Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Defence Ministers Session
- The North Atlantic Council met in Defence Ministers Session in Brussels on 17th and 18th December.
- The Alliance's fundamental objective remains the creation of a Europe whole and free, through the promotion of peace, democracy, security, stability and cooperation. NATO has done much to adapt itself to meet the new security challenges which it faces in the fundamentally changed strategic environment in Europe. At the Summits in 1990, 1991, and 1994, the leaders of the Alliance set out the broad vision of a new NATO and its role in the development of a new European security architecture. This vision was further defined at the meetings of Foreign and Defence Ministers in Berlin and Brussels earlier this year.
- We are committed to ensuring the Alliance's military effectiveness; to strengthening the transatlantic link; to developing the European Security and Defence Identity within the Alliance; to expanding our efforts beyond the core function of collective defence to crisis management; and to fostering Partnership and cooperation throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. On this basis, the Alliance will continue to maintain its effectiveness as a highly capable political and military organisation of sovereign member nations committed to common values and objectives.
- We warmly welcome the decision of the Government of Spain, endorsed by the Spanish Parliament on 14th November 1996, to take the necessary steps to participate in the Alliance's new structure. Spain's participation will further strengthen the cohesion and military effectiveness of the Alliance, as it takes on new roles and missions, reinforce the transatlantic link and help develop ESDI within the Alliance.
- The Alliance is now preparing for an historic summit in Madrid on 8th-9th July, 1997, in order to take further, far-reaching decisions on its internal and external adaptation, thereby consolidating Euro-Atlantic security. As Defence Ministers, we are determined to provide our full support and contribution to shaping an active and visible role for the Alliance guided by the clear aims of cooperation and stability. In addition to the importance that we continue to attach to an effective NATO, to the development of ESDI within the Alliance, to the process of its opening to further members as well as to the enhancement of the Partnership for Peace, we underline our sincere readiness to develop a strong and cooperative security partnership with Russia and to strengthen our distinctive relationship with Ukraine.
- We reviewed the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the successful mission of the NATO-led Implementation Force (IFOR) which comes to an end this week. We paid tribute to the men and women of IFOR for their dedication and courage in implementing the military aspects of the Peace Agreement. Particular praise is due to SACEUR and the IFOR commanders for their leadership and sound judgement. We expressed deep sympathy to the families of those in IFOR who have lost their lives and to those who have been injured in the cause of peace.
- While IFOR's mission has been accomplished, there is still need for an international military presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina to provide the stability necessary for consolidating the peace. We were briefed by the NATO Military Authorities on preparations for the Stabilization Force (SFOR) that NATO is ready to organize and lead under UNSCR 1088. We authorised SACEUR to activate the new force on 20th December. SFOR's mission is clear, limited and achievable: to deter renewed hostilities and to stabilize and consolidate the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to contribute to a secure environment in which civil implementation plans can be pursued. SFOR will also stand ready to provide emergency support to UNTAES in Eastern Slavonia. The SFOR operation is planned to be conducted in phases over a period of 18 months. Its force levels will be reviewed at 6 and 12 months, with a view to shifting the focus from stabilization to deterrence and completing the mission by June 1998.
- We are pleased that all sixteen Allies will make significant force contributions to SFOR and that contributions are expected from all 17 other countries that participated in IFOR, as well as other new contributors. We particularly welcome the continued participation of Russia. The new force will initially be about half the size of IFOR, but it will retain the same unity of command, robust rules of engagement, enforcement authority and status of forces that has made IFOR a success. SFOR, like IFOR, will carry out its tasks firmly and evenhandedly.
- We agree that the international community, including the parties to the Peace Agreement, must give added emphasis to implementing the civilian aspects of the Peace Agreement in accordance with the guiding principles agreed in Paris for the two-year civilian consolidation plan and the action plan agreed in London for 1997. SFOR will closely cooperate with the High Representative and the civil organizations and provide them with selective support within the limits of SFOR's capabilities. SFOR will work closely with them to synchronize military and civil planning to make best use of SFOR's assets. SFOR will provide the security framework for the 1997 municipal elections and will be prepared to provide other support, as appropriate, to the OSCE in the preparation and conduct of those elections. SFOR will also support the implementation of the arms control agreements and support the IPTF in promoting a climate of law and order.
