|Last updated: 24-Oct-2003 11:05||NATO Update|
focuses on democratic values
The Secretary General met President Leonid Kuchma, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryshchenko and Defence Minister Yevhen Marchuk. He also met the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada - the Ukrainian Parliament - Volodymyr Lytvyn.
He underlined the achievements of Ukraine in cooperating with the Alliance since its independence in 1991, but stressed the role of civil society in building a young democracy.
He said: "...success in this effort will require more than the stated intentions of political leaders and defence and security sector reform. […] Reinforcing political reform and the role of civil society is one of the [Action] Plan's key elements. Freedom of the press, freedom of opinion, are decisive factors among nations contributing to the future of the Alliance, including through its open-door membership policy. The quality of the Alliance is ultimately a mirror of the democratic values of its members".