WIRELESS FILE
UNITED STATES INFORMATION SERVICE
STOCKHOLM SWEDEN

12/02/96
TEXT: VICE PRESIDENT GORE PRAISES ROLE OF OSCE
(12/2 speech at OSCE Lisbon Summit) (2250)

Lisbon -- Vice President Al Gores says the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE) is "more than a great forum of nations. It has become a way for nations to
join together both in word and deed to address practical problems and challenges to those
principles which form the core of this body."

In a December 2 speech here at the OSCE Lisbon Summit, Gore pointed out: "When the
organization was founded, the greatest challenge to peace was the possibility of conflict
between massive alliances of political, military and economic rivals. God willing, those days
are gone. Today's gravest threats do not arise from clashes between groups of states, but
from discord within."

He said, "The OSCE fully recognizes this reality, and as a result is sustaining missions in
regions where the problem of ethnicity has become a central challenge to peace and security.
These missions -- in Nagorno-Karabakh, in Abkhazia, and elsewhere -- are unprecedented
efforts to substitute political processes for violent ones, and to help peoples resolve their
conflicts through the language of mutual respect, confidence building, reconciliation, and
respect for human rights."

Gore cited the OSCE's mission in Bosnia as "a particularly dramatic adaptation to the
challenges that have been presented by the worst of these conflicts."

The partnership between the OSCE and the NATO-led peace Implementation Force, or
IFOR, "is an archetype of how the security of Europe is being promoted through dynamic
new linkages between different institutions, including NATO, the WEU, the European Union,
and the Partnership for Peace, each with an important role to play, and each with its own
strengths, expertise, and contributions to offer," he said.

"The United States is ready and willing to work on developing cooperative arrangements
between OSCE members and other organizations such as NATO," Gore said, adding that
NATO "poses no threat to any other state, because there are no reasons for the people of
any free and democratic nation to fear the desires of those free and democratic countries in
Central Europe for stability and peace. Indeed, the stability that NATO can help extend to
Central Europe is in the interest of all nations."

And, the vice president added, "it is essential as NATO enlargement proceeds that we work
in parallel to build a strong and cooperative NATO-Russian relationship."

It is now possible to "aspire to construct a Europe in which the expectation of war has been
replaced by the expectation of peace; a Europe in which security is based on the interaction
of free markets, free minds, free peoples, and free nations," Gore said.

This will demand "a new, inclusive vision of security -- a vision that encompasses security in
all its dimensions, not just military, but political, economic, environmental, and moral as well."

It is also essential to remember that "without freedom, the aspirations of peoples and nations
for decent lives and for security cannot be realized," Gore said. "That is why I join with many
others in this room in my concern with the recent actions by the governments of Belarus and
Serbia which run against the principles of this organization."

He added that "America will remain engaged, now as before, as we work with you to build a
new Europe, undivided, and at peace."

The following is the text of Gore's speech.

(Begin text)

Thank you my long time friend President Nazerbayev. It is an honor to join you today to
speak on behalf of my president on the subject of how best to provide for the future security
and well-being of the OSCE community of nations.

I would like to begin by thanking our Chairman-in-Office Flavio Cotti of Switzerland, and to
congratulate our host, Portugal, for this magnificent hospitality and efficiency. In fact, in some
ways, there is perhaps no better place to have such a discussion than in this beautiful city and
in this great nation. Centuries ago, the Portuguese sailed beyond the familiar blue of the
Mediterranean to the uncertainty beyond. Undaunted by fear, they boldly opened the way to
Africa, to Asia and the Americas. It is fitting, therefore, that we meet in this land of discovery
to chart progress on a new voyage towards peace, security, and prosperity for our nations
and our peoples.

The moment for such an undertaking could not be more auspicious. Today, for the first time in
history, the nations of this region -- from the shores of the Atlantic to the Urals and the
steppes of Central Asia -- have taken upon themselves the obligation to live by democratic
values. On the eve of a new millennium, we at last can aspire to construct a Europe in which
the expectation of war has been replaced by the expectation of peace, a Europe in which
security is based on the interaction of free markets, free minds, free peoples, and free nations.
In this community of states, the security of each country must be indivisible from the security
of all.

As with any voyage into the unknown, each of us, naturally, has concerns about our chances
for success. And, very understandably, we also will have differences about which course to
take. Some of these differences will have been settled by the time this meeting ends. The
solution to others will need further discussion within the OSCE and other organizations, and
among the parties particularly concerned.

But even though there is much work before us, let us not forget the remarkable progress we
already have made. First of all, we should note the degree to which the OSCE has kept faith
with the principles enshrined in the Helsinki Accords, despite the dramatic changes that have
occurred since those Accords were signed over two decades ago.

Today, as in earlier years, the OSCE continues to be a place where the issues that affect the
destiny of Europe can be debated on equal footing by all governments. The OSCE is unique
in this regard. But the OSCE has become much more than a great forum of nations. It has
become a way for nations to join together both in word and deed to address practical
problems and challenges to those principles which form the core of this body.

When the OSCE was founded, the greatest challenge to peace was the possibility of conflict
between massive alliances of political, military and economic rivals. God willing, those days
are gone. Today's gravest threats do not arise from clashes between groups of states, but
from discord within.

