|Updated: 06-May-2004||NATO Speeches|
6 May 2004
by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
National Armaments Directors,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to open this first CNAD exhibition on New Concepts for Defence Against Terrorism.
I wish to extend my special thanks to Defence Investment Staff, the NATO Industrial Advisors Group, and the NATO Research and Technology Agency for the excellent initiatives that they took in organizing this quite unconventional event under the aegis and in the framework of the May 2004 Conference of National Armaments Directors.
We all recognize the threat posed today by international terrorism, and the critical role of the Conference of National Armaments Directors, our senior NATO body responsible for armaments and technology, in meeting the challenges.
And I want to underline here today, in front of our National Armaments Directors, the great importance that I attach to their key contribution to the pooling of our efforts to strengthen the military capabilities that we need to meet the priority commitments of our Alliance.
This first NATO technology and hardware exhibition is an outstanding illustration of the tangible, physical implications of CNAD work. It is a unique opportunity for defence industry companies and research establishments - identified through the widespread networks of our NATO Industrial Advisory Group and our Research & Technology Organization - to show latest innovative ways to fight or protect against terrorism, a threat that requires all the resources, skills and experience that we possess.
Our response to this threat must be determined and comprehensive. Fighting it requires our readiness in sharing intelligence, law enforcement, border security, and the tracking of terrorist finances.
But the military, too, has a role to play, and so must NATO. And we have started to rise to this challenge. At the Prague Summit, in November 2002, NATO recognized terrorism as one of the defining security challenges of this new century. And we decided to send our forces to wherever they are needed to meet these challenges.
This exhibition provides a welcome input from our business and research world to the problem. It offers a good first choice of efficient, innovative concepts and systems to counter terrorist threats: weapons, protective devices, sensors, satellites, decision aids, and many others. Due to drastic space limitation - for which we apologize - the organizers had to be very selective.
But they have succeeded, I think, in showing a diversity of interactive technologies and hardware, representing a balanced mix of large and small companies and establishments, from throughout Europe and North America - quite a transatlantic challenge to which, I believe, we have successfully responded.
I wish to congratulate the 35 exhibitors for offering us this great
first opportunity, and I would now stop and wish you all a pleasant and