14TH ASIA SECURITY SUMMIT THE IISS SHANGRI-LA DIALOGUE FOURTH PLENARY SESSION

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1 14TH ASIA SECURITY SUMMIT THE IISS SHANGRI-LA DIALOGUE FOURTH PLENARY SESSION STRENGTHENING REGIONAL ORDER IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC: TOWARDS MORE ACTIVE CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND COOPERATION SUNDAY 31 MAY 2015 DR URSULA VON DER LEYEN, FEDERAL MINISTER OF DEFENCE, GERMANY

2 As Prepared, Check Against Delivery Dear Dr. Chipman, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen! First of all thank you very much for inviting me to this important conference a conference at which the security of half of the global population is discussed. I am participating in the year of the 50 th anniversary of diplomatic Relations between Germany and Singapore. These Relations are flourishing especially in the field of security policy. I am visiting real friends and an important partner here in Singapore. I am here at this conference to listen and to learn. As I did in India this weekwhen I had the opportunity to meet Prime Minister Modi. In the last two days I talked to some of my colleagues from Asia-Pacific and listened to the interesting panels. As a European I draw one main conclusion: Even though the security challenges in Europe and Asia are not the same, they are very similar. We see: transnational terrorism, failing states, a trend towards military power projection, increasing territorial conflicts. And more could be added to the list. How we address these challenges will certainly follow different lines of reasoning. In Europe and Asia respectively after all, we all have our own established cultural traditions. I want to share with you our lessons learned. As the German Minister of Defence I want to tell you that we have not forgotten our history. This year we commemorate the 70th anniversary of end of World War II. We have not forgotten that it was us the Germans who caused death and disaster in World War II. But we have also not forgotten that at the end of the war, it were our former enemies especially our American friends and allies - who stretched out their hands to take us back into the circle of democratic countries. It was extremely wise of the USA and the Allies not to weaken and suppress the defeated Germany but to invest and help Germany and Western Europe to rise and prosper. As Ashton Carter

3 said: Everybody rises and everybody wins since 70 years. And Europe is the living proof of this. There is a second lesson learned: The Marshall-Plan was an enormous help but it was just the beginning. We worked hard on expanding our SMEs and they flourished, because German ships could navigate all over the world, delivering goods to New York, Shanghai and St. Petersburg just to name some. And German companies could invest everywhere. The trading companies made friends all over the world. This did not happen by chance. The free trade was possible, because every nation respected the freedom of the sea. And this is what this conference is all about: Stability, security and prosperity are indivisible none of them can exist without the others. Ladies and Gentlemen, This is never for granted: There were many setbacks, crises and conflicts to be overcome. The bumpy road taught us that we need an overarching security architecture. Thus we invested in partnerships and alliances. And Germany grew by investing in the European Union: by building the common market, by opening up our national borders, by transferring our currency, the Deutsche Mark, into the Euro. We partly gave up national sovereignty but we gained way more economic and political power. Or look at another alliance: In NATO we are engaged in collective defence of 28 transatlantic partners. NATO is the strongest political and military alliance ever. But NATO is also the daily experience of solidarity: The security concerns of each single partner counts period! For example: We Germans are doing the Air Policing for our Baltic partners at their borders with EUROFIGHTERS together with many other NATO-nations. The same goes for maritime patrolling with our Scandinavian partners, the USA and the Netherlands. For this we put German ships under Dutch command. The OSCE is another example for security architecture. When the Russian- Ukraine conflict started, we were glad to have the OSCE. It plays an important role in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. It offered the natural room where the EU, UKR and RUS

4 are sitting at the same table. Nobody had to be invited: The negotiation table was there since years. And this opened up room to agree on principles for a solution the so-called Minsk-agreement. The OSCE follows the principles of transparency and confidence building. Believe me: It is not easy to literally open the books But we know that transparency is the key for trust and confidence. Now what is the added value of all this for our security? Our experiences show that there are 5 key elements: First: We have structured procedures to offer a constant dialogue on conflict prevention and conflict handling. Second: We define binding rules and respect the rule of law. Third: we gain trust through transparency. Fourth: A sustainable security architecture is never against any country. On the contrary: the philosophy is that it is for the benefit of all. Even through the Ukraine crisis NATO and EU always said: We want a future with Russia. We are neighbours. Fifth: Strategically spoken: together we are relevant on our own, we are not. Yes, of course alliances are hard work: they need investment; It s a constant compromise; sometimes we fight hard about details - but it is worth it! The smaller counties benefit as much as the bigger ones. The decision making process requires to convince and not to dominate. It forces to argue on the rule of law and not on historic claims. Ladies and Gentlemen, In a globalized world our economic wellbeing is interlinked - and so is our security. Stability and security in East- und South-East-Asia is first of all your concern. But it is ours, too. We Europeans are ready to share our experiences and learn from yours. As ASEAN is intensifying its focus on security, including its outreach to China,

5 cooperation between ASEAN and the EU s common Defence and Security policy should intensify. The globalized world is more and more one, But it is far from being united. Dialogue and the sharing of expertise across the continents should lead to a world that is more united, more stable and safer.

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