Updated: 02-Jun-2003 May 2003

22 May 2003


Improving Balkan border security

Five Western Balkan countries subscribed to a Common Platform for improving border security in the region at a high-level conference held in Ohrid, 22-23 May 2003.

The Platform was developed by the EU, NATO, OSCE and the Stability Pact, after consultations with other regional players.

It sets out a number of short- and longer-term objectives for all the countries concerned, and identifies a range of mechanisms and procedures that will help them in achieving those objectives.

Why is border security crucial? Because without it – as we see only too clearly at the moment – organised crime can too easily cross borders, creating ideal conditions for drug smuggling, gun-running, human trafficking, terrorism and political violence,” said NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson in his opening statement at the conference.

Participants also contributed to the development of a Way Forward Document, which identifies specific and concrete measures necessary to achieve the short-term objectives defined in the Common Platform.

The conference was hosted by the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1, and supported by the Stability Pact, NATO, the EU and the OSCE. It was attended by a number of Prime Ministers from the region, Foreign, Defence and Security Ministers, as well as key international figures.

Additional information:

  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name