UN: EU Statement on Strengthening of Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean Region

UN 61st Session; 1st Committee, Action on Resolutions, Regional Disarmament and Security
Statement on the "Strengthening of Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean Region" resolution
by H.E. Mr. Kari Kahiluoto, Ambassador, on behalf of the European Union

New York, 23 October 2006

Madam Chair,

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine align themselves with this declaration. 

The European Union welcomes draft resolution L.34 which all member states have co-sponsored and which we hope will be adopted without a vote. The European Union attaches great importance to the issues of security, non-proliferation and disarmament in the Mediterranean region. As stated in the EU strategy against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction adopted by our leaders in December 2003, security in Europe is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. This draft resolution also recognises that prospects for closer Euro-Mediterranean co-operation in all spheres can be enhanced by positive developments world-wide, in particular in Europe, in the Maghreb and in the Middle East. The EU also welcomes the inclusion in the resolution of the necessity of combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the possible resort by terrorists to weapons of mass destruction.

In the context of working towards strengthening security and stability in this crucial region, the EU welcomes Libya’s decision to eliminate all material, equipment and programmes which lead to the production of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, together with the practical steps to implement this decision it has undertaken since. The case of Libya demonstrates that the problems of proliferation can be tackled through discussion and engagement and that states have nothing to fear from coming forward and admitting non-compliance.

Madam Chair,

The European Union attaches particular importance to the wide goal of transforming the Mediterranean into a sea of peace, security, stability, co-operation and development.

We would like to recall that the Barcelona or Euromed process, launched in 1995, as the Mediterranean dimension of the EU’s external policy, has made a major contribution to the establishment and development of a global partnership between the European Union, its member countries and the Mediterranean partners. This partnership includes engagements regarding non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, disarmament, zones free of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, verification, conventional weapons, confidence building measures and the fight against terrorism.

We would also like to take this occasion to highlight some recent events contributing to the security and co-operation in the Mediterranean region. We welcome the adoption of the Euro-Mediterranean Code of Conduct against Terrorism at the Euro-Mediterranean Summit held in Barcelona in November 2005. We also welcome the Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development held in Rabat in July and look forward to the EU-Africa Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development to be held in Tripoli in November this year, as tangible opportunites for strengthening co-operation in the Mediterranean region on all aspects of migration and development, including the challenges associated with illegal immigration. Combating the trafficking and smuggling of human beings in the Mediterranean region needs to be strengthened, through enhanced political dialogue and judicial and police co-operation. We also welcome the convening in Rome of the third workshop on the universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the Mediterranean Basin and the Middle East, and the fact that the Eighth meeting of the States Party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their Destruction will be held in Jordan next year.

Madam Chair,

The European Union calls on all states of the Mediterranean region that have not yet done so, to accede to all the multilaterally negotiated legally binding instruments in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, in order to strengthen peace and co-operation in the region.

I thank you, Madam Chair.

*) Croatia and the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.