In the 21st century, alongside traditional, invariably topical threats and armed conflicts, new challenges such as regional and global terrorism, cybersecurity and mass migration are increasingly becoming more relevant. Close interaction between countries within regional and global organisations, improved use of the existing and the application of new instruments, including legal ones, and cooperation with the private and NGO sectors is essential to address the whole spectrum of challenges, especially in Poland's immediate neighbourhood.
Poland is a committed member of the international community and plays an active and multi-faceted role to improve global security. Poland has been involved in various peacekeeping and mediatory missions for a few dozen decades — mainly under the UN flag and, since becoming a member of NATO and the European Union, also in missions and operations of those organisations. Depending on their needs and capabilities, various activities for peace, reconstruction and development abroad, including OSCE missions, involve from several hundred to several thousand Polish soldiers and civil experts at one time.
Recognising the particular threat of terrorism to entire regions and democratic societies, Poland is involved in the work of the Global Coalition against Daesh, both through military presence and through humanitarian and development assistance. This follows from the belief that effective action must be taken in places which fuel the growth of terrorism and that such action must encompass measures that address the economic and societal causes of terrorism.
Poland traditionally attaches due significance to the observance and implementation of standards stemming from international arms control and disarmament agreements, including those relating to weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The proliferation of WMD remains an important security challenge not only globally or regionally, but also in terms of terrorist threats. Poland is at the vanguard of countries involved in non-proliferation measures. It participates in the work of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) – Krakow Initiative, which promotes the principles of WMD non-proliferation, while at the same time increasing the preparedness, training and international cooperation of the services responsible for state security. In addition, as one of the leaders of the review process of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it is actively working to strengthen this Treaty. For many years, Poland has been submitting a draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly on the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. It is of the utmost importance to maintain the integrity of its principles in view of the recent use of chemical weapons against civilians and selected persons.
Given the scale of threats and the potential impact on the functioning of many dimensions of states and societies, cybersecurity is rapidly gaining ground and becoming an integral part of international relations. Internationally, Poland supports measures to develop and implement norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, apply to it the existing principles of international law, and hammer out confidence building measures between countries. We are placing emphasis on developing capabilities and coordinating activities within NATO and the EU with respect to cybersecurity and cyberdefence.
As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2018-20, Poland is pursuing a programme aimed at the respect for the principles of international law (with a special focus on international humanitarian law) as well as conflict prevention and resolution of international disputes through mediation. We would thereby like to strengthen the foundations of the international security system and improve its effectiveness against a backdrop of traditional and new challenges.