Updated: 03-Apr-2002 Week of 18-24 March 2002

21 Mar. 2002

Conference on stability in the Mediterranean

"Governing stability across the Mediterranean Sea: a transatlantic perspective" was the theme of a conference held in Rome on 21-23 March. It examined ways of developing cooperation, mutual understanding and confidence-building measures between NATO and Mediterranean Dialogue countries, as well as other neighbouring countries, and addressed ways of strengthening transatlantic cohesion in the aftermath of the 11 September terrorist attacks. A paper produced by the organiser of the conference, the Istituto Affari Internazionali, discussed the way forward for NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue in preparation for the Prague Summit in November 2002.

The conference brought together representatives from research institutes and academic circles, NATO officials, as well as government representatives from NATO and Mediterranean Dialogue countries. Deputy NATO Secretary General, Alessandro Minuto Rizzo, during his closing address, identified five problem areas affecting the Mediterranean region:

  1. the rift between Europe and the Mediterranean region in terms of their democratic and economic development;
  2. ongoing regional tensions;
  3. limited natural resources;
  4. the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and finally,
  5. terrorism.

He stated that the Mediterranean has always played a significant part in the European security equation, adding that NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue was "not a one-way street. It is not all about NATO Allies trying to win over the Dialogue Partners in their vision of security. The Dialogue is as much a vehicle for the Allies to learn about the concerns and aspirations of the Mediterranean countries, as vice versa. And this channel of communication, this two-way street, has only become more important after 11 September".

The conference, organised by the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, was co-sponsored by the NATO Office of Information and Press and the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Additional information:
  • The webmodule on NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue
    • Conference: Governing Stability Across the Mediterranean Sea: a Transatlantic Perspective A conference organised - Rationale, Agenda & List of Participants
  • NATO Speech: Concluding remarks by Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alessandro Minuto Rizzo at the Conference on "Governing Stability Across the Mediterranean Sea: a Transatlantic Perspective" - Rome, Italy - 23 March 2002