the international community
present in the area of operation. We are, indeed, looking forward to take
active part in preparation of the coming SMRs.
Now, let me say a few words about the Planning and Review Process. Sweden
has for a long period of time used PARP for development of interoperability
in our Armed Forces. We believe that our units must have the capabilities
needed for effective participation in operations led by the NATO, EU or
the United Nations. The PARP Ministerial Guidance that we today are about
to approve further develops that process. I am especially glad that the
new procedures will further promote transparency of the review process.
Now, exploring the benefit of the EAPC in combating international terrorism
is not the only issue in the context of the future of this forum. The
NATO/EAPC Summit in Prague next year will be of paramount importance in
providing guidance for OUT future. It is now time to start our conceptual
work on this, taking into account other important developments, such as
the enlargement of NATO, the development of the ESDP and co-operation
between NATO and the EU.
PfP has developed from a visionary idea into one of the most important
instruments for developing Euro-Atlantic crisis management capabilities
and security co-operation. Its significance is manifested every day in
our joint efforts. In fact, the PfP has become mainstream business for
all countries involved in this co-operation. In view of the challenges
ahead, we have an important common task in assuring that Partnership for
Peace maintains its relevance for all participants.
We must dare to be bold and innovative. No doubt, both the PfP and EAPC
were bold, innovative and forward-looking initiatives, which played a
key role in adapting NATO and Partners to the new security environment
of the 1990s. An equal degree of visionary thinking is needed today.
The EAPC/PfP formal is unique by its versatility, inclusiveness and wide
participation. Based on self-differentiation it provides for interoperability
and substantial contributions to all forms of multinational Peace Support
Operations. Activities within the EAPC promote regional co-operation and
provide an important tool for confidence building within regions as well
as between regions and NATO and Partner countries. Several important initiatives
to enhance and make the Partnership more operational were introduced in
Washington in 1999. The basic principles, together with implementation
of the decisions already taken and the recently undertaken PMSC Stocktaking
in PfP, provide a starting point for our discussion on the future. We
need to build on the important progress made and further develop already
existing programmes, but also consider expanding the Partnership into
Sweden is looking forward to the comprehensive review of the PfP cooperation
that will be initiated early next year. I do not want to anticipate our
upcoming discussions, but let me tentatively mention some issues that
could be of interest to discuss:
- The possibilities for new areas of co-operation
- Partner countries participation in PfP-related work in the NATO organisation,
such as the PSE concept and increasing the possibilities for civilian
personnel from Partner countries to work inside NATO structures
- Developing PfP exercises in order to cover even more complex
situations and scenarios including consequences of the events this
- Exploring the possibility to develop Multinational Formations even
further (the Swedish experiences of Nordcaps are very positive)
- Developing a deepened co-operation regarding Civil - Military co
operation and the field of Civil Emergency Planning. This could
include further expanding the level of interoperability and to identify
specific areas for future co-operation.
- Exploring and developing the tools for Lessons Learned
Building security and fostering cooperation is an endless endeavour.
New challenges and new tasks are emerging. The European security landscape
continues to evolve. Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlanlic Partnership
Council have demonstrated its continued adaptability and relevance.
In light of the anticipated fundamental changes that will occur during
the next year, it is a Swedish concern that we must not let the value
of the Partnership and the EAPC erode. Sweden remains committed to its