Suomen ulkopolitiikan asiakirja-arkisto ja kronologia
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Statement by Mr. Pertti Paasio, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the CSCE participating states in New York on 2 October 1990

Mr. Chairman,

I wish first of all to thank Secretary of State Baker for his initiative to hold this meeting, the first CSCE gathering to take place on United States soil. I see his initiative as a symbol of the commitment of the United States of CSCE cooperation.

I would also like to express my appreciation to the Executive Secretary, Ambassador Frowick and his staff for the excellent arrangements they have made for this Meeting.

Mr. Chairman,

We meet at a turning point in the history of Europe. An edifice of confrontation has disappeared. The peoples of Europe are animated by the same quest for freedom that inspired the founding fathers of the United States more that two centuries ago. A revolution of democracy is taking place. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, people want to be governed by a government that is of the people, for the people and by the people.

The CSCE is an intrument of change in Europe. While governments accept that they are held accountable for the implementation of their commitments to other governments, their citizens claim that no government has the right to govern if it does not respect the human rights of its people.

The will of the people is a force that has brought down old power structures. The right to national self-determination is as important a priciple for Europe today as it has been in the past. The will of the people has given way to the inification of Europe. The human spirit has triumphod.

Mr. Chairman,

A painful legacy of the Second World War will end tomorrow. The German people will gain their national unity. We congratulate the parties to the negotiations on the future of Germany for their success. We rejoice with the Germans. German unity is in the interest of the security, stability and prosperity of the whole of Europe. At peace with its neighbours, a united Germany will find its rightful place among the European family of nations.

Mr. Chairman,

The Heads of State or Government of the CSCE countries will soon meet in Paris. The extraordinary developments in Europe have made such a meeting necessary. We are gathered here to take stock of the preparations of the Paris Summit and give them further guidance.

The significance of the CSCE process is today more uncontested than ever before. In a joint search for new patterns of cooperation, increasing expectations are attached to the CSCE process. In view of the experience gained from the process, we find those expectations warranted.

A first agreement is in sight at the Vienna Negotiations on Conventional Forces in Europe. The Negotiations of Confidence- and Security-building Measures are about to yield results. We expect these two negotiations to figure on the agenda of the Paris Summit.

The two negotiations on military security in Vienna should continue after Paris. In view of the new situation in Europe, CSCE States have become timely.

Finland also looks forward to the Paris Meeting as the beginning of the adjustment fo the CSCE process to new needs and challenges. In our view, such adjustment should be gradual and progressive. While innovation is called for, the merits of the CSCE - such as its adaptability and fexibility and the principle of consensus - should be preserved.

The preparations for the Summit have progressed well in Vienna. A host of ideas are being discussed concerning guidelines for the future of the CSCE process and the strengthening of its structures.

The next regular CSCE follow-up meeting will open in our capital, Helsinki, in early 1992, less than eighteen months from today. The participating States will in Helsinki have an opportunity for an organized, comprehensive assessment of the CSCE process. This will include the decisions that the forthcoming Paris Summit will take.

Finland expects the summit to take the first steps towards strengthening the structures of the CSCE process. In our view, they should include regular consultations between participanting States, including ministerial meetings. We believe that foreign ministers should meet regularly, once or twice a year. I have the impression that there already is broad agreement on the need for regular foreign minister's meetings. It would seem to us reasonable thet the first of such meetings would be held in the course of the first half of 1991. Finland would be pleased to host this meeting.

New functions that may be assigned to the CSCE process may require the strengthening of secretariat services. Here, too, the first steps could be taken in Paris and would then be reviewed at the Helsinki follow-up meeting.

Mr. Chairman,

Finland welcomes Albania's desire to join the CSCE family. Even since the inception of the CSCE process, the door has been open for Albania. We hope that Albania will soon take the necessary steps to commit itself to the provisions into practise, so that consensus on Albania's participation could be noted at an early date.

The Baltic republics have expressed their interest in the CSCE process. Finland supports the Baltic nations' quest for self-determination. We hope that the problems yet to be overcome could be solved through negotiations. The Baltic states could thus assume their due place in the CSCE process.

Mr. Chairman,

Recent CSCE meetings, in particular the Sofia Meeting on the Environment, the Economic Conference in Bonn and the Copenhagen Meeting on the Human Dimension, have produced remarkable results. They attest to the political will of the participating States to seize new opportunities for their cooperation.

In the economic field, the Bonn Document outlines an ambitious programme of action. It highlights the growing interdependence of nations. It is also a reminder of the dangers that ensue if the economic gaps in Europe grow further. Countries that have chosen the path from central planning towards a market economy face formidable challenges of adjustment. It is in the interest of all of us that all of Europe will become a continent of affluence and sustained economic development.

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to wish every success to the negotiators at he Vienna Preparatory Committee. I trust that the document that they are elaborating for the Paris Summit will become a bulding block of a new Europe - a Europe that is one and free.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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