Updated: 04-Jun-2003 NATO Speeches

Madrid, Spain

4 June 2003

New threats to security and the role of Partnership in dealing with them

Intervention by H.E. Ilir Meta Albanian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs at the EAPC Foreign Ministers Session

Honourable Secretary General,
Dear Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today's meeting of EAPC Foreign Ministers has convened at moments of paramount importance for our partnership. We are discussing today about issues that preoccupy the whole Trans-Atlantic area, and that will definitely affect our future.

The imbroglio created from the new era of terrorism, the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction from 'rogue states' and other irresponsible actors, and the illicit activities of international organised crime syndicates are dangerous and complicated phenomena. They have put the world order and our common future at stake.

This has been correctly named the era of great uncertainties. The unexpected terrorist attacks can occur in any of our capitals, cities or neighbourhood, thus destroying our peoples' lives and the trust they have vested in the democratic institutions and security establishments, either individual or collective.

It is becoming even more evident that the 'new terrorism' is not only exploiting this legacy and associating itself with Weapons of Mass Destruction, but engaging with international organized crime networks as well. This is a dangerous alliance that must be prevented and pre-empted if necessary, but only through common decisions and understanding, coordinated military efforts, intelligence sharing, efficient border control, law enforcement agencies' cooperation and an adequate national and international legislation.

Thus, EAPC forum provides an important framework to deal with these issues collectively at a global level. We share our commitments in several regional and global organizations.

What make EACP an available organization to deal promptly with international security is its legacy that has matured during several decades, its close ties with other international organizations, and the fact that it has the standing capacities, decision-making, commitment and experience to tackle these evils professionally and jointly.

At the Prague Summit the EAPC leaders expressed their engagement dearly by formally endorsing a Partnership Action Plan against terrorism. It is not just United States that has been hit. Many partner countries have been victims of al Qaeda's terror or other related activities.

Albania has joined its modest political and military contribution with that of the Alliance in the peace-support operations in Afghanistan and recently in Iraq.

In the region, Albania has joined all multilateral institutions that enhance peace, security and stability. We are committed to continue to work together and share responsibilities with our neighbours and partners- Southeast Europe is one of the regions where partnership has given positive results. Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia have all experienced the benefits of the international interlocking institutions that have helped to restore peace and build a stable future.

An example how partnership can prove effective is, among others, the Common Platform of the Ohrid Regional Conference on Border Security and Management The participation of NATO, EU, OSCE, Stability Pact and the five counties from the Western Balkans demonstrates the changed perception of modem security. It came out with a guideline of commitments. Its implementation will contribute not only to the region, but to the whole partnership area.

The prevention of illicit activities through an efficient border control, along other measures to tackle it nationally and internationally, grows the confidence of the populations, the investors, creates a positive environment for enlarged economic, cultural, political, human exchanges, which will all result in a safer area.

The modern security is not guarantied only by advanced military technologies and systems, but also through a developed market economy, democratic institutions, multi-ethnic societies, developed networks of infrastructure, good-understanding and common decision-making.

These are the reasons why the Trans-Atlantic area is a consolidated basin of peace, stability and prosperity. Its geography of membership is extending. The new members are adding values to this Alliance and ate increasing its senses of cohesion and responsibility. This is proving to be an important contribution to peace 'in and out' the geographical area of engagement. The involvement in the two theatres in Afghanistan and Iraq is proving that the enlargement does not grow the gap. It grows the commitment.

I will conclude by expressing Albania's commitment to continue to contribute, together with OUT partners from the region, in partnership activities and engagements with other NATO members, in the light of Prague Summit historic decisions. Thank you for your attention.


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