NATO: Security issues in focus at 46-nation forum
Security issues in focus at 46-nation forum
The first ever Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Security Forum was held in Are, Sweden, from 24 to 25 May.
The event brought together a number of Ministers from NATO and partner countries, as well as senior decision-makers, representatives of think tanks and civil society.
The meeting demonstrated NATO’s desire to reach out to civil society in recognition of the role NGOs play in all aspects of NATO’s agenda, particularly peace-building and reconstruction in areas such as the Balkans and Afghanistan.
Managing common security
The forum also gave delegates an opportunity to discuss more openly and in greater depth than is usual in ministerial meetings the key issues in Euro-Atlantic security today.
This included for instance how to deal with frozen conflicts in the Caucasus; how to integrate the Balkans into Europe and resolve the unfinished business of the 90s, such as the status of Kosovo, bringing Serbia and Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina into the Partnership for Peace; and how to bring better synergy among international organisations so that they can apply their resources in a more effective way towards meeting common tasks such as security sector reform, border management, and civil reconstruction.
In this context, the Director-designate of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Kemal Derviº, who was one of the keynote speakers, stressed the need for more focus on development as part of a long-term security strategy.
The forum also heard keynote speeches by the NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and Swedish Foreign Minister, Mrs. Laila Freivalds, setting out their vision for security in the Euro-Atlantic area.
This was followed by four panels on: addressing Europe's unresolved conflicts; NATO and its other Partnerships; Central Asia - future cooperation in the EAPC; and acting in concert in the Balkans and elsewhere – how can institutional cooperation make the world more secure.