between NATO and Ukraine lead to the establishment at the end of
May 1997 of a special "Charter for a Distinctive Partnership" through
which cooperation is intensified and a NATO-Ukraine Commission is
created. In the same month the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
(EAPC) takes the place of the former North Atlantic Cooperation
Council (NAC- C) and provides a stronger basis for consultation
and cooperation for the countries which become participants.
internal and external adaptation of the Alliance are carried forward
at a further Summit Meeting in Madrid, in July 1997. For the first
time since the early 1980's, NATO Heads of State and Government
invite three countries to begin negotiations for future membership
of the Alliance. By their next Summit meeting in Washington in April
1999, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have become members.
the former Yugoslavia, the NATO Stabilisation Force (SFOR) has been
operating since the end of 1996 to continue the work of the former
Implementation Force (IFOR). Its role is to continue to implement
the agreements which ended the conflict and to assist in reestablishing
stability and a basis for future peaceful development.
success in this context is encouraging, conflict between the Serbian
government and the Kosovar Albanians in the South of the country
force international intervention. NATO plays a central role in backing
efforts to achieve a peaceful, political settlement by supporting
the peace negotiations but undertaking to intervene militarily to
impose a peace settlement if the conflict and the humanitarian tragedy
it causes do not cease.