- A lasting peace will ultimately depend on the people and leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the other parties to the Peace Agreement. We call on the parties to honour the Peace Agreement in full and to cooperate with SFOR and the High Representative. We urge the parties to commit themselves wholeheartedly to seeking rapid progress in areas such as freedom of movement, the return of refugees and displaced persons, the restructuring and retraining of local police forces, full compliance with the arms control agreements, and full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) including the handing over to the ICTY of all persons indicted for war crimes.
- IFOR has been a success, but not only in former Yugoslavia. IFOR has both demonstrated and given added impetus to NATO's adaptation to the new security environment, and the lessons drawn from this experience will be applied to the Alliance's planning and training for future operations. IFOR has in addition given PfP Partners experience of cooperation with NATO in daily operations and increased the interoperability of their forces with those of the Alliance. It has been particularly important in strengthening our relations with Russia. And IFOR has demonstrated how the Alliance, acting with unity and purpose, can make its unique and essential contribution to peace and stability in Europe.
- The decisions on the internal adaptation of the Alliance taken at the meeting of Foreign Ministers in Berlin and subsequently at our own meeting in Brussels in June represented an important step in the process begun at the January 1994 Summit. This process will be guided by the three objectives of ensuring the Alliance's military effectiveness; preserving the transatlantic link; and developing, to the satisfaction of all Allies, the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) within the Alliance. With these aims in mind, the work undertaken since has concentrated on the development of a command structure for the Alliance designed to respond to the requirements of the new security situation, the implementation of the Combined Joint Task Force concept approved at our spring meetings, and practical steps designed to implement ESDI within the Alliance.
- We welcomed the progress made in the development of the future command structure, noting that two structural alternatives have been selected by the Military Committee for future assessment and subsequent political consideration. The future command structure will be better adapted to the Alliance's missions. We recalled in this regard the principles and political-military factors which we outlined at our last meeting in June, which were to be taken into account in the Military Committee's work on the future command structure. As part of the development of ESDI, the future structure will also reflect the political guidance given by the Council in Permanent Session for the elaboration of European command arrangements.
- In agreeing the way ahead, we directed the Military Committee to further develop and refine their proposals for review at the Ministerial meetings next spring. The way ahead will include: further assessment of the operational capability and military effectiveness of each command structure alternative and additional work on the political-military factors relevant to an assessment of the alternatives; further development of their respective resource implications; clarification of the relationship between different levels of command; further work on the type, number and locations of headquarters at the subregional level and further development of their roles and responsibilities; and further work on guidelines on the issue of rotating key command posts.
- The implementation of the Combined Joint Task Force concept is an essential element of the Alliance's adaptation. CJTF headquarters are being developed primarily for operations in non-Article 5 situations, including operations in which nations outside the Alliance could participate. The employment of CJTFs for Article 5 operations is also not excluded. In addition, CJTF headquarters could be made available, following a decision by the Council, for WEU-led operations and would thus contribute to the development of ESDI within the Alliance.
- For these reasons, we noted with satisfaction that the implementation of the Combined Joint Task Force concept is well under way. The headquarters of Striking Fleet Atlantic, Allied Forces Central Europe, and Allied Forces Southern Europe have been initially designated as parent headquarters for CJTF nuclei. CJTF trials and exercises will be conducted as soon as practicable, first for NATO operations and subsequently for WEU-led operations, building on lessons learned at each stage. Other exercises can also contribute to the Alliance's understanding of the requirements for and feasibility of CJTF operations. We welcomed the establishment of the higher level military staffs required to implement the CJTF concept -- the Capabilities Coordination Cell at NATO headquarters and the Combined Joint Planning Staff at Mons.
- We have asked the Council in Permanent Session to supervise the further implementation of the CJTF concept, on the basis of the Military Committee's directive for military implementation. In this regard, we agreed that future decisions on CJTF implementation should be guided by military effectiveness and operational requirements and should follow the phased implementation approach agreed by the Chiefs of Defence. This work should, in accordance with the agreed concept, assess the capability of the Alliance to form both small and large-scale land and sea-based CJTF headquarters to conduct the full range of CJTF operations. It would take into account the results of the CJTF trials. Furthermore, this work should take into account the need for sustainability, flexibility, and cost effectiveness as well as the ability to provide for increased participation by Partner countries. In implementing the CJTF concept, we agree that the focus of that effort should be on providing the Alliance with the organisation and capabilities necessary to implement the full range of CJTF operations while retaining the capacity for carrying out the Alliance's responsibilities for collective defence.
