The speech of President Atifete Jahjaga at the Regional Meeting of the Ministers of Defence

The Republic of Kosovo is not hostage of the past. We look toward the future – towards the path of European integration and NATO membership, as the most eligible Alliance of the collective security.

Honored representatives of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo,
Honored Ministers of Defense from the regional countries,
Honored participants of the conference,

I greet you by welcoming and wishing you a pleasant stay in my country, with the wishes that during the proceedings of this conference to strengthen ties, cooperation and friendship which is in the interest of peace and stability in the region and a contribution to good understanding and peace in the world.

I would like that with the exchange of experiences here and with debating specific topics, to find the best forms of cooperation and mutual assistance which is in the interest of our countries and in the interest of all the citizens of the region, without distinction.
This century is the century of integration and globalization which helps us to know each other better, to help each other, to exchange the best practices and to find more acceptable solutions on the establishment of peace and stability worldwide.

Characteristic of modern times is the civil control over the armed forces and the change of the aggressive character of the army. The army was put in the position of defense and the prevention of threats for the life of citizens and the prevention of the endangerment of their property.

Today, it is impossible that referring to the full sovereignty of the state someone builds an undemocratic and repressive society using the forced device and armed forces as happened in the past.

The world today is one, built on the principles of equality, freedom and equal opportunities which are offered to all. Therefore, today the international humanitarian intervention, as was the intervention of NATO during the war in Kosovo and more recently in Libya, has become a desirable, acceptable and legitimate norm.
Armed forces in democratic countries today are the most respected part of society. They are put in service of the citizens and the country, ready to intervene wherever the need arises to help citizens within a combination of civilian emergency mission with the military preventive and intervention mission.

The armed forces now have an extraordinary and irreplaceable role in national security. They are part of the collective security and a key factor in combating international terrorism, global threats and the rapid evacuation of the population during natural disasters.

Today, the cooperation of the citizens with the armed forces is needed more than ever. The support of this kind increases the efficiency and coordination of actions, contributing to the policies of prevention or rapid intervention.

Honored ministers,

Threats against our national security are not isolated and specific problems to our respective countries. The challenges faced by region are threats of transnational and global nature, which do not recognize state borders. Our approach to the strengthening of our institutions is in line with these trends: in modern periods the security policy of a country is undoubtedly related to the policies of regional and global security.
As President of Kosovo, I am convinced that as a region we need to build and transform the security institutions and policies so that they are in line with these trends and jointly to become effective in the prevention of threats that threaten us today.

Your role as leaders, aimed at strengthening the democratic society, for processes of cooperation between states is large. In the present time you build the trust policy of cooperation and mutual assistance leaving behind the politics of distrust and fear.

By making the defense capabilities of your countries transparent, by placing them in function of peace and stability, being engaged in the exchange of information and by cooperating in observation and prevention, you influence people to feel safer. You build more trust and understanding between them.

As countries of the region we passed through a bitter history, with much suffering and pain. We, better than anyone else understand that we should stand by each other. Only as neighbors who provide mutual support we can move forward.
The Republic of Kosovo is not hostage of the past. We look toward the future – towards the path of European integration and NATO membership, as the most eligible Alliance of the collective security.

My country is participating in the regional initiatives in the field of security. Our goal is to join the Partnership for Peace soon, where with our existing capabilities built according to the highest European and American standards we can give our contribution in joint humanitarian missions for establishing and maintaining peace around the world.

Kosovo, like the entire region, intends integration into the European Union and NATO. Your countries which already have made this journey can help us to share the experience to make our journey shorter and easier.

I welcome you once again, wish you a pleasant stay and a successful conference.  

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