Updated: 12-Feb-2004 NATO Speeches


15 Dec. 2003

Eng. / Fr.


by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson
on the Policy Recommendations adopted by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly at its Forty Ninth Annual Session in Orlando 2003

Resolution 323 on trafficking in human beings
Resolution 324 on Allied operations in Iraq
Resolution 325 on economic development & security
Resolution 326 on rebuilding transatlantic confidence after the war in Iraq
Resolution 327 on non-proliferation in the 21st century

External links
Nov. 2003 - NATO-PA
Resolution 323

Resolution 323 on trafficking in human beings

I welcome the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 323 on “Trafficking of Human Beings” as a positive contribution to developing a common strategy to deal with this important issue. NATO shares the concern of the NATO PA with regard to the trafficking of human beings. While considerable attention has been focused on the Balkans, trafficking is a threat to security throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. Trafficking of human beings is a pressing challenge that transcends geographical borders. It affects countries of origin, countries of transit and countries of destination. Despite efforts undertaken by nations and international organisations, the phenomenon is flourishing and the last decade has seen a tremendous increase both in incidents of trafficking in human beings and in number of victims.

The issue of trafficking with human beings has been discussed at NATO among Allies and with Partners. At the EAPC Foreign Ministerial meeting on 5 December, Ministers took note of work underway to develop a NATO policy on combating the trafficking of women and children, which would apply to all personnel taking part in NATO-led operations. They welcomed that, to the maximum extent possible, the development of such a policy and associated measures would be taken forward with EAPC Partners.

A step-by-step process is under way to develop a policy and to examine aspects relating to operations, training, education and awareness. As a first step, a compilation of examples of national policies and information on how this topic is addressed in national training institutes is being prepared. Policies already agreed by international bodies, such as the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, as well as the work undertaken by the UN and others organisations will also be drawn upon. On that basis, a policy on combating the trafficking of women and children that would apply to NATO personnel and national personnel taking part in NATO-led operations will be developed. Your proposals relating to legal measures and prevention are especially welcome as a contribution to resolving this problem.

We are at the beginning of this process; however, we can envisage that the policy will be complemented by operations, training, education and awareness. Within existing means and capabilities, NATO forces such as KFOR and SFOR will continue to assist civil authorities in combating organised crime - this may include, for example, sharing of intelligence. Once the policy has been agreed, we will also work to ensure that all personnel taking part in NATO-led operations are aware of the NATO policy and applicable laws and national military laws that reinforce this policy. Longer term, we will look at how this topic is addressed within national training institutes and PfP Training Centres in the context of military training and training for pre-deployment. This may include identifying a “best practices” model for others to use and adapt.

The NATO PA’s interest and willingness to support and assist in the development and implementation of NATO’s policy will be valuable.

External links
Nov. 2003 - NATO-PA
Resolution 324

Resolution 324 on Allied operations in Iraq

Peace, stability and reconstruction in Iraq remain a high priority for the Alliance. Allies have welcomed the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1511. They are committed to its full implementation in order to restore conditions of stability and security in the country, and return governing responsibilities and authorities to the people of Iraq. In that respect, the 15 November “Agreement on Political Process” foreseeing the establishment of a Transitional National Assembly, the drafting of a constitution and the holding of elections for a new Iraqi government was a major step in the right direction.

Since June 2003 NATO has been providing support to the Multi-National Division Centre South in Iraq, currently led by Poland, in the areas of force generation, communications, logistics and movements. The Alliance follows closely the situation in Iraq. It is a standing item on the agenda of regular North Atlantic Council meetings, with updates by the US, UK and Poland. The North Atlantic Council will review NATO’s contribution to the stabilisation efforts on a regular basis.

At their December meetings, Allied Foreign and Defence Ministers exchanged views on developments in the country. While no concrete proposals were made for an increased role for NATO in Iraq, the idea could be further discussed in the run up to the Istanbul Summit.

In the meantime, Allies continue to focus on the challenges that lie ahead in Afghanistan where we have begun to implement the important decision of a gradual expansion of ISAF. While not excluding an eventual, stronger engagement by the Alliance in other theatres, I believe we must get ISAF expansion right before committing ourselves politically and militarily to what is proving to be a highly complex environment in Iraq.

External links
Nov. 2003 - NATO-PA
Resolution 325

Resolution 325 on economic development & security

I feel that this Resolution addresses issues of the uttermost urgency and importance for the international community. I, therefore, warmly welcome this robust statement of the needs and obligations of Western governments and society, in partnership with the Developing World, in meeting the economic and security challenges that will accompany the attainment of the internationally agreed UN Millenium Goals of development.