- We welcomed the progress made in developing the appropriate arrangements for ESDI within NATO. We noted the steps taken in this respect, which will allow for the full participation of all European Allies if they were so to choose and which include:
- the decisions of the Council in Permanent Session on political guidance concerning the elaboration of European command arrangements within NATO which would permit the preparation and conduct of operations under the political control and strategic direction of the WEU, following a decision by the North Atlantic Council, while maintaining the ability of the overall NATO structure to meet the full range of its responsibilities;
- the decisions of the Council in Permanent Session regarding the arrangements for identifying NATO capabilities and assets which might be made available to the WEU for a WEU-led operation;
- the progress to date on arrangements for the release, monitoring, and return or recall of Alliance assets and capabilities;
- the decision of the Council in Permanent Session with respect to modalities of cooperation with the WEU; and
- the progress on work regarding planning and conducting exercising for WEU-led operations, following receipt of illustrative profiles for WEU missions.
- At our meeting in June, we asked Permanent Representatives to review the Alliance's defence planning process to ensure that it continues to develop the forces and capabilities needed to conduct the full range of Alliance missions and in addition is able to support within the Alliance all European Allies in planning for the conduct of WEU-led operations. Once approved, the procedures that have been adapted in response to that request should provide a single, coherent, and simplified process, well suited to all the requirements it has to meet. At their meeting in Ostend on 19th November, WEU Ministers agreed that it would be valuable for WEU to become actively involved in the Alliance's defence planning process and expressed their readiness to participate. Early agreement is now being sought in the WEU on the participation of all European Allies in WEU-led operations using NATO assets and capabilities, as well as in the planning and preparing for such operations. This would be a key contribution to the development of ESDI within the Alliance.
- The steps that have been taken to build ESDI within the Alliance require close cooperation with the WEU, and arrangements to ensure a closer working relationship, both under normal circumstances and in a crisis, are being developed.
- On the basis of our review of the progress that has been achieved in the inter-related parts of internal adaptation, we gave directions to the Permanent Representatives to prepare concrete decisions for further steps in each area while continuing to ensure that the various elements of internal adaptation are carried forward in a coherent and mutually reinforcing way. We called for a further report on progress in all of these areas at our next meeting, with recommendations for decisions on the development of ESDI within the Alliance.
- We welcome the continued strengthening of multinationality within the Alliance. Multinational forces strengthen the Alliance's cohesion and enable the participating Allies to enhance their overall contribution to the Alliance's capabilities, with resulting benefits for the sharing of the burdens of defence. The value of multinationality has been clearly demonstrated in operations in the former Yugoslavia. Multinationality can also contribute to the development of ESDI within the Alliance. There has been recent progress in these areas. We welcome in particular:
- the establishment this year by Belgium and the Netherlands of a combined naval headquarters, and, with Luxembourg, the Benelux deployable air task force;
- the agreement by the Council in Permanent Session of the joint statement on the conditions of employment by the Alliance of EUROFOR and EUROMARFOR, in which France, Italy, Portugal and Spain participate; and
- the accession of Luxembourg to the EUROCORPS.
- NATO's intensified efforts to address the risks posed by the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons and their means of delivery demonstrate the continuing adaptation of the Alliance to the new security environment. The principal non-proliferation goal of the Alliance and its members is to prevent proliferation from occurring or, should it occur, to reverse it through diplomatic means. We nevertheless recognise that proliferation, which at present poses risks to the Alliance, can continue to occur despite our preventive efforts and can pose a direct military threat. Therefore we have reaffirmed that Alliance defence planning should address the military risks posed by nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their delivery means, with particular emphasis on enhancing protection for deployed forces and improving our defences against biological weapons. These defence planning efforts underpin NATO's ability to perform the full range of its missions despite the presence, threat or use of NBC weapons.
- We note with great satisfaction the progress that has been made since June toward implementing the recommendations of the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation (DGP) to improve the Alliance's overall defence posture against NBC weapons. We welcome the efforts made by the NATO Military Authorities and the Allies concerned to develop on an accelerated basis new force goals to address proliferation risks. These capabilities also contribute to the overall modernisation of Alliance forces for the new security environment.
