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        General Assembly
27 October 1993

Original: English

Agenda item 77


Report of the Secretary-General




Belgium ..............................................................................................................

[Original: English]

[28 July 1993]

1. The European Community and its member States have always considered that the Mediterranean region is an essential component in the long process of their formation as political entities. The different events that history has placed within the setting of the Mediterranean, the cradle of the European idea and the meeting place of many cultures, have exercised an often decisive influence on these States, which, on their side, have contributed, within the process of European integration, to endowing the future union with an unmistakable Mediterranean dimension. This dimension explains the acute awareness with which the European Community and its member States follow the events in this extensive area and the attention given to Mediterranean affairs in different world, regional and subregional forums.

2. The same applies to the consideration given to United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/58 of 9 December 1992 and all the issues that it raises.

3. In the opinion of the Twelve, this resolution, which was unanimously approved by all Member States of the United Nations, is a step in the right direction, aimed at achieving a common compromise on generally accepted rules and principles that at the same time deal with security, financial cooperation and the human dimension. The Twelve state their willingness to continue to cooperate with a view to building on the progress already achieved.

4. Further efforts ought to be made by all Mediterranean countries, however, in order to contribute actively to the elimination of causes of tension in the region. Those endeavours should, in the opinion of the Community and its member States, be based on full adherence to the principles of non-interference, non-intervention, non-use of force or threat of use of force and the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, as General Assembly resolution 47/58 rightly calls for.

5. The recent political developments in the international front have highlighted the need for dealing jointly with all the factors which nowadays shape the concepts of security and cooperation, as different facets of the same reality. The European Community and its member States deem that the Mediterranean lends itself in a characteristic way to this overall consideration, following the end of the cold war which distorted this view in favour of an East-West perception. The overcoming of that situation should allow an approach in which cooperation, as an element associated with security, covers a whole range of issues affecting political, economic, cultural, environmental and military aspects on both sides of the Mediterranean.

6. The solemn commitment undertaken by the European Economic Community and its member States in the Lisbon Declaration of 25 June 1992 on relations between Europe and the Maghreb 1/ stands out within this context. This Declaration gives substance to the concept of a "Euro-Maghrebian Association", defined as a joint political and economic responsibility.

7. With regard to the political aspects, the Declaration affirms that relations between both shores must be founded on a common commitment to:

"(a) Respect international law, the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

"(b) Respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in civil, political, economic, social and cultural matters, as well as democratic values exemplified by free and regular elections;

"(c) The establishment of democratic institutional systems guaranteeing pluralism, effective participation by citizens in the lives of their States and respect for the rights of minorities;

"(d) Tolerance and coexistence between cultures and religions ..."

8. Apart from mentioning the guiding principles contained in the Renovated Mediterranean Policy, the Declaration provides for the setting up of new instruments (such as technical assistance and a Euro-Maghrebian Bank of Development) and new areas of cooperation (social, cultural, communications and human rights), as well as a proposal to set up a free-trade area.

9. In short, the European Community and its member States deem it worthwhile for the Mediterranean countries to cooperate more closely on the basis of principles and measures capable of strengthening stability and security and encouraging economic, social and cultural progress. Inspired by this conviction, the Twelve have in the past supported various initiatives at different levels aimed at coordinating this relationship in the most productive way possible.

10. Thus, the Community and its member States actively promoted, within the framework of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), held at Helsinki in July 1992, the adoption of Chapter X of the "Helsinki Document 1992 - The Challenges of Change" 2/ which, inter alia, envisages an invitation to the non-participating Mediterranean States to attend future review conferences and to make contributions on security and cooperation in the Mediterranean. Under this Chapter, and as a direct result of the commitment to promote contacts between participating and non-participating States, a CSCE seminar on the Mediterranean was held at Valletta from 17 to 21 May 1993.

11. More specifically, the Twelve have expressed their desire to enter into dialogue, and their will to make progress in their relations with the Maghreb on the basis of firm foundations, which the Renovated Mediterranean Policy is intended to enhance; and have backed the "Five plus Five" dialogue which should not be underestimated on account of current difficulties. Within the security area, the Western European Union (WEU), at its latest meeting of the Council of Ministers held in Rome on 19 May 1993, received a mandate to continue and intensify the dialogue started after the Petersberg Declaration in June 1992. Within this framework, two seminars, which were organized and held by the WEU Institute of Security Studies, should be mentioned. Those seminars, which took place at Madrid (October 1992) and Rome (March 1993), dealt with security and cooperation in the western Mediterranean and with the southern dimension of European security, respectively.

12. As far as military security is concerned, the European Community and its member States attach the utmost importance to the signing by all the riparian States of all the disarmament agreements, and to their adherence to the guidelines of the different regimes of non-proliferation and transparency in the transfer of conventional weapons. In this sense, the Twelve welcome the signing of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction 3/ by Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria and Tunisia. The Twelve attach particular importance to the adherence of all States of the region which have not yet done so to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 4/ and they confirm their commitment to the indefinite extension of this Treaty. The Twelve consider that an essential complement would be the reporting of data to the United Nations register of conventional arms by all the States of the Mediterranean region.

13. The growing network of relations in the area could, in the opinion of the Twelve, lead to the structuring of a wider framework within the context of a future forum on security and cooperation in the Mediterranean, with the participation of all the States of the region. This initiative would transfer to the Mediterranean scenario the experience accumulated in the pan-European sphere, according to the well known distinction between security cooperation and the human dimension. In this respect, the European Community and its member States note the encouragement expressed by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/58 to the Mediterranean countries to continue to give their widespread support for the convening of a conference on security and cooperation in the Mediterranean. The Twelve trust that as circumstances increase this initiative can become, in the medium term, a promising prospect.

14. The foregoing leads the Community and its member States to conclude that there is still a wide margin for strengthening mutual understanding between both shores, as well as for building confidence and therefore enhancing stability in a region as sensitive to the oscillations of international relations as the Mediterranean. The renewed importance taken on by the regional aspects of cooperation and security offer the Mediterranean area new opportunities. The European Community and its member States call upon the other riparian States to take advantage of this new situation with a view to setting their relations on the right road to peace and progress.


1/ A/47/310, annex.

2/ A/47/361-S/24370.

3/ United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.IX.11, vol. II, pp. 113-282.

4/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 729, p. 161.


*On behalf of the States members of the European Community.

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