Updated: 25-Nov-2002 NATO Speeches


22 November


by Mr. Siim Kallas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia,
at the EAPC summit meeting in Prague

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Heads of States and Government
Dear friends,

How should we judge the activities of the partnership? I can speak first and foremost from Estonia's point of view. We think that NATO's partnership - the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace - has been a success. NATO nations gave us, as well as the other partners, the valuable historic opportunity and experience of working together with them - we have had the privilege of planning our national defence by using the know-how of the world's most efficient organisation in the security field. At the same time, we can claim to possess the know-how of transition, know-how of co-operation, know-how of commitment. And we are eager to share, with the EAPC partners, our experiences in the field in which we have, if I dare to put it so, unique expertise -- we can give other nations a hand with nation-building.

As all our states promote win-win relationships, we have to keep in mind that not everyone in this new world sees it like that. Some still have a zero sum mentality and as such, indeed, have to lose. While we are building up our interoperable defence forces, someone has to disarm. While we are striving for the prosperity for our peoples, someone has to stop earning shady fortunes.

I think we all agree, that terrorists have to lose. Weapons proliferators have to disarm. Drug traffickers have to stop earning money. We firmly support the implementation of all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, against terrorism and for disarmament. The EAPC has taken its own steps in fighting the new evil, and the "Partnership Action Plan Against Terrorism" shows how firm our intentions are.

The historic significance of our meeting here today is reflected in our new everyday language, in which we refer to events as "pre-Prague" and "post-Prague". But it is not only this particular day that Estonia (and the other candidates as well) has been dreaming of. It is just a stop to look back and just another step on our road to a secure future.

We are convinced that one of our tasks is to remain committed to the partnership and co-operation. First of all, we must remember that the EAPC is a forum for providing a link to and a framework for cooperation with the Alliance. It has no life without NATO's continued commitment.

While preparing for our NATO membership, a unique instrument - the Membership Action Plan was developed. It was not only a way to integrate into NATO; it also helped us in the building up of our national defence system within an organised framework. This co-operation is not only a matter of interoperability of defence equipment. It is, first of all, interoperability of minds -- our officers and soldiers learned to speak and understand the language of their NATO friends, in not only a linguistic sense (of improving their command of the English and French as well as other languages), but also in a much broader sense. We see the future of the partnership in developing organised tailored programmes for partners, such as, the Individual Partnership Action Plan. We will work together for the new partnership that offers every partner an individual relationship. We hope that it will make co-operation better planned and more result-oriented. An important aspect is an intensified political dialogue between NATO and the partners. All the partners could become the producers of security, not just consumers.

As one aspect of the cooperation within the renewed partnership we should pay attention to civil crisis management, as the risks of today's world are no longer purely military. We should enhance co-operation with non-military structures, and use the valuable experience of the Nordic partners and Switzerland in the field of Civil Emergency Planning.

I would like to thank all the members of NATO and the NATO International Staff, as well as the EAPC partners for preparing both the "Consolidated Report on the Comprehensive Review of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace" and the "Partnership Action Plan Against Terrorism". These decisions on the partnership, along with the NATO's decisions on enlargement and capabilities, form a solid basis to address collectively the challenges of the 21st century.

Thank you for your attention!


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