This Resolution, in particular, demonstrates the profound and inextricable links between security, stability, peace and economic development and emphasises the crucial role to be played by members of the Alliance, together with Partners, in promoting security and stability in not only states such as Afghanistan and Iraq but also through assistance to developing countries as they strive to achieve prosperity, good governance and democracy.

I support the commitment of the Resolution to build a stronger partnership between Western governments, including members of the Alliance, and the developing world in strengthening international co-operation in trade and investment. This will help to promote the conditions that can lead to justice, fairness, stability and security in international economic and social relations.

My strongest support is given to the call for the restoration of political and economic order in Afghanistan and Iraq. NATO is playing a crucial role through ISAF in Afghanistan in helping to create the security that will underpin the realisation of such political and economic order. Through the contributions of Alliance members and partners, it is also making a highly important contribution to establishing the political and economic conditions that will eventually ensure the stability and prosperity of Iraq.

As the Resolution observes, long-term development efforts cannot proceed against a background of instability and insecurity. I, therefore, endorse the ambition of this Resolution in calling for the implementation of superior dialogue and mechanisms in the promotion of greater international stability and security through sustained and committed international economic and development co-operation.

External links
Nov. 2003 - NATO-PA
Resolution 326

Resolution 326 on rebuilding transatlantic confidence after the war in Iraq

The transatlantic partnership remains the foundation of global stability, economic growth, and technological innovation. North America and Europe represent the world's strongest community of like-minded nations: not only successful democracies, but also outward-looking nations with a culture of pragmatic problem-solving. Together, they are the world's most powerful engine of positive change. That is why they are destined to cooperate. And why, if they happen to disagree, they need to overcome their divisions quickly.

The war in Iraq put tremendous pressure both on the transatlantic relationship and on NATO. It took us eleven difficult days to meet our Washington Treaty commitments and reinforce Turkey. Yet the Alliance has demonstrated time and again that what unites us is greater than what divides us. This enabled us not only to achieve consensus over Turkey. It also enabled us, only a few weeks later, to take two previously unthinkable decisions: to take over the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul and to provide support to Poland in its leadership of a multinational division in Iraq. These decisions prove that, irrespective of disagreements on individual issues, a deep consensus exists across Europe and the Atlantic on post-September 11 threats and how to deal with them. Like no other institution, the Alliance is able to translate the military and political potential of Europe and North America into concrete action. Like no other institution, NATO is able to square the circle of multilateralism and effectiveness. We have proved it in the Balkans, we are proving it in Afghanistan, and I believe we may well be called upon to prove it in Iraq as well.

The deployment of forces from many NATO nations to Afghanistan, and more recently to Iraq, demonstrates that a key condition for a new transatlantic security consensus has already been met: NATO's theological "out-of-area" debate is well and truly over. Today, all Allies agree on the need for a functional approach to security, rather than a geographical one. And they are acting according to this logic. Today, NATO is not only "out-of-area", but indeed "out-of-continent". At our Foreign and Defence Ministers meetings in early December 2003, discussions on a stronger NATO role in Iraq did not appear in any way heretical.

NATO’s new operations require close cooperation with other nations, and notably with our Partners. We are looking at ways to strengthen our tried-and-tested mechanisms of Partnership for Peace and EAPC in order to make them more responsive to the specific needs of our Partners in the Caucasus and Central Asia. The enhancement of our Mediterranean Dialogue will feature high on the agenda of our Istanbul Summit next June. And our informal dialogue with China, a direct neighbour of Afghanistan, demonstrates that NATO's potential as a stabilising factor in Central Asia is widely recognised.

NATO's engagement in new regions and new types of conflict requires new military capabilities. I therefore wholeheartedly agree with the NATO PA's desire to see the Prague decisions on military capabilities come to fruition. In today's post-September 11 environment, rapid response, force projection and protection against weapons of mass destruction are at a premium -- precisely the areas in which the United States is increasingly strong and where Europe's Cold War legacy forces are historically weak. This trend encourages those in the US who advocate a more unilateralist approach, and undercuts the influence America’s European and Canadian Allies have to shape US security policies. For these reasons, acquiring new capabilities is as much a political as a military imperative.

Fortunately, many of the military improvements agreed at Prague are being implemented. The NATO Response Force (NRF) has been inaugurated recently. The NRF is designed to be robust, at high readiness, fully trained and certified and prepared to tackle the full spectrum of missions. When NATO decides to employ it, the NRF will be ready to deploy in five days and will be able to sustain itself for 30 days. The NRF is expected to achieve Initial Operational Capability in the coming year, and to reach Full Operational Capability by fall 2006, ready to be tailored to a specific operation as required to include non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian aid, crisis response including peacekeeping, counter terrorism, and embargo operations. Moreover, by giving us a hothouse for sharing new concepts and technologies, the NRF project ensures that all Allies, together, tackle the challenge of military transformation.

