Private firms and NGOs that principally address human rights issues or democratic principles often become natural allies in assisting in the relief of humanitarian crises. We frequently find we have natural partners in labor unions, human rights groups, environmental advocates, and chambers of commerce in providing international humanitarian assistance. In providing this often life saving assistance, these private and non-governmental groups visibly demonstrate another aspect of, and complement to, our democratic values — one of helping others in need. All of these values are thus seen by the individuals and governments helped by these organizations, and they underscore why our support of the humanitarian assistance efforts of private and non-governmental groups is in keeping with our values and objective of promoting democracy and human rights.
Supporting the global movement toward democracy requires a pragmatic, long-term effort focused on both values and institutions. Our goal is a broadening of the community of free-market democracies, and stronger institutions and international non-governmental movements committed to human rights and democratization.
III. Integrated Regional Approaches
Our policies toward different regions reflect our overall strategy and guiding principles but must be tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities of each region. Thus, each uses a different application of the elements of engagement and does so in differing degrees. Each region may have its own focused strategic objectives, but, in the end, enhancing our own and the region’s security while promoting prosperity, democracy, and human rights are still the ultimate goals.
Europe and Eurasia
European stability is vital to our own security. The United States has three strategic goals in Europe: integration of the region, a cooperative transatlantic relationship with Europe on global issues, and fostering opportunities while minimizing proliferation risks posed by collapse of the Soviet Union. The first goal, building a Europe that is truly integrated, democratic, prosperous, and at peace, would realize a vision the United States launched more than 50 years ago with the Marshall Plan and NATO. The greatest challenge to that remains the integration of Southeastern Europe into the rest of Europe, a strategic objective the United States shares with its NATO allies and the EU. The United States, its allies, and the EU recognize that continued instability, ethnic conflict, and potentially open warfare in Southeastern Europe would adversely affect European security and set back the process of creating a Europe that is truly whole and free. Accordingly, our strategy involves a series of interlocking building blocks, the progressive and interactive implementation of which will achieve step-by-step shared objectives. The building blocks identified below define our common priorities for Southeastern Europe, and — more importantly — the pursuit of each helps the attainment of all:
• Coexistence among ethnic groups and the rebuilding of civic society;
• Promotion of the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes to undo the pernicious consequences of ethnic cleansing;
• Economic reform and revitalization, leading to sustainable economic growth;
• Democratic government based on the rule of law and full respect for human rights;
• Support for the nascent democratic government in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) as a means for advancing its return to the international community;
• A peaceful resolution of the status of Montenegro and Kosovo through arrangements acceptable to all sides;
• Strengthening regional cooperation as a basis for the region’s revitalization and eventual integration with the rest of Europe;
• Adherence to international agreements such as the Dayton Accords, especially in recognition of international boundaries.
We are making progress towards our objectives. With the toppling of the Milosevic regime and the ascension of President Kostunica and his government, the process of transition from authoritarian rule to democratic governance is underway in the FRY. The United States and the international community support democratization and economic reform in the FRY to ensure long-lasting change, the removal of impediments to positive social, political, and economic change, and the stability and growth of the entire region of Southeastern Europe. Democratic consolidation and Western integration of the FRY will not be easy, but the United States stands ready to contribute to the achievement of these long-awaited goals.
Elsewhere in Southeastern Europe, elections in Croatia this year saw the victory of a pro-Western, pro-reform government that has become a constructive and stabilizing force in the region. Reform-minded leaders in Macedonia, Albania, and Slovenia continue to press forward with difficult economic reforms. Croatia and Albania both became WTO members this year, on the basis of commercially meaningful commitments that bolster their economic reform programs. Moderate pro-Dayton elements share political power in Bosnia. Kosovars had the opportunity to choose local leaders for the first time this year in Kosovo’s democratic elections, and relatively moderate candidates were elected by large majorities. The FRY’s new democratic leadership is moving quickly to integrate their nation into Europe and restore constructive cooperation with its neighbors. But much work remains. Economic and political reforms that will allow Southeastern European nations to move forward towards European integration must be accelerated. While Milosevic is out of power in the FRY, democratic change has not yet been consolidated and the new government faces a difficult winter. Greater ethnic reconciliation in Bosnia and Kosovo remains elusive. Security conditions allowing eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region have still not been fully realized. Without a broad strategy of engagement and strong U.S. leadership, our vision of a stable, democratic, and prosperous Europe will not be realized.
Our second goal is to work with our allies and partners across the Atlantic to meet the global challenges no nation can meet alone. This means working together to consolidate this region’s historic transition in favor of democracy and free markets; supporting peace efforts in troubled areas both within and outside the region; tackling global threats such as the potential use and continued proliferation of NBC weapons, terrorism, drug trafficking, international organized crime, environmental, problems, or health crises; mass uncontrolled migration of refugees, and building a more open world economy without barriers to transatlantic trade and investment.
Our third goal is to develop the opportunities opened by the collapse of the Soviet Union while minimizing the associated proliferation risks. Russia, Ukraine, and the other New Independent States (NIS) today are undergoing fundamental changes to their political, economic, and social systems — the outcome will have a profound impact on our own future and security. Core U S. security interests are being advanced through our engagement with these countries, such as through U.S. efforts to help secure and dismantle the former Soviet arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Our engagement also helps frame the key choices that only the peoples of the former Soviet Union and their leaders can make about their future, their role in world affairs, and the shape of their domestic political and economic institutions. Our strategy utilizes a long-term vision for the region, recognizing that this unprecedented period of transition will take decades, if not generations to complete.