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  • May 31, 2005

     

     

    Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the Occasion of the Second Anniversary of the Krakow Initiative - Proliferation Security Initiative


    31 May marks the second anniversary of the Krakow Initiative - the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). The aim of the PSI, presented by President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, on May 31, 2003, at the Wawel, is to advance international cooperation in the interdiction of shipments of weapons of mass destruction and materials required to develop such weapons to state and non-state actors of proliferation concern. The PSI is a strong response of the international community to challenges and threats to security posed by proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and by the danger they will fall into the hands of terrorists. It must be stressed that the PSI is implemented consistent  with  relevant international laws and the laws of participating countries.

    Unlike other international organizations, the PSI has no formal structure, headquarters, or chairperson. It consists of voluntary activities of countries that share concerns over international security and are determined to stop proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.

     

    Over the past two years, the PSI has grown to a global dimension. More than sixty countries have expressed their readiness to support it. The European Union, NATO, and the UN Secretary General confirmed their support for the Initiative. The PSI and the 2003  Statement of Interdiction Principles are in line with the spirit and letter of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, which calls on all UN member states to take "cooperative action" to prevent trafficking related to weapons of mass destruction.


    Under this Initiative, nations and the international community have intensified  their efforts to detect, prevent, and stop trafficking related to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. Numerous naval, air, and ground interdiction exercises have been conducted. Procedures for information exchange, cooperation between the participating countries' special services, border and Customs officers have been improved.

     

    The symbolic confirmation of the Initiative's practical dimension and its dynamic development lies in the fact that the anniversary ceremonies coincide with the exercises organized by Poland and the Czech Republic with planning assistance from the United States - with a strong international participation. The "Bohemian Guard" Exercises (May 31-June 2, 2005), which will be held in Ostrava (the Czech Republic), will manifest the decisiveness and readiness of the services and law enforcement agencies of the participating countries to undertake cooperative actions against smuggling materials related to weapons of mass destruction by train.


    Poland has been active in the Initiative's development since its very outset. To date, under the PSI, Poland has organized an information exchange meeting for all Central and East European countries, a ground exercise in Wroclaw, and the Anniversary Meeting in Krakow for more than sixty countries to mark the Initiative's first anniversary. We plan to conduct an international sea exercise in the Baltic in 2006. Poland continues to  improve  its national potential to prevent smuggling and interdict illegal shipments.

     

    The Krakow Initiative is an important and practical element of strengthening and adjusting international structures and mechanisms to oppose such challenges and threats.

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