|EAPC Ministers Meet at NATO Headquarters |
EAPC Ministers Meet at NATO Headquarters
Source: NATO Press release M-EAPC-2(2001)175: Chairman's Summary of the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Defence Ministers Session. NATO HQ, December 19, 2001.
1. The Defence Ministers and Representatives of the member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) met today in Brussels to discuss ways of improving cooperation and capabilities to address terrorism and other non-conventional threats to security; practical cooperation under Partnership for Peace; and, for countries taking part in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP), the approval of the PARP Ministerial Guidance 2001.
2. At this first meeting of EAPC Defence Ministers since the attacks against the United States on 11 September, Ministers recalled that the EAPC reacted promptly following the attacks and issued a powerful statement of condemnation and solidarity on 12 September. The Ministers reaffirmed that the EAPC has been, and must continue to be, an essential pillar of the international coalition against terrorism. In this context, they underscored their determination to exploit the full potential of the EAPC and Partnership for Peace to increase cooperation and capabilities in the common struggle against terrorism. They welcomed the adoption of the EAPC Action Plan 2002-2004 and the Civil Emergency Planning Action Plan regarding possible chemical, biological or radiological attacks. NATO's intention, in the run-up to the Prague Summit, to deepen its engagement with its Partners in meeting the challenge of terrorism was welcomed by the Ministers.
3. The meeting marked the tenth anniversary of NATO's partnership and cooperation programme, which has helped transform security and political relations in the Euro-Atlantic region. Ministers noted the remarkable success of their cooperation across a broad spectrum of activities, including the NATO-led operations in the Balkans; interoperability and reform of armed forces; regional cooperation with NATO's support; programmes that contribute to human security, civil preparedness and promote a common security culture; and cooperation with other international actors in the field. They stressed however that there is further work ahead to promote lasting peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic region, and underscored the need to look to the future. They welcomed the decision to conduct a comprehensive review of Partnership in the run-up to the Prague Summit. This review should focus on ensuring that the Partnership remains robust and able to meet future challenges as efficiently and effectively as possible.
4. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a peaceful, stable and democratic South-East Europe and welcomed the positive developments throughout the region. They stressed that the coordinated and successful approach of the International Community and in particular the contribution to the peace process made by NATO's Operation Essential Harvest and the continuing role of Task Force Fox helped resolve the crisis in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Ministers praised the successful regional cooperation which has developed in the framework of the SEEGROUP.
5. Ministers welcomed the encouraging progress in a range of programmes under the enhanced and more operational Partnership. Ministers also look forward to the results of the next implementation review of the Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PfP Operations and of progress in the practical realisation of the various elements of the Operational Capabilities Concept.
6. Ministers of Allies and the 19 Partners who take part in the Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process (PARP) approved the PARP Ministerial Guidance 2001, which sets out the planning assumptions that will guide the further development of the PARP during the coming years. The PARP is open to all Partners as a tool for developing interoperability between Allied and Partner forces and for developing capabilities for multinational operations. The Ministers welcomed the decision of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to join PARP.
7. Ministers will meet again in Brussels in June 2002.