Chairman's Summary of the meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
The Foreign Ministers and Representatives of the member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) met in Brussels today. The Secretary-General of the Western European Union also attended the meeting. Ministers welcomed Ireland as the newest member of the EAPC.
The Secretary General of NATO informed the EAPC about the main results of the North Atlantic Council meeting on 15 December.
Dr. Bernard Kouchner, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Kosovo, briefed Ministers on UNMIK activities in Kosovo.
Ministers exchanged views on the situation in Kosovo and commended the successful operations being carried out by KFOR in close cooperation with UNMIK. Ministers underscored the importance of nations contributing sufficient resources, financial and personnel, to support the reconstruction effort in Kosovo. They reiterated their commitment to the full implementation of UNSCR 1244 and recognised that the task of building a peaceful and multiethnic society in Kosovo would demand long-term attention. In that context, they voiced concern about the continuing ethnic violence on the ground despite KFOR's determined efforts to stop it.
Ministers underlined the importance of the consultations that had taken place within the EAPC framework on operations in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and welcomed the intensification of these in accordance with the Political Military Framework for NATO-led Operations put in place at the Washington Summit earlier this year.
Ministers expressed profound concern about the conflict in Chechnya and the continuing violence, particularly the use of force against the civilian population. They also condemned terrorism in all its forms. They called for the utmost restraint, the fullest protection and humanitarian assistance for the civilian population and refugees and urged the immediate renewal of dialogue to achieve a political solution. Ministers were also deeply concerned about the impact of the crisis on the countries in the region and the risks of the conflict undermining stability and security throughout the region.
Ministers highlighted the fundamental importance of the EAPC/PfP framework in efforts to prevent conflict, manage crises and deal effectively with security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic area. They discussed the activities of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council during the last year and exchanged views on how political and security related cooperation might be further enhanced throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. They took note of the various initiatives that have been undertaken by the EAPC in this regard: they welcomed the work undertaken to complement and support international action in the fields of dealing with the Challenge of Small Arms and Light Weapons and promoting Global Humanitarian Mine Action; and they supported work in the EAPC to foster practical regional cooperation in the Caucasus.
Ministers welcomed the work underway in the EAPC and PfP to promote further practical regional cooperation in South East Europe, directed at contributing to the building of lasting peace and stability in the region, and complementing the work of the Alliance and the Stability Pact.
Ministers welcomed progress made since the Washington Summit on the implementation of the enhanced and more operational Partnership, including implementation of the Political-Military Framework for NATO-led Operations, an expanded and adapted Planning and Review Process and enhanced defence-related and military cooperation. EAPC members also endorsed the Operational Capabilities Concept for NATO-led PfP Operations, intended to offer means and mechanisms to reinforce PfP's operational capabilities through closer military cooperation. They welcomed the further development of the PfP Training and Education Enhancement Programme, aimed at increasing the scope, level and efficiency of training and education efforts to meet future demands of the Partnership.
Ministers endorsed and agreed to make public the EAPC Action Plan for 2000-2002, which is the main document guiding the cooperative work of the Alliance and its Partners for the next two years.