Updated: 27-Jun-2002 Week of 24-30 June 2002

24 June 2002

Lord Robertson addresses
the issue of security in South-East Europe

During a one-day visit to Croatia, 24 June, NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, met a number of high-level government officials and was invited to give a speech at a conference on "Regional stability and cooperation: NATO, Croatia and South Eastern Europe".

He had meetings with President Stipe Mesic, Prime Minister Ivica Racan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tonico Picula, Minister of Defence Jozo Rados, as well as with parliamentarians. Croatia is an active Partner which joined NATO's Membership Action Plan in Reykjavik this May. This Autumn, it will be submitting its first Annual National Programme, which will start preparing the country for possible future membership of the Alliance.

In the speech Lord Robertson gave at the conference on security in South-East Europe, he stressed the positive steps taken by Croatia to integrate into Euro-Atlantic institutions and contribute to stabilising the region, even if challenges remained to be addressed. He added that "Slowly but surely, a region once notorious for brutal conflict is enjoying deepening stability and developing democracy, and is steadily getting closer to European and Euro-Atlantic institutions". He then stressed: "It is my firm belief that the future stability and security of South-East Europe will depend critically on the willingness of the Governments in the region to deepen and broaden cooperation with their neighbours".

The conference was held in Zagreb on 24-25 June and was organised by the Institute of International Relations of Zagreb and the Croatian Atlantic Club. It was sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and by NATO.

Additional information:
  • NATO Speech: Speech by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson at the international conference on "Regional Stability and Cooperation: NATO, Croatia and South-East Europe" - 24 June 2002
  • Webmodule on NATO's South East European Initiative (SEEI)