Achievements of the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe


Office of the Press Secretary
(Istanbul, Turkey)

For Immediate Release November 18, 1999


Achievements of the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe

States participating in the Stability Pact launched by President Clinton and European leaders at the Sarajevo Summit last July met today to assess progress made towards building a more stable and prosperous Southeast Europe. Initiated by the EU with strong U.S. support and placed under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Pact aims to strengthen democracy, economic development and security throughout the region. Efforts to translate the principles endorsed at Sarajevo into substantive work began in September with a successful Regional Trade meeting. It was followed by Working Table meetings to develop specific initiatives on democratization, economic revitalization and security.

At the invitation of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Norwegian Foreign Minister Vollebaek, and in preparation for the Summit, Ministers endorsed the accomplishments of the Stability Pact thus far and discussed priorities for the next six months. Key achievements include:

Advancing Economic Development

Improving the Investment Climate

Strengthening Regional Infrastructure and Private Sector Development

Tapping Private Sector Expertise

Reducing Regional Trade Barriers

Fighting Crime and Corruption

Combating Corruption

Cooperating Regionally to Fight Organized Crime

Promoting Democratization and Human Rights

Examining the Teaching of History

Developing an NGO Partnership

Encouraging and Protecting a Free Media

Promoting Democracy in Southeast Europe

Promoting Cooperative Security

Reducing Small Arms and Light Weapons

Implementing CWC Commitments

Supporting Humanitarian Demining

Regulating Arms Sales

The Way Forward

Today's meeting of Stability Pact participants reaffirmed their strong support for the goals of the Pact and set the stage for intensified work during the next few months. With evaluation of regional infrastructure, energy and environmental projects under way and the development of a comprehensive regional development strategy begun by the World Bank and the EU, adequate preparation for the Regional Donors' Conference in February/March 2000 is now essential. Successful development of these projects, as well as initiatives in the democratization and security area, can make a visible difference in the daily lives of people in the region. The growing availability of financing and insurance for the region from the IFIs, the European Union, United States and others, combined with implementation of the Investment Compact and the Anti-Corruption Initiative, including the political and economic reforms they entail, can attract the private investment needed for long-term economic growth. Faster trade liberalizatio
n, both in terms of reducing barriers within the region and with Europe and the United States, can also spur such growth. Perhaps most important, Southeast Europe's own efforts in these areas will forge the kind of regional cooperation that is essential to lasting stability and prosperity.


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