On December 1, 2003, the Alliance's new Multinational Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defence Battalion achieved its Initial Operational Capability. The CBRN battalion and the various other initiatives on nuclear, biological and chemical weapons defence signal a much stronger transatlantic consensus on the need to cope with this challenge. The immediate significance of these initiatives is as much political as practical. They indicate a heightened awareness of a common threat, and a determination not to let the issue of weapons of mass destruction become a major transatlantic fault line. This determination is underscored further with our ongoing work on a NATO Missile Defence feasibility study to examine options for protecting Alliance territory, forces and population centres against the full range of missile threats.

Overcoming outdated defence structures is one major part of adapting NATO to the 21st century. Another is effective decision-making. I therefore fully share the NATO PA's conviction that NATO must remain the Allies' primary forum for consultation for addressing crucial security issues. In the Cold War, we assumed that crises would take a long time to build up. We also assumed that in a conflict we could trade space for time. In the Balkans, too, things evolved slowly, leaving us much time -- sometimes too much time -- for debate. September 11 demonstrated with brutal clarity that the scenarios of the past may no longer apply. The new threats can strike from anywhere, and without warning. We need to react much more quickly than we ever had to contemplate.

NATO has proven that it is up to the challenge. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, it took the North Atlantic Council less than six hours to invoke Article 5. February 2003 showed that we occasionally need more time. In order to further enhance NATO’s effectiveness, we are reviewing our internal procedures, reducing the number of committees, streamlining Ministerial meetings and looking into ways to focus the Council’s work on key strategic issues. In the end, however, it is not the Organization that takes the decisions. It is the Governments and the Parliaments. Consequently, it is here where rethinking is most urgent. The challenge is clear: reconciling the need for faster decision-making with the imperative of democratic control. This is a huge challenge -- but one we simply must meet if our procedures are not to undermine our ability to defend ourselves, our values, and our interests.

I agree with the NATO PA's point about closer relations between NATO and the United Nations and between NATO and the European Union. Clearly, the relationship with the EU remains of special significance -- in particular, as there have recently been some irritations in our relations.

I have always argued that a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) is a strategic imperative, and I have done my share to make it a reality. But I firmly believe that it cannot work as an alternative to NATO, or a counterweight to the United States. An EU that rivals the US is militarily impossible, financially unaffordable, and politically unsustainable. Too many countries in Europe feel a strong and lasting bond with America for that to happen. What we do need is a partnership in which Europe can pull its weight, which encourages common approaches to new challenges, and which can handle occasional differences without relapsing into gloomy fantasies about mutual estrangement.

We must be realistic, furthermore, about the scope for NATO-EU cooperation. Both our institutions are going through a profound transformation, and we cannot formulate an “end state” of our relationship. But what we can do is to pragmatically broaden our cooperation in areas where our interests clearly coincide, and where we can complement each other. And I believe, very much like the NATO PA, that there are many such areas: managing crises, combating terrorism, preventing proliferation and – above all – improving military capabilities.

NATO’s Strategic Partnership with the EU is perhaps the most visible demonstration that the relationship between Europe and North America is changing. But the changes that we go through do not spell the "end of Atlanticism", as some would have it. On the contrary, what we are witnessing today is a new Atlanticism -- an Atlanticism based on a shared vision of the threats that we face in the 21st century; a determination to work together not only within Europe, but also beyond it; and a shared determination to build modern, effective military capabilities. For all these reasons, I believe that transatlantic confidence will not only be rebuilt, but that its renewal is already well underway.

External links
Nov. 2003 - NATO-PA
Resolution 327

Resolution 327 on non-proliferation in the 21st century

The Alliance shares the concerns expressed by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly regarding the grave threat posed to international security by the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the 21st century.

Indeed, the Alliance's policy of support for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation will continue to play a major role in the achievement of the Alliance's security objectives, including preventing the spread and use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. Allies have stressed the importance of abiding by, fully implementing and strengthening existing international arms control and disarmament accords and multilateral non-proliferation and export control regimes. Early admission of all invitees into all appropriate existing non-proliferation regimes could play a positive role in that regard.

In particular, the Alliance has underlined its commitment to reinforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the pre-eminent non-proliferation and disarmament mechanism, and ensuring the full compliance with it by all states party to the Treaty. It will also strengthen its common efforts to safeguard nuclear and radiological material.

The full compliance with the NPT is a matter of primary concern to the Alliance and Allies are kept informed on a regular basis on developments related to this important issue.

In reviewing the outcome of the Second Preparatory Committee, its Chairman, Ambassador Laszló Molnar (Hungary), referred to the vital role of the IAEA in verifying the NPT. He also stressed that the current pressures on the NPT meant that neither the Second nor the Third Preparatory Committee meetings would be routine events and also that it was vitally important that compromises could be reached so that the 2005 Review Conference would result in a strong consensus.

