|Updated: 02-Dec-2003||NATO Speeches|
02 Dec. 2003
by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson at the Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Defence Ministers's session with Invitees
Good morning and welcome to this meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, in Defence Ministers’ session. It is a particular pleasure to welcome Mr. Yevhen Marchuk, the Ukrainian Minister of Defence.
NATO and Ukraine are strategic partners in maintaining peace and stability. As in all true partnerships, both sides benefit. Indeed, it is fair to say that our wide range of co-operation has exceeded the most optimistic original expectations.
Our co-operation in defence and security sector reform in Ukraine continues to be an effective instrument to bring about necessary changes in Ukraine’s security posture. It is also a key mechanism for achieving the ambitious objectives of the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan.
We gather today to assess the progress that has been made in 2003 in implementing defence and security reforms in Ukraine and to set the priorities for our joint efforts in 2004. I consider activities in support of the comprehensive defence review and wider security sector reform in Ukraine to be among the most significant achievements of 2003.
We must also consider how NATO Allies can further support Ukraine’s efforts.
The other side of our partnership is that Ukraine today exports stability, including by maintaining its forces in the Balkans and contributing to the post-conflict stabilisation of Iraq. I am sure that NATO Allies welcome these important contributions, which signify Ukraine’s commitment to peace and stability in strategically important regions of the world.
Let me now give the floor to Minister Marchuk for his opening remarks.