Speech given by Dr. Rudolf Joó at North-Atlantic Cooperation Council seminar
First of all I would like to welcome you all and express our pleasure at being the hosts of this North Atlantic Cooperation Council seminar which i.s dealing with what we believe to be timely and important issues.
We think that this pre-eminent event not only offers an opportunity to even more effectively harmonize the activities of the countries taking active part in peacekeeping missions, but also contributes to the strengthening of the Partnership for Peace initiative declared by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, through the means of fruitful dialogue and consultation.
With the abolition of the bipolar world and as a result of the considerable changes undergone by Central and East European countries, new sources of danger and new conflicts have appeared all over the World.
The uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology and the probability of their use has increased. The likelihood of ecological catastrophes has also concurrently increased. On top of this, the disturbed nature of certain prevailing ethnic problems frequently leads to the type of political conflicts which result in the use of force.
Furthermore, one should take into account that the free market mechanisms initiated within the Central and East European countries have not, despite expectations, succeeded in guaranteeing rapid stabilization and progress for the countries involved.
The heightened economic burdens, the lack of social security and the civil war in Former Yugoslavia have caused an unprecedented European exodus, the likes of which could only have been previuosly found in the Third World. International peace and security are especially threatened by the crisis in Former Yugoslavia and by the systematic violation of human rights. As a consequence of the above, in the last, two years some seventy thousand refugees have arrived in Hungary. The situation is made even worse on a global scale by increasing xenophobia, by the promulgation of extremist ideologies, the quickening of the arms trade and by international terrorism.
The effect of all this is that the parties concerned in the new conflicts try to resolve the issues by resorting to arms because this seems to enable them to secure their interests and they are also quite aware of the fact that they will not be subject to immediate military response from the democratic countries which respect international norms.
In the interests of defending all the victims of war, Hungary supports the establishment of the International War Crimes Tribunal, the purpose of which, according to a resolution of the Security Council , will be to track down and punish the perpetrators of atrocities committed on the territory of Former Yugoslavia.
We think it important to draw to the attention of governments and international opinion the fact that in recent years the civilian popul us has increasingly become the victim of violent reprisals.
The prolongation of crises and the great loss of human life demonstrate, unfortunately, that neither the United Nations or NATO or other international organisations, nor Europe or the United States are adequately prepared for crisis management.
The United Nations restricts itself to political and diplomatic actions and will only resort to effective economic measures in a very limited fashion. The UN suffers from the lack of a unified political, diplomatic, economic and military concept applicable to crisis management and it cannot use its instruments in an integrated and consistent manner. Neither does it have at its disposal the necessary military power for crisis management.
The build up of peacekeeping forces and their preparation for a given region takes a very long time.
As an effect of the fundamental changes in Europe, all the international security organisations are in crisis because their original objectives and tasks have changed.
As a consequence, in order to handle current sources of danger and challenges, we require the establishment, of a new European Security System and the remodelling of the international- organisations that have been established during the Cold War.
Today, peacekeeping activities are still considered to be the most rewarding tools of crisis management, which has itself become more and more complex as a result of the new challenges and conflicts.
This means that beyond. the traditional tasks (e.g. the separation of warring parties or the control of ceasefires), such missions have as their hallmark the large-scale participation of those from the civilian sphere, especially when it comes to the question of humanitarian aid. Citing Secretary General Bhutros Ghali's 'Agenda for Peace', "the peculiarity of third-generation peacekeeping activities is that they cover the whole scale of humanitarian aid."
Whilst in Somalia the main purpose of the United Nations mission was to save the population from starvation, in the territory of Former Yugoslavia the basic aim was not simply to provide for the survival of the population, but also to create protected areas.
Perhaps the mission in Cambodia is the best example of how it is possible to start the lengthy process of peace building by means of the repatriation of refugees and through ensuring that elections are properly run.
Unfortunately, in most cases, United Nations missions are notable to accomplish much more than providing food and medicine for a population afflicted by war. Nevertheless, even such modest efforts can save the lives of millions.
Hungary welcomes NATO's intention to play an increasing part in peacekeeping activities. We are convinced that in this field as well, fruitful cooperation will develop between NATO and Hungary.
During the Gulf War a group of Hungarian doctors was employed in Saudi Arabia and the UN has also shown great appreciation of the activities of the Hungarian police officers in Cambodia. Presently there are Hungarian military officers and policemen serving in Africa.
The establishment of the Training Centre for Hungarian Peacekeeping Forces is in progress. This institution makes it possible for the Republic of Hungary to be more and more involved in international peacekeeping work within the framework of the UN, the CSCE and the Partnership for Peace programme.
As peacekeeping activities develop and broaden, the analysis of the civilian-military aspects of peacekeeping is increasingly being emphasized.
We attach great significance to the issue of crisis management. In peacetime we prepare our plans to prevent and also pratically cope with possible disasters. As a result of the events in Former Yugoslavia, we now unfortunately have more and more experience in extending humanitarian relief to disaffected refugees. In the presentations to follow you will have an opportunity to become acquainted with how we plan for future eventualities.
I am convinced that this seminar will help to clarify the conceptual and legal aspects of the humanitarian side of peacekeeping and will also add something positive to the sphere of military-civilian cooperation. Furthermore, I believe the seminar will impart, valuable information to the participants that will contribute to the improvement of operational practice.
I wish you a useful and enjoyable stay in Budapest.