The OSCE fully recognizes this reality, and as a result is sustaining missions in regions where
the problem of ethnicity has become a central challenge to peace and security. These missions
-- in Nagorno-Karabakh, in Abkhazia, and elsewhere -- are unprecedented efforts to
substitute political processes for violent ones, and to help peoples resolve their conflicts
through the language of mutual respect, confidence building, reconciliation, and respect for
human rights. The OSCE's mission in Bosnia represents a particularly dramatic adaptation to
the challenges that have been presented by the worst of these conflicts. Because of our
coordinated work together, the guns of war in the Balkans at last are silent. A bitter harvest of
hatred is giving way to a new day of hope. Children are awakening to school bells and not
mortar shells.

Of course, the story in Bosnia is far from over. But our progress thus far is the result of the
successful fusion of the OSCE's ability to deal with problems of social and political
reconstruction, to IFOR's ability to enable the parties to carry out the terms of their peace
agreement. This partnership between OSCE and IFOR is more than just a spectacular
example of how to bring to bear effective cooperative solutions to deal with a specific
challenge. On a deeper level, it is an archetype of how the security of Europe is being
promoted through dynamic new linkages between different institutions, including NATO, the
WEU, the European Union, and the Partnership for Peace, each with an important role to
play, and each with its own strengths, expertise, and contributions to offer.

In many important respects, these flashes of imagination are illuminating the path ahead.
Throughout our institutions we see systems of cooperation rapidly developing within
themselves and between themselves. New participants are associating with or joining these
systems in unprecedented forms to deal with unprecedented new issues. Exclusivity is yielding
to the principle of inclusiveness. Concerns for the increased delineation of these organizations
are matched by multiplying possibilities for their interaction and evolution.

Yes, the OSCE is evolving rapidly, flexibly, and inclusively. But at the same time, the OSCE
does not need to be transformed into the only orchestrating instrument of European security.
We should celebrate the special contribution of this community of cooperation and values,
rather than compressing it into a legalistic framework. Treaties have their place, but we
believe that the OSCE will succeed best on the basis of its flexible political commitments. The
United States is ready and willing to work on developing cooperative arrangements between
OSCE members and other organizations such as NATO.

NATO has been and remains a defensive alliance of like-minded democratic states. As such,
of course, it poses no threat to any other state, because there are no reasons for the people of
any free and democratic nation to fear the desires of those free and democratic countries in
Central Europe for stability and peace. Indeed, the stability that NATO can help extend to
Central Europe is in the interest of all nations. At the same time as NATO enlargement
proceeds, NATO wants in parallel to build a strong cooperative relationship with Russia and
other states. That, too, can play a significant role in strengthening security and stability in
Europe. And today's historic agreement here at the OSCE further strengthens this framework
for peace and security. In particular, it is essential as NATO enlargement proceeds that we
work in parallel to build a strong and cooperative NATO-Russian relationship. If wisdom and
statesmanship prevail, NATO, as it takes on new missions and members, can contribute to
the integration and comprehensive security of Europe.

Thanks to the OSCE, and the great success of today's meeting, we already have developed a
general set of principles that will help us in this task. The Comprehensive Security Model for
Europe for the 21st Century reflects wisdom that has been purchased at dear cost by whole
generations. This Security Model is a message of confidence and hope. It is a message that
we do have the intellectual and moral capacity to provide for the security of this and of untold
future generations. And I would like to pause to salute those, all those, who have made this
possible -- and particularly, if I may, my friend Prime Minister Viktor Chemomyrdin, with
whom I was in close touch on the eve of this meeting -- for their work in helping to bring this
success today about. Let me also commend my colleagues for the agreement that we have
reached to launch negotiations to update the CFE Treaty. This agreement -- and the
cooperative manner with which it has been made -- are outstanding examples of how a
flexible, inclusive, and creative political framework can yield real results. Not all our members
are CFE states, but all share in the increased security and stability that will be provided by a
successful outcome. And without the OSCE's capacity to encourage innovative ways for
dealing with evolving and new circumstances, this important step could not have been
possible.

My friends, here in this room is gathered the leadership of the vast region which now
comprises the OSCE. Each of us comes here well aware of the specialized concerns and
interests of our governments. But every leader here also is someone who has dreamed
thoughts that are larger than the binding realities of the day. We know words alone will not be
sufficient to secure our future. It will take patient, deliberate, continuing effort. It will require
goodwill, common sense, and true cooperation. It will demand a new, inclusive vision of
security -- a vision that encompasses security in all its dimensions, not just military, but
political, economic, environmental, and moral as well.

And it will demand that each of us hold fast to the sobering lesson of the 20th century:
Without freedom, the aspirations of peoples and nations for decent lives and for security
cannot be realized. That is why I join with many others in this room in my concern with the
recent actions by the governments of Belarus and Serbia which run against the principles of
this organization.

Yes, there is much work before us. But as we approach the 21st century, we have as never
before the capacity, the will, and the stamina to reach our goal. It is the goal to which
President Clinton is deeply committed. America will remain engaged, now as before, as we
work with you to build a new Europe, undivided, and at peace.

An old Iberian proverb says "Traveler, there are no roads. Roads are made by walking."
With high hopes, clear vision, and steady purpose, let us begin our journey. Like the explorers
of earlier times who set forth from this land to navigate unknown paths, let us too be bold.
And let us remember that the magnitude of the historic task ahead will be no excuse for
failure. Thank you.


Return to Vinnie's Home Page

Return to Documents Relating to NATO