Address by Dr Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland at the OSCE´s 9th Ministerial Council in Bucharest on 3-4 December 2001

Mr Chairman,

The terrorist attacks of 11 September profoundly changed the way we look at our security. The threats to our security are no longer wars and conflicts between states. In addition to terrorism, threats such as drugs, communicable diseases, international crime, human right violations, intra state conflicts and the plight of IDPs need to be addressed seriously.

The determination of the international community to fight against terrorism has demonstrated that there is much more to unite us than to divide us. We should fully use this opportunity to strengthen regional and global security through more intense cooperation. But we should bear in mind that non-military means of conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation must be part and parcel of the toolbox of the international community to deal with crises.

The most important lesson we have learned is that no country, whatever its size, can enhance its security through isolation or acting unilaterally. What the fight against terrorism and countering other threats to security call for is increased multilateral cooperation and strengthening the international rule of law. In this respect the OSCE´s role has become even more important than before.

With its well established basis of shared values and commitments like the Action Plan we are about to adopt the OSCE is well-suited to deal with today’s security challenges.

Mr Chairman,

I sincerely hope that the unanimity and determination, which we are showing in our common fight against terrorism, will also be reflected in the resolution of regional conflicts.

There are some hopeful signs of positive developments, particularly in Moldova. All participating states should join in an effort to achieve concrete progress. I am pleased to announce a further Finnish contribution of 420.000 euros to the project to destroy Russian ammunitions and explosives in Moldova.

The situation in Georgia remains tense although some encouraging steps have been taken towards fulfilling the Istanbul commitments. This momentum should be seized to settle the timetable and conditions for finalizing the military withdrawal. The OSCE community should fully support these endeavours.

The OSCE has also made an important effort this year with regard to the OSCE Assistance Group to Chechnya. I welcome the return of the Group to the area and its continued activity.

Mr. Chairman,

To be able to cope with a growing number of demanding tasks, we need to enhance the OSCE´s capability for determined and focused action without overloading it with bureaucracy.

Additional strength could be acquired through making all the three OSCE dimensions more inter-connected and operational in the activities of the organization. A new role for the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) as an advisory body for the Permanent Council would also help the OSCE to achieve a more genuinely integrated approach to security.

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to take up a recent example of how the organization has played a useful role in enhancing security and cooperation. The Treaty on Open Skies will enter into force in a few weeks’ time, strengthening the arms control and CSBM regimes. In order to participate fully, Finland intends to accede to the Treaty without delay.

Mr Chairman,

I appreciate the way the Romanian chairmanship has been able to navigate the OSCE in a new kind of security environment. Important projects have been taken forward successfully. I am also looking forward to cooperating with the new Portuguese chairmanship and wish them every success. Our announcement earlier this year, presenting Finland’s candidature for the chairmanship in a few years time, shows that we are convinced of the continued relevance of the OSCE in the European security structures and willing to continue to actively contribute to its work.

Thank you Mr Chairman