Updated: 09-Dec-2003 NATO Speeches


2 Dec. 2003

“New Threats, New Interoperability Needs – Road Map for Istanbul”

Intervention made by State Secretary Philippe Welti, Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Protection of Population and Sports

One of the main tasks of our Partnership is its contribution to security and stability through the preparation for sustainable Peace Support Operations. Even in times of new threats, there is no question about the continuous need and relevance of PSOs. As a tailor-made and effective instrument, they can prevent anarchy-like situations which offer breeding ground for terrorist activities. Interoperability in PSOs is still key. What has dramatically changed, however, is the environment future operations could be faced with. New forms of terrorism are lurking, and the possible use of CBRN agents has become a realistic scenario. These new circumstances require new forms of interoperability as well:

1. One way towards more comprehensive interoperability is the alignment of the PARP with the new nature of threats. For example Partnership Goals dealing with the protection and defence against CBRN agents, with military contributions to Civil Emergency Planning, or with legal arrangements to ensure efficient host nation support are steps in the right direction. In this respect, Switzerland highly welcomes the ongoing adaptation of the PARP.

2. On the practical side, the designing of terrorism-related training and exercises is necessary. In this respect, the intended involvement of partner nations in NATO-exercises via the OCC threshold goes into the right direction. Furthermore, we support the Swedish-Finnish proposal on Second Generation PSEs as a means to deepen the Partnership.

3. An appropriate way towards terrorism-related interoperability is NATO’s intention to involve Partners in the “Prague Capabilities Commitment” (PCC). The participation in some of the multinational initiatives of the PCC offers promising opportunities to enhance Partners’ interoperability. Being aware of the new threats to any future joint operation, the multinational CBRN effort is particularly appropriate for the involvement of partner nations. In this context, we examine the involvement of Switzerland’s NBC Center of Excellence to provide expertise in the field of force protection against CBRN threats.

Asymmetric threats not only concern deployed PSO-contingents, but our populations as a whole. All nations are potential targets. Being aware of these boundless dangers stemming from WMD, Switzerland and the Netherlands launched a project in 2003 tackling the lack of knowledge existing at strategic decision making level with regard to CBRN incidents, particularly biological incidents. What we are trying to do, is to create a set of consequence management information tools – for awareness raising, training and exercises, and decision support. It is finally aimed at enhanced preparedness against biological incidents. The knowledge existing on operational level has to be translated into decision support information for the strategic – the Government– level. At the end, the developed tool-set should not least contribute to the international dimension of consequence management – and therefore serve as a possibility of how to get broader interoperability.

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