|Updated: 22-Nov-2002||NATO Speeches|
22 Nov. 2002
by Swiss Federal Councillor, Joseph Deiss,
Mr. Secretary General.
Let me share with you Switzerland's great satisfaction to be present
here in Prague tor this truly extraordinary moment. We are all witnessing
an important boost to democracy, stability and security in Europe. NATO's
extensive and flexible partnership outreach has allowed the smooth start
to another important step in the enlargement process. 1 would like to
congratulate those Partners who have been invited to join NATO.
A chain is as strong as its weakest link. Promoting security and stability
therefore has to continue in order to build a strong security community
based on democracy, the rule of law and human rights. EAPC and the Partnership
for Peace are essential factors in forging this chain and they keep us
moving along on this trail.
Switzerland is committed to further developing this co-operative approach.
Swiss neutrality is incompatible with NATO membership. And Switzerland
has no intention to give up its neutrality. But this does not prevent
us from addressing present and future security challenges. Therefore Partnership
for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council are important instruments
of our security policy.
Allow me to stress those points that we consider to be the key elements
of the future Partnership:
Firstly, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership should be further strengthened.
EAPC and PfP have been crucial to the success we acclaim today. We can
build on a solid base of experience and existing tools. We will have to
further develop the Partnership and afford it the necessary resources.
NATO enlargement must go together with an enhanced Partnership, in the
interest of both. In this respect, we welcome the strong support and the
upgrading afforded to the EAPC and PfP by the Prague NATO Summit Declaration.
It will be very important to prioritise those fields of co-operation
that correspond to partners' concrete interests. Working towards interoperability
in peace support operations will remain the backbone for us. We intend
to build increasingly on PfP in our military planning and training, and
in our ongoing defence reform.
Secondly, we would like to promote a Partnership in action.
The Partnership Action Plan Against Terrorism is a comprehensive initiative,
addressing measures to prevent and combat terrorism, as well as consequence
management. The Plan follows a cross-cutting approach, and brings civilian
and military activities together. The principles of inclusiveness and
self-differentiation are key factors for success. We are committed to
implementing the Plan. In this respect we may announce that we are already
looking forward to organising a workshop on bioterrorism together with
the United States during the first half of next year. This event might
serve as a kick off for further projects on this topic.
Indeed, the importance of the Partnership lies in its focus on practical
measures. Let me stress here the Importance we attach to the civil emergency
planning activities. The possibility to support civil disaster relief
efforts by military means outside the Article V context could and should
be pursued even more actively, and necessary planning steps should be
brought to a more concrete level. We also consider the Partnership as
an ideal framework for promoting respect for international humanitarian
law and we will continue our involvement here. Finally, we also believe
that the Partnership could benefit from even closer co-operation with
the UN and the OSCE in different practical fields such as small arms and
security sector reform.
Thirdly, we see the need to further reflect on the Partnership's role
in addressing new threats to security.
New security threats are blurring the distinction between defence policy
and domestic security policy. Within the Partnership we have started to
develop ideas on security sector reform, which could allow us to further
examine non-military risks and the interaction between different security
actors. The Partnership offers the opportunity to facilitate practical
co-operation between all relevant security actors, with the aim of seeking
rapid responses to new threats and challenges.
There is a tendency for EAPC member states to regard accession to NATO
as their ultimate objective and Partnership as the means to achieving
it Switzerland hopes, however, that as NATO enlargement progresses, its
patterns for co-operation will also widen, thereby guaranteeing long-term
relevance for the Partnership as a cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security
co-operation. A special effort must be made to reach out to very diverse
regional groups. Practical experience acquired over recent years will
increasingly enable us to tailor our approach to specific regions and
to specific threats.
Mr. Secretary General,
Let me conclude:
Flexibility, political will. solidarity, and the principle of indivisible security are the ingredients of success for the promotion of stability and peace within as well as outside the Euro-Atlantic Area. It's up to us to make them work!
Thank you for your attention.