Updated: 03-May-2002 Week of 15-21 April 2002

17 April 2002

Lord Robertson in Athens

NATO-Russia cooperation, Greece's role in the Balkans and, in particular, the European Union's European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) and NATO-EU relations were at the top of Lord Robertson's agenda during his visit to Athens on 17 April. He met Prime Minister Simitis and the main opposition party leader (New Democracy), Mr Konstantine Karamanlis, with whom he held bilateral meetings.

Regarding developments in a defence role for the European Union and, more specifically, the Ankara Document which has not been accepted by Greece, Lord Robertson said: "I recognise that for the moment there are Greek reluctances that we should address. On the other hand, I recognise that there is a will to find a solution."

During his visit, Lord Robertson was also the keynote speaker at a conference organised by the weekly news magazine, The Economist. In his speech entitled "A new security network for the 21st century", Lord Robertson invoked the need for analysis and provocative thinking about the new security environment, be it in defining security threats, determining measures to combat these threats or taking action against them. He stated: "Today's security threats have taken advantage of the infrastructure of globalisation - to support each other, to feed each other, to build on each other. They have networked. […] Our challenge, as an international community, is to dismantle this network. To prevent, or stop, regional conflicts. To stop the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. To defeat terrorism. To control organised crime. And to ensure that the international financial system is used for the good of the international community, not exploited to undermine it. To accomplish this, we need an international security network. […] We need a global, integrated response, with deep cooperation between states, international organisations - all working together, in new ways, to meet this new network of security threats".

Additional information:
  • NATO Speech - 17 April 2002
    "A New Security Network for the 21st Century" - Speech by the Secretary General at the Economist Conference, Athens