As set out in the December 2000 public report on “Options for Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBMs), Verification, Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament”, the Alliance reiterated the importance attached by member States to disarmament and non-proliferation, including compliance with the NPT and other agreements, such as the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The question of pressing the de facto nuclear weapon states that remain outside the NPT to sign both the NPT and the CTBT is addressed either bilaterally or multilaterally in the relevant fora.

Allies are informed on an ad hoc basis on the recent developments related to the Six Party Talks.

The integrity of the NPT is of primary concern to the Alliance.

The new relationship between the United States and the Russian Federation, set out in the New Strategic Framework, is based on mutual security, trust, co-operation, openness and predictability.

The United States and Russia continue to review the status of bilateral consultations on strategic offensive and non-strategic nuclear weapons. They have underlined their continued commitment to mutual reductions.

The Alliance is supporting the steps taken by the G-8 in Evian on issues of concern related to the non-proliferation of WMD, including securing radioactive sources and establishing a Global Partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction.

The relationship between the Alliance and the OPCW is broadening. The Secretary General met with the new OPCW Director General in February 2003. The OPCW has expressed a wish for closer co-operation with NATO in the field of chemical weapons terrorism. In addition, the Alliance has established ties with the World Health Organisation at working level with the view to explore ways to address bio-terrorism.

Ambassador Tibor Tóth (Hungary) in his capacity as Chairman provided the Alliance on a regular basis with comprehensive briefings on the prospects for the BWC Follow-up Process and the preparation of Experts meetings.

Strengthening export control regimes is an issue which should be addressed in the relevant fora.

The Alliance supports the aims of the Proliferation Security Initiative to establish a more co-ordinated and effective basis through which to impede and stop shipments of WMD, delivery systems, and related materials flowing to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern, consistent with national legal authorities and relevant international law and frameworks, including the United Nations Security Council.

The Alliance is kept informed on a regular basis on the developments related to the Proliferation Security Initiative.

As background, it is useful to mention that safeguarding the nuclear complex in Russia and other newly independent States is considered of crucial importance by Allies. In this regard, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Initiative which, was launched in April 1999, tasked the Senior Politico-Military Group on Proliferation (SGP) to improve its Matrix of Bilateral WMD Destruction and Management Assistance Programmes.

The purpose of the Matrix is to highlight the assistance programmes from NATO Countries, non-NATO countries and International Organisations to Russia and NIS Countries in the field of decommissioning Weapons of Mass Destruction in order to avoid overlap between the national assistance programmes of Allies and to detect lacunae. It also aims to enhance multilateral co-ordination of Assistance.

In the nuclear field, the areas that the Matrix is covering are:

  • the materials;
  • the weapon systems;
  • the conversion of production facilities;
  • the stockpiles;
  • Conversion/Training of scientists and other Staff;
  • and the legal, administrative and customs assistance.

The Alliance was or is directly involved in various assistance programmes.

Other countries are also assisted either bilaterally or multilaterally by the international community with the view of improving the protection of their nuclear materials in relevant fora.

The implementation of the G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction is an issue which should be addressed in the relevant fora.

The military capabilities of the Alliance must be able to respond rapidly and effectively, wherever the Alliance decides, to the challenges to our security, from wherever they may come, including the dangers posed by terrorism. In December, Ministers of Defence reviewed the work that has been accomplished since the Prague Summit to this end, in particular progress in establishing the NATO Response Force, implementing the new command structure, and meeting the Prague Capabilities Commitment. The Alliance took special note of the establishment of the NATO multinational Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defence Battalion.

A year ago Heads of State and Government endorsed a set of nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons defence initiatives. Work on them is now well advanced, transforming prototypes into Alliance capabilities. The operational fielding of the NBC Analytical Laboratory and the Joint Assessment Team has been accelerated, and the concept for a NATO multinational Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defence Battalion capability has been developed. The first such battalion, under the leadership of the Czech Republic and with contributions from a total of 13 nations, has today achieved its initial operational capability and will reach full operational capability in July 2004. Other rotations of the multinational battalion will follow, under the leadership of other Allies, and will continue to make an important contribution to the NATO Response Force and to the Alliance's capability to address NBC threats.

Looking ahead to the Istanbul Summit, Defence Ministers directed that work should continue on the NATO multinational Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear defence battalion in order to achieve full operational capability from July 2004 onwards, together with the development of the NATO Response Force.

The Alliance remains also committed to the protection of civilian populations. Progress has been made in their protection and in the improvement of civil preparedness against possible terrorist attacks with chemical, biological and radiological agents. These efforts are aimed mainly at enhancing the ability of Allies and Partners to assist one another, upon request, to deal with the consequences of terrorist attacks.

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