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  • Warsaw, 31 May 2007

     

     

    Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    on the fourth anniversary of the Cracow Initiative (Proliferation Security Initiative - PSI)

     

     

    Four years ago, on May 31 2003, President George W. Bush, in a speech at Wawel Castle in Cracow, announced the launching of an initiative to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Today, the Cracow Initiative (Proliferation Security Initiative - PSI) affiliates more than 80 states collaborating to prevent state and non-state actors from obtaining WMDs.

     

    To attain that goal, PSI states have taken measures to enhance the protection of their territories against the illicit trafficking in materials that can be used to manufacture WMDs and their delivery systems. These measures include improving the operational interdiction capacities of agencies and services responsible for the national security.

    Four years after its inception, it is obvious that the Initiative has fully lived up to expectations. More and more states, concerned by the illegal activity of traffickers in WMD-related materials, are coming on board. These countries are working together effectively to eradicate these practices and prevent WMD-related proliferation.

     

    Poland is among the most active Initiative participants. Last year Warsaw hosted a High Level Political Meeting of 65 states supporting the Initiative; the event was held under the patronage of Polish President Lech Kaczyński. Also in 2006, we conducted a joint exercise with Russia and Denmark on the Baltic Sea. Earlier this year, Poland was involved in the preparation and implementation of a PSI exercise in Lithuania, and we are currently co-organizing an exercise in the Black Sea, which will be hosted by Ukraine. As a result of Poland's activity, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, support for the Initiative is universal in our part of Europe. This is reflected by the high degree of awareness of the threats inherent in WMD proliferation and participation in PSI exercises by most states in the region.

    We are convinced that the promotion of Initiative goals boosts international security standards, reducing the threat of the use of WMDs in conflicts between states and in terrorist attacks. That is why Poland's efforts to broaden cooperation in the framework of the Initiative are not limited to Central-Eastern Europe. Recently, a seminar on the Cracow Initiative was held under the auspices of the Polish MFA and the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), with the participation of states in the region: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen. Polish experts who took part in the event presented the principles of PSI and outlined how the Initiative functions to prevent WMD-related proliferation. The seminar received high marks from the participants.

     

    Poland recognizes the PSI to be one of the most effective international mechanisms to prevent WMD proliferation. We intend to continue promotion of the Initiative standards.

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