Updated: 09-Dec-2003 NATO Speeches


5 Dec. 2003

“New threats, New Missions - The Role of Partnership”

Statement by Secretary of State Franz von Daeniken, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Switzerland is confident that the enlarged NATO will continue to look beyond its borders towards its partners. We are willing to address in solidarity with our partners security challenges that concern all of us. That is why we firmly support the ongoing reform process of EAPC/PfP. We have handed out a Non-Paper sharing some of our thoughts on the Partnership on the road to Istanbul.

The Partnership should continue to cover a broad range of security issues, addressing many non-military risks we are facing. Border security, trafficking in arms, drugs and human beings or the democratic control of security forces belong to those.

Switzerland wants to give substance to these issues through concrete projects. An illustration of this is the forthcoming workshop devoted to border management and security, which Switzerland, together with the United Kingdom and Albania will organize in January 2004 in Tirana.

The implementation of the Action Plan against Terrorism must remain a priority on the Partnership's agenda. Switzerland has been involved in a number of specific areas. One of those is the fight against financing of terrorism. Last week, more than 100 participants from 34 Partner countries gathered in Geneva to hold a workshop. It aimed at increasing international awareness and cooperation in this sensitive area. We intend to organize two additional follow-up events next year in cooperation with partners.

In order to reap the fruits of NATO enlargement, reaching out and stabilizing the partner areas at the periphery of the enlarged NATO is crucial. The priority of our commitment within Partnership remains in South East Europe. Switzerland will continue to promote the accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of Serbia and Montenegro to the Partnership. We will also continue to assist these countries to fulfil the obligations and requirements set on them by the international community. In this respect, we mention the United Kingdom’s initiative to establish in Bosnia and Herzegovina a Peace Support Operation Training Center, which we joined, together with other partners, with financial means and military personnel.

In the same line of thought, Switzerland welcomes the idea of increasing the cooperation with Mediterranean Partners. We support NATO’s will to further enhance this relationship and think that operational activities could usefully address trafficking and migration issues. Therefore, Switzerland favours a more structured dialogue between EAPC and Mediterranean Partners.

In closing, Mr. Secretary General, I would like to pay sincere tribute to your very dynamic leadership at the helm of the EAPC.

Go to Homepage Go to Index