- The NATO Military Authorities should, within the collective defence planning process, continue to underscore the importance of capabilities addressing proliferation risks in 1998 Force Goals. We also look forward to continued progress in addressing, as a priority, proliferation risks in armaments planning, as well as through cooperative initiatives such as strategic and operational intelligence; automated and deployable command, control, and communications; wide-area ground surveillance; theatre missile defence; biological agent detection; and NBC individual protection equipment for deployed forces. Through these efforts, the Alliance will make manifest its commitment to improve Alliance defence capabilities to address shared security concerns.
- We recognise that fielding new capabilities alone will not guarantee Alliance success in addressing the risks posed by proliferation. We also look forward to continued progress in refining and developing the policies based on the DGP's Guiding Principles which would further direct NATO's common defence efforts against proliferation. We welcome further consultations and cooperation with Partner countries to address the common security risks posed by proliferation.
- We attach great importance to the various aspects of the Alliance's external adaptation, including the preparations for opening the Alliance to new members, the enhancement of the Partnership for Peace, and the quest for close and cooperative relations with all our Partners, and in particular Russia and Ukraine.
- We look forward to the prospect of one or more countries being invited by our Heads of State and Government to begin accession negotiations, while recalling that the Alliance will remain open to the accession of further members as stated by Foreign Ministers last week. The Council in Permanent Session has been tasked to prepare comprehensive recommendations for decisions to be taken by the Summit on which country or countries to invite to begin accession negotiations. The accession of new members will, like other aspects of the Alliance's adaptation, help to consolidate the security and stability of the entire Euro-Atlantic area. Against this background we reviewed the results of the intensified dialogue on enlargement conducted with interested Partners during the past year. In the course of these frank and detailed discussions, we have learned much about the contribution that individual Partners could make to the Alliance, and in turn have given a fuller understanding of the rights and obligations of membership to all those countries who have expressed an interest in NATO membership. We welcomed the decision to continue such a dialogue as agreed by Foreign Ministers last week. As part of a comprehensive process to prepare for the political decisions to be taken at the Summit, we direct the Council in Permanent Session, within the overall mandate from Foreign Ministers to elaborate political guidance, to task the NATO Military Authorities to carry out for those countries, on the basis of the general considerations set out in the Enlargement Study, analyses of the military factors associated with the accession of potential new members. At the same time, we direct the Council in Permanent Session to task the committees responsible for financial matters to assess the resource implications. This work should be completed as soon as possible.
- We reaffirm that the nuclear forces of the Allies continue to play a unique and essential role in the Alliance's strategy of war prevention. New members, who will be full members of the Alliance in all respects, will be expected to support the concept of deterrence and the essential role nuclear weapons play in the Alliance's strategy. Enlarging the Alliance will not require a change in NATO's current nuclear posture, and therefore, NATO countries have no intention, no plan, and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members nor any need to change any aspect of NATO's nuclear posture or nuclear policy -- and we do not foresee any future need to do so.
- The Partnership for Peace continues to play a dynamic and important role in the development of a new European security architecture. We accordingly attach great importance to the enhancement of the Partnership and endorse the recommendations made in this regard by the Council in Permanent Session.
- As an important part of this enhancement, the agreed fields of military missions within PfP will be expanded to the full range of the Alliance's new missions as appropriate, to include the more demanding category of peace support operations, with a resulting expansion in the range of PfP exercises. Partners will have greater opportunities to participate in the planning and execution of PfP activities. Building on the experience of Operation JOINT ENDEAVOUR, Partners who join future NATO-led PfP operations should also have greater opportunities to contribute to the development of political guidance for, and to the oversight of, such operations.
- Partners will be involved more substantively and actively in PfP-related parts of the regular peacetime work of the NATO Military Authorities, and will also be offered an enhanced role in shaping the overall PfP programme. The Planning and Review Process will be expanded and made more like the NATO force planning system in order to increase its overall effectiveness and also to provide a better basis for planning Partners participation in PfP operations. We further welcome the agreement in principle, without compromising the primacy of Alliance requirements and respecting the existing procedures, to extend the scope and orientation of the NATO Security Investment Programme to include Partnership projects.
