VIENNA – Fighting new threats such as terrorism, proliferation, cybercrime and piracy requires closer co-operation among countries, institutions and organizations such as NATO and the OSCE, NATO Deputy Secretary General Claudio Bisogniero said today.
Such co-operation is particularly important in issues related to Afghanistan and countries that are undergoing rapid changes, he said in a speech at a meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation.
"The Arab Spring is a new wave of freedom spreading across the Middle East and North Africa. In Tunisia and Egypt, leaders have stepped aside. Elsewhere in the region, governments have taken or will have to take important steps to meet the legitimate aspirations of their people. Change is in the air, and we cannot choose to ignore it," he said.
"We will all benefit if our southern neighbors continue to move towards greater freedom, democracy and prosperity. And I believe there is a great deal that our two institutions can do to encourage and assist that process, by helping interested countries with political, economic and defense reforms."
NATO is making a determined effort to engage partners more in efforts to meet new challenges, such as terrorism, proliferation and cybercrime, Bisogniero said.
"As we contemplate how we can give substance to the notion and build real security, there is a solid foundation of OSCE-NATO co-operation to for us to build upon," he said, adding the two organizations had a "solid record of success" with co-operation in the past.
"Together, the OSCE and NATO have already made Europe much more safe, stable and secure. I am convinced that if we deepen and broaden our co-operation still further, we can reinforce that success." The Forum for Security Co-operation meets weekly in Vienna to discuss and make decisions regarding military aspects of security in the OSCE area, in particular confidence- and security-building measures. (OSCE)