|Updated: 22-Nov-2002||NATO Speeches|
22 Nov. 2002
Mr. Ion lliescu, President of Romania,
We can state with good reason that, as a result of the decisions taken
and their long-term consequences, yesterday's NAC Summit in Prague represents
a historic moment for both the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization and
for its partners.
The resolutions adopted by the North-Atlantic Council yesterday concern
all of us. It is incumbent upon us to work together in order to implement
them. The end of the Cold War was a positive event that brought about
the disappearance of serious threats to peace and security worldwide.
Unfortunately, we are now challenged with new types of security threats.
Such a fact prompts us to consider how we can provide the peace and security
that we need for our economic and social
Romania is among the seven countries invited yesterday to begin accession
negotiation. We are proud that we will become members of this organization.
We owe much of our successful candidature to the exemplary cooperation
with the NATO member countries, both at bilateral level and within the
Partnership for Peace framework. The establishment of the Partnership
for Peace has been a generous initiative, which has proved useful and
The Romanian Army, military and political decision-makers, and our civil
society have learnt much in an extremely short time. We are determined
to continue the reforms that we have begun, in order to reach the standards
expected of a NATO ally.
We shall endeavor to strengthen democracy and the rule of law, enhance
economic performance, make the army a professional body, and safeguard
classified information. We will maintain close interest in constructive
relations with our neighbors. We would like to preserve and consolidate
our status of security providers in Central and South-East Europe.
Reform will continue within the Army, by reducing manpower, upgrading
equipment, and setting higher standards for the employment and training
of military and civilian staff. Resources allocated for defense will not
fall bellow 2.3 percent of GDP in the next five fiscal years.
I believe that the Alliance enlargement process, which began in Madrid
in 1997 and continues here in Prague, is beneficial not only for the new
members, but also for the whole Organization, and all NATO partners- Standing
united, we will be more prepared to tackle the new threats to peace and
security, such as international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction- The steps we take against such threats will serve
not only to our own countries and peoples, but to the entire international
The resolutions that we have adopted here call on us, through the Council
of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership and the Partnership for Peace, to pay
special heed to the concerns of each and every partner.
As a NATO partner for nearly ten years, Romania is familiar with the
interests and concerns of every partner country. We enjoy good bilateral
relations with existing and future NATO partners. We, therefore, stand
ready to become actively involved in the development of cooperation plans.
Romania wants to take a more active role in building up an area of stability
and prosperity in Central-Southern Europe. Moreover, we hope to use our
influence and good bilateral and regional ties to turn the Balkans into
a region of peace and stability.
Romania's relations with our partners in the Caucasus - the real South-East
Europe - and Central Asia are extremely valuable to us. Romania has built
up healthy relationships with those countries, and we have mutually agreed
to make use of every opportunity in order to extend our cooperation. Further
assistance is needed for those countries to strengthen democracy, political
pluralism, the observance of citizens' rights and liberties, the development
of their civil societies.
The experiences that we have shared since the collapse of the Iron Curtain
and the end of the Cold War have shown us once more the high importance
of the values underlying the very existence of the North-Atlantic Treaty
NATO and its partner countries will play a significant role in providing
peace and stability to the Euro-Atlantic community for a long time to
come. Our mission is not an easy one. In order to cope with the new challenges,
as they are now shaping out at the turn of the century, we need both strong
political will and significant financial and military efforts. Our accomplishment
requires solidarity and full engagement by the Organization's members.
There is no hardship that cannot be overcome if we maintain confidence
in ourselves and in the rectitude of our values.
Thank you for your attention.