- We also endorse recommendations to enhance the political dimension of the Partnership through increasing opportunities for political consultations, taking full account of the respective activities of the OSCE and the relevant European institutions such as the WEU and the EU, to increase the regional cooperation aspects of PfP, and to examine with Partners possible modalities for elaborating a political-military framework for PfP operations, building on the current work of the PMSC. Our military forces will have important roles to play in many of these initiatives.
- The enhancement of PfP will deepen our relations with all our Partners and will enable the Alliance, by the time of the Summit, to be in a position to offer a clearly strengthened and thus more attractive Partnership. To that end, we endorse the rapid implementation of the PfP enhancements now approved and urge the Council to take timely action on those enhancement options that have been approved in principle but which require additional study and advice, so that Ministers can take decisions on further enhancements at their Spring meetings. In particular, we note the agreement to work with Partners on the initiative to establish an Atlantic Partnership Council (APC) as a single new cooperative mechanism, building on the elements of NACC and PfP deemed most valuable, which would form a framework for enhanced efforts in both practical cooperation under PfP and an expanded political dimension of Partnership.
- We expressed our satisfaction with the continuing growth of the Partnership for Peace, in both quantitative and qualitative terms. A number of significant developments in the Partnership have occurred over the past year, further consolidating its role as a permanent element of the European security architecture. We noted in particular the discussions of civil-military relations held under its auspices, the establishment of a dialogue on defence planning and policy, and an increase in Partnership activities in civil emergency planning and armaments cooperation, all of which have underscored the political-military character of PfP. We welcomed the decision of Switzerland to join the Partnership.
- The experience of day-to-day cooperation, the mutual understanding, and the interoperability of units and equipment that the Partnership promotes have also been important to the success of Operation JOINT ENDEAVOUR. We are determined in turn to draw the appropriate lessons from the shared experience of Allies and Partners in IFOR and UNTAES for the future development of PfP in general and particularly in practical cooperation.
- We look forward to our meeting with Minister of Defence Rodionov and remain committed to the development of a strong, stable and enduring security partnership with the Russian Federation, one that is consistent with that country's importance and with the far-reaching changes in the Alliance since the end of the Cold War. We view such a relationship as a key element in the European security architecture and as an essential source of stability for the entire Euro-Atlantic area. Our collaboration has already demonstrated its value in Operation JOINT ENDEAVOUR, as well as in a series of special consultations on such common security problems such as non-proliferation, nuclear safety, disaster preparedness, and arms control.
- We welcome the aim to conclude a document which could take the form of a Charter between NATO and Russia. We believe that our relations with Russia can and should be made broader, more intensive, and more substantive and that they can and should be placed on a more permanent institutional basis. In the context of the development of such a document, we invite the Council in Permanent Session to task the NATO Military Authorities to make proposals for the development of closer military relationships with Russia and to identify concrete areas for military cooperation. In this regard, we confirm our willingness to work with Russia to establish permanent Russian military liaison missions to NATO HQ (Brussels), SHAPE (Mons), and SACLANT (Norfolk), building on the highly successful experience of the Russian liaison mission created for IFOR, and, based on the principle of reciprocity, to establish NATO Missions at corresponding Russian institutions and headquarters. We therefore task the Council in Permanent Session, once an agreement in principle is reached, to work out an agreement with Russia on the modalities for implementing these missions as soon as possible. There are, furthermore, important opportunities for deepening our mutual understanding that have not yet been fully exploited under the Partnership for Peace. It is through measures of this kind, and through further direct and practical cooperation, that we can construct with the Russian Federation the security partnership that European security and stability require.
- We reaffirm our commitment to a strong, stable, and enhanced partnership with Ukraine, whose independence and territorial integrity are important factors for overall European stability. Ukraine is making an important contribution to the consolidation of peace in Bosnia, and is an active participant in the Partnership for Peace. We welcome the recent meeting of NATO and Ukrainian experts on issues related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. We look forward to still closer practical cooperation, under both PfP and the agreement on enhanced NATO-Ukraine relations concluded in 1995, which we could perhaps build on to formalise our relationship. We welcome the progress made towards establishing a NATO information office in Kyiv.
- We value the Alliance's dialogue with non-NATO Mediterranean countries as an important part of NATO's efforts to deepen understanding with all its neighbours. Such efforts are particularly important in this context because security in Europe is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. We therefore look forward to the further development of the dialogue, on the basis of recommendations to be made by the Council in Permanent Session.
