Updated: 22-Nov-2002 NATO Speeches


22 November

Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson
at the EAPC Summit meeting in Prague

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am pleased and honoured to welcome you to this first Summit meeting of our Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in the 21st century. Prague, the "golden city of Europe", is at the heart of our community of nations. It is the perfect venue for our Partnership to take its next step forward.

The overall theme of Prague is transformation. We all now face a complex and challenging new security environment. In response, NATO is enlarging, taking on new missions, modernising its military capabilities and strengthening its relationships.

Partnership must also adapt. In the wake of 11th September, its value was clearly demonstrated, both as a platform for consultation, and as a mechanism for cooperation and joint action. These are strengths on which we must build.

But to do so, we have to be bold. We have to look beyond the traditional roles and mechanisms of the EAPC and Partnership for Peace, and to infuse the process with new substance.

Over the past year, we have together made major progress. We have developed a framework for a new, adapted Euro-Atlantic Partnership, a more effective tool to pursue common interests such as strengthening democracy and fighting terrorism. And an instrument that better responds to the specific needs and concerns of individual Partners.

I hope that you will give this new Partnership your strong endorsement today, and commit yourselves to a further strengthening of our relationship in the years to come.

I am honoured now to give the floor to our distinguished host, Prime Minister Špidla.


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