- We, the Foreign Ministers of the North Atlantic Alliance consisting of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States, and the Foreign Ministers of Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, and the Representative of the Soviet Union¹ have gathered in Brussels to develop further the process of regular diplomatic liaison and to build genuine partnership among the North Atlantic Alliance and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. This inaugural meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council marks an historic step forward in our relationship.
- In the new era of European relations where the confrontation and division of past decades have been replaced by dialogue, partnership and cooperation, we are determined to work towards a new, lasting order of peace in Europe. Aware of NATO's positive influence as a source of stability, our common objective is to contribute to the enhancement of European security by promoting stability in Central and Eastern Europe. As stated in the Joint Declaration of Paris, security is indivisible and the security of each of our countries is inextricably linked to that of all States participating in the CSCE. The consolidation and preservation throughout the continent of democratic societies and their freedom from any form of coercion or intimidation therefore concern us all. In coming closer together, we wish to further the great progress that has been made across Europe in establishing solid democratic institutions, respect for human rights and economic liberty. The success of efforts to create modern competitive market economies is essential to overcoming grave economic disparities and thus enhancing our common security and stability. We reaffirm the need to continue to support these efforts with all available means.
- We are determined to make another substantial contribution to our shared goal: a Europe whole and free. Our new joint undertaking will contribute to strengthening the role of the CSCE and to the achievement of its objectives without prejudice to its competence and mechanisms. We seek an architecture for the new Europe that is firmly based on the principles and provisions of the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris. Security is today based on a broad concept that encompasses more than ever political, economic, social and environmental aspects as well as defence. For this reason an interlocking network in which institutions such as the CSCE, the Atlantic Alliance, the European Community, the WEU and the Council of Europe complement each other, can best safeguard the freedom, security, and prosperity of all European and North American states. Frameworks of regional cooperation will also be an important part of this comprehensive security architecture.
We welcome the progress made in the sphere of conventional and nuclear arms control and disarmament. We are determined to achieve full implementation of the CFE and START Treaties, as well as to continue to seek security at the lowest possible level of arms.
We all recognise the need, and acknowledge the responsibility to ensure full respect for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), to refrain from any steps that could lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction and to take firm measures to prevent the unauthorised export of nuclear or other destabilising military technologies. Authorities in the Soviet Union have confirmed their intention to ensure the safe, responsible and reliable control of these weapons under a single unified authority. All members of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council agree on the importance of this effort.
- Following the proposal of the Alliance Summit in Rome, we have agreed to build on our existing liaison and to develop a more institutional relationship of consultation and cooperation on political and security issues, and in particular to:
- hold annual meetings with the North Atlantic Council at Ministerial level in a North Atlantic Cooperation Council;
- hold bi-monthly meetings of the North Atlantic Council with liaison partners at the Ambassadorial level, beginning in February 1992;
- hold additional meetings of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council at Ministerial level, or of the North Atlantic Council in permanent session with Ambassadors of liaison partners, as circumstances warrant;
- hold meetings at regular intervals of NATO subordinate committees with representatives of liaison partners. This will include inter alia meetings with the Political and Economic Committees, as well as with the Military Committee and under its direction other NATO Military Authorities, and NATO's Atlantic Policy Advisory Group.
- The focus of our consultations and cooperation will be on security and related issues, such as defence planning, conceptual approaches to arms control, democratic concepts of civilian-military relations, civil-military coordination of air traffic management and the conversion of defence production to civilian purposes. We will enhance participation of liaison partners in NATO's"Third Dimension" scientific and environmental programmes. We will cooperate actively in disseminating as widely as possible information about NATO in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, inter alia through diplomatic liaison channels and embassies of NATO member countries.
- The implementation of the process described above and in particular the practical arrangements for meetings with the North Atlantic Council at Ambassadorial level and with NATO committees will be determined by Ambassadors who will prepare a workplan.
- The annual meetings of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council will, as a rule, take place in Brussels in conjunction with the Autumn Ministerial of the North Atlantic Council. Exceptions are not excluded. Our next annual meeting will take place in Oslo in June at the invitation of the Norwegian government.
1. Ambassador Afanassievsky made the following statement in this connection:
"We proceed from the assumption that the agreements concerning the contacts in the framework of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council which is being created today are valid for the Sovereign States which are becoming legal successors of the Soviet Union."
Later in the session he made the following additional statement:
"In accordance with the latest instructions received from Moscow which result from the consultations between the sovereign states, we request that all references to the Soviet Union be excluded from the text of the Statement."