|Updated: 23-Oct-2000||Ministerial Communiqus|
Chairman: Mr. P. van Zeeland.
For the first time Foreign, Defence and Economic/ Finance
Ministers meet in the Council - Temporary Council Committee
(TCC) and a Ministerial Committee on the Atlantic Community
created - Infrastructure programme agreed.
The North Atlantic Council has concluded its seventh
session, in which for the first time the member governments
were represented by Foreign Ministers, Defence Ministers
and Economic or Finance Ministers. The new composition of
the Council reflects the wide fields in which co-ordination
is being steadily developed.
In an exchange of views on the world situation, note was taken of the growing confidence and strength of the Atlantic Community in a world of continuing tension. The Council was informed by the Occupying Powers of the progress of discussions directed toward the establishment of a new relationship with the German Federal Republic. It was also informed of the statement made by the three Foreign Ministers after their meeting in Washington in which they welcomed the plan for a European Defence Community of which Germany would form part.
The Council, considering that the security of the North Atlantic area would be enhanced by the accession of Greece and Turkey to the North Atlantic Treaty, agreed to recommend to the member governments that, subject to the approval of national parliaments under their respective legislative procedures, an invitation should be addressed as soon as possible to the Kingdom of Greece and the Republic of Turkey to accede to the Treaty.
The Council considered the reports submitted by the military and civilian agencies of the Treaty Organization:
All member governments recognize as their joint aim the building up of defence forces to a sufficient level of strength, and the no less important objective of a sound and stable economy necessary to support that effort. The reports of the Defence Production Board and of the Financial and Economic Board, and the discussion thereon, have indicated a number of difficulties in the production and economic fields. The member countries recognize the need to surmount such difficulties in order to assure the continued progress of their efforts to strengthen the free world. The Council has noted the danger of inflation, the burdens which increased defence efforts place on the balance of payments, and the obstacles to an adequate defence arising from price and allocation pressures on raw material supplies. The Ministers recognized that the common effort requires a common attack upon these problems, and agreed to take such action severally and jointly as they deem appropriate to find solutions to them.
Accordingly a temporary committee of the Council was established to survey urgently the requirements of external security, and particularly of fulfilling a militarily acceptable NATO plan for the defence of Western Europe, and the realistic political-economic capabilities of the member countries, with a view to determining possible courses of action for their reconciliation so as to achieve the most effective use of the resources of the member countries.
The Council received reports from the member governments on the status of the defence effort in their countries and referred them to the military agencies and appropriate commands for study and recommendations to improve the early effectiveness and availability of forces.
The Council noted that agreement has been reached on the financing of an "infrastructure" program of airfields, com- munications, and certain installations for the support of forces. These projects will continue without delay.
The Council has issued a separate statement making clear the importance which the member governments attach to the development of the Atlantic community, not only to safeguard their freedom and common heritage on an equal footing but also to strengthen their free institutions and to advance the well-being of their peoples. The statement announced the establishment of a ministerial committee to study and recommend lines of future action toward these objectives.
The Council resolved that, in order to develop more effective unity of action, and in accordance with its duties as the institution for forming the policy and directing the operations of the Treaty Organization, its meetings would be held more frequently and at more regular intervals. In order to continue progress on the problems discussed at the Seventh Session, it was agreed that the question of the date of the next meeting of the Council, which will be held in Rome, would be referred to the Council Deputies for decision.