|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement to the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg , May 28, 1998
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Mr. Secretary-General, fellow foreign ministers and colleagues. Today, we mark the first birthday of a young institution with a bright future -- the EAPC [Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council]. Next year, we will mark the 50th anniversary of a slightly older organization with a bright future -- NATO. We look forward to welcoming all EAPC members to NATO's 50th anniversary in Washington next April.
The agenda we set last year at Sintra is being implemented successfully. We consult on important issues such as Bosnia. We will agree today to act together on disaster relief efforts. Partners are playing an increasing role in PFP [Partnership for Peace] decision-making and planning. We need to build on our successes.
One of my goals here in Luxembourg has been to start a discussion about the direction of the Euro-Atlantic partnership in the 21st century.
Yesterday, I pointed out that NATO is no longer just an instrument through which Americans help Europeans secure Europe. It is also an institution that brings Europeans and Americans together to advance common interests.
Of course, collective defense against aggression is still NATO's primary mission. At the same time, when joint military action is needed to protect vital alliance interests, NATO should be our institution of choice.
This has important implications for the members of the EAPC. For when NATO does choose to act to defend common interests, it will do so whenever possible with our partners. This is what we have done through our consultations on Albania and FYROM [Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia]. That is why we now have Partner military officers at Allied Headquarters and why we are working on how to give Partners a greater role in planning and executing peace support operations.
I know many of our partners aspire to full membership in NATO. NATO has clearly reaffirmed its open door. It has offered not a promise but a process to help nations understand what they must do to make membership a possibility.
But the true measure of the transatlantic partnership lies not only in its roster and rationale, but in its resolve to meet real-world challenges to our security. It is in NATO's interest to enlist in common endeavors new democracies that care about freedom and that look upon its defense not merely as a burden to be shared, but as an honor to be sought.
We have proven we can act together in that spirit in Bosnia.
I think we also agree that no options should be ruled out in response to the crisis in Kosovo. Whatever contingencies we may face there, we will consult our partners through the EAPC and invite them to join us. The outward-looking alliance we are building must also work closely with you on a range of challenges that require a common political response.
For example, I hope we can agree today on a common position condemning the nuclear tests in India and Pakistan.
Here is a threat that emanates from beyond the geographic area of the EAPC. But what has happened certainly involves our common interests.
It matters to us all if a nuclear arms race begins in a part of the world where there is a chance nuclear weapons will be used. It matters to us all if the emerging global consensus against proliferation is undermined. It matters to us all if a message is sent to other nations that the world will stand by as they acquire weapons that kill massively.
We also need to keep faith with those nations that could have a nuclear capability, but which wisely and courageously chose not to pursue it. The people of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus made that choice at the beginning of this decade. Our actions can reinforce that they are on the right side of history, and that India and Pakistan are on the wrong side.
The EAPC encompasses 44 nations and hundreds of millions of free people on three continents. What we say and do together here matters. It can and should become a central part of the Euro-Atlantic decision-making architecture.
Toward that end, I pledge our best efforts and I count on your help.
[End of Document]
to the Secretary's Home Page. Return
to the DOSFAN Home Page.
This is an official U.S. Government source for information on the WWW. Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.