Speaking Thursday at the Prague-2002 conference in Brussels NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson advanced a new concept of the Alliance as a universal security instrument for 21st century. The conference is devoted to discussion of the Alliance prospects after the Prague summit scheduled for November.
According to Robertson, in the next few years the world will see more instability connected with political and economic processes in the Caucasus, Central Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. This instability will transfer from one region to another through the flows of migrants, political refugees, new slave trade accompanied by violence and drug trafficking, the Secretary General asserts.
We will see more terrorism, "unfortunate states," more proliferation of weapons, and not necessarily that of mass destruction, he stated.
Commenting on this gloomy picture Robertson made a conclusion on the inadmissibility of entering theoretical battles on determination of the sphere of responsibility. We should be able to operate wherever necessary, if this is required by protection of our security and tranquillity of our citizens, he emphasised.
The NATO Secretary General expounded on the programme consisting of five points, on which the "shrine" should be based. First of all, this relates to NATO military re-armament aiming to raise the efficiency in the new conditions. Second, consultations between the allies and partners, since terrorism knows no borders. Third, strengthening Russia-NATO relations since there are fewer disagreements between them than opportunities to settle problems together. Fourth, cooperation with Central Asian and Mediterranean countries. Fifth, close interaction with the UN, OSCE and other international organisations.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969