Meeting of the Socialist International Committee for Peace, Security and Disarmament, Budapest

8 October 1997

'European Security after NATO Enlargement' was the main theme of the SI Peace, Security and Disarmament Committee, SIPSAD, held in Budapest, Hungary on 8 October. The meeting was chaired by Günter Verheugen, Social Democratic Party of Germany, SPD, and some 25 SI parties/ organisations were represented.

The Hungarian Socialist Party, MSzP, hosted the meeting and László Kovács, foreign minister of Hungary, opened the debate. He explained Hungary's reasons for wishing to join NATO as both spiritual - sharing a proliferation of values with established democracies - and material - an extension of stability and thus, it was hoped, prosperity.

Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Yuri Deryabin, spoke as a guest on the main theme. In its deliberations the Committee recognised that stability and security in Europe could be jeopardised by zones being excluded and welcomed the open and constructive way in which the Russian Security Council was currently working with NATO.

In a resolution to be presented to Council, the Committee reiterated the intention of SI member parties to achieve a pan-European peace order. This should be consolidated through the network of existing institutions, such as EU, NATO, OSCE, WEU, OECD and the Council of Europe. SIPSAD emphasised the need to view security in terms of human security not just as a state and military issue. The enlargement of NATO was welcomed as were this organisation's closer ties with Russia.

In further resolutions to be presented to the SI Council, the Committee backed the UN initiative for a reduction of small arms and light weapons. In response to the Ottawa process the Committee supported the prohibition of anti-personnel landmines. Countries that had abstained were called on to join the process and the international community were asked to give know-how, equipment and money for the detection and destruction of landmines.

The Caucasus and the Black Sea region was proposed as a matter for particular attention for the Committee in its future activities, as were the furtherance of nuclear disarmament and a global strategy for security.