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Friday, 23 June 2006

Against the proliferation of mass destruction weapons

June 23, 2006 marked the beginning of a High Level Political Meeting of the countries supporting the Cracow Initiative (PSI - Proliferation Security Initiative) held in Warsaw. That international conference devoted to the prevention of the proliferation of mass destruction weapons was attended by delegations representing more than 70 countries of the world.

Its participants were welcomed by the Undersecretary of State in the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Krawczyk, who read a letter from the President under whose honorary patronage the conference was held:

"Your Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Cordially welcome to Warsaw to the High Level Political meeting of the Cracow Initiative. I am very happy to welcome to Poland the delegations of so many countries united by one common goal of international security. The end of the Cold War brought about a significant change in the sources of threats to the world peace. Today our countries are exposed to new threats of which the Proliferation of Mass Destruction Weapons is the key one. An active and effective prevention of the proliferation has become our main goal today. It is also an effective factor in our struggle against terrorism and against the countries implementing nuclear programs without consultations and in defiance of the international community.

The fact that nearly 70 delegations have come to Poland to attend this meeting is the evidence of the importance attached by Your governments to the threats posed by the proliferation. Those threats are tangible. The history of Poland and Europe reminds us here in Warsaw that absence of a response and effective steps on the part of international community in the face of present day threats may result in terrible tragedies. Poland’s capital and many cities of Europe which were destroyed during World War II are the living monuments calling for solidarity and an active stance to be taken by the community of Independent Nations. Presently available means of warfare – be they nuclear, chemical or biological - have an enormous destructive potential. The conflicts experienced by the world in more than a decade leave us without any delusions. The sources of threats have also changed, except that their scale continues to be the same or even larger.

Ladies and Gentlemen!
The fact that the representatives of many governments are present here, especially of the Middle East and Persian Gulf countries, raises our hopes for an effective cooperation. This anniversary of the Cracow Initiative creates fresh challenges ahead of us. The Nuclear Testing Program implemented by Iran’s government, the development program of missile forces in North Korea, the operations of terrorist groups are those areas where the international community should take decisive and effective steps. Another challenge we are facing is the need to involve China, Pakistan and India in common anti-proliferation programs.

Poland intends to continue its commitment to the PSI. We want to promote and strengthen the PSI in our region. It is best evidenced by joint military exercise of the Polish, Russian and Danish forces on the Baltic Sea. Scheduled for 2007 are the joint exercises with Ukraine. We would also like to invite other countries of the Black Sea area, members of GUAM, to attend them. It is with satisfaction that we welcome the development of cooperation between the PSI states, especially during joint military exercises like „Safe Borders” staged in 2004 or „Bohemian Guards” held in 2005.

It is a real strength of the Cracow Initiative that every capital you represent here is ready to take the responsibility for measures taken against the proliferation. No country represented here shuns from improving global security. May the membership of our states in the PSI, as well as the cooperation inside the North-Atlantic Alliance serve as a token of our predictability and responsibility.

I am very happy that the PSI states have a common vision of international security which rests on three pillars: Prevention, Protection and Responsibility understood as the ability and necessity to take determined steps. Those pillars may only rest on the foundations created by relevant treaties. We should not forget about the role that should be played by such instruments as the supervision over the operation of civilian research centers and technology transfers. Another effective instrument of the struggle against proliferation and terrorism is in the form of supervision over financial flows. A very important role is also played by national interception mechanisms and the cooperation between relevant domestic agencies.

Ladies and Gentlemen!
We are the members of a coalition which is least interested in a lengthy political debate, but whose main focus is action. We act in the common interest which is the security of our peoples. The Cracow Initiative is becoming an increasingly more efficient instrument of the steps we take. I hope and wish You that this meeting contributes to further strengthening of our cooperation."
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