- We attach great importance to the role of the OSCE in enhancing European security and stability as a primary instrument in preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention, post-conflict rehabilitation and regional security cooperation. It is making a significant contribution to the resolution of a number of regional conflicts as well as to the implementation of civil aspects of the Peace agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The OSCE has a fundamental part to play in the cooperative security structure we seek, in which all European states can participate on an equal basis. We reaffirm that European security requires the widest cooperation and coordination among European and transatlantic organisations. The OSCE, as an inclusive and comprehensive organisation for consultation, decision-making and cooperation in its region and as a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, is particularly well suited as a forum to enhance cooperation and complementarity among such organisations and institutions. We welcome the results of the OSCE Summit in Lisbon and especially the progress made there towards developing a Security Model for the 21st Century.
- We fully subscribe to the position taken by Foreign Ministers last week that the CFE Treaty is a fundamental cornerstone of security and stability for all in the Euro-Atlantic area. We are committed to maintain and strengthen it. Consistent with out broader goal of enhancing political cooperation and military stability in a Europe without dividing lines, we welcome the decision of the 30 States Parties to the CFE Treaty on 1 December 1996 in Lisbon to launch negotiations to adapt the Treaty to the changing security environment in Europe. We look forward to beginning negotiations in the Joint Consultative Group in Vienna in January 1997 on the basis of the scope and parameters (Terms of Reference) document agreed in Lisbon.
- Our common goal is to enhance security for all States Parties, irrespective of whether they belong to an alliance, and preserve their right to choose and change their security arrangements. Within the broader political context of enhanced security for all, this process should strengthen the cooperative pattern of relationships between States Parties, based on mutual confidence, transparency, stability and predictability. Committed, like the other States Parties, to adapting the Treaty by developing mechanisms which will enhance the Treaty's viability and effectiveness, we will pursue steps to review the Treaty's group structure, to adapt the Treaty system of limitations and to enhance its verification and information provisions. To that end, the members of the Alliance will develop and table proposals for the negotiations in Vienna.
- We reaffirm our support for the CFE Flank Agreement, reached at this year's Review Conference in Vienna. We urge all States Parties who have not yet done so to approve this Agreement before the end of the extended provisional application period.
- We will play our full part in the intensive continuing efforts directed at resolving outstanding implementation issues.
- The members of the Alliance reaffirm the commitment made at Lisbon to exercise restraint during the period of negotiations as foreseen in the document in relation to the current postures and capabilities of their conventional armed forces - in particular, with respect to their levels of forces and deployments - in the Treaty's area of application. As decided in Lisbon, this commitment is without prejudice to the outcome of the negotiations, or to voluntary decisions by the individual States Parties to reduce their force levels or deployments, or to their legitimate security interests. We believe that the CFE Treaty must continue to play a key role in ensuring military stability into the 21st century, and are committed to adapting it expeditiously in order to take account of new security challenges.
- The military capabilities of the Alliance are the essential basis for its ability to perform the full range of its missions. We are accordingly determined that our forces continue to be adequately manned, equipped, and trained, and we will seek the resources that this requires. After a number of years of continued decline of Alliance common-funded budgets, common-funding levels now appear to have stabilised. We welcome this development, since a continuation of the downward trend in the available common resources would have limited the Alliance's ability to meet its objectives, especially those set by the January 1994 Summit. We welcome the progress made in developing Integrated Resource Management in the interest of rationalisation. During 1996, common-funded budgets again proved to be a valuable asset by providing essential military requirements in support of IFOR in an effective, responsive and timely manner. We have also directed the Council in Permanent Session to identify the implications of adaptation for NATO's common-funded budgets and to make appropriate recommendations for dealing with these.
- NATO armaments cooperation continues to offer many practical examples of the Allies' pooling their efforts and resources, within Europe and across the Atlantic, in order to sustain collective defence and the Alliance's ability to perform its new missions. We welcome the recent approval by the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) of an action plan to formulate policy guidelines for the application of emerging technologies for modelling and simulation in NATO. We look forward to receiving next Spring options and recommendations for the Alliance to pursue layered defence against tactical ballistic missiles to protect deployed Alliance forces. We noted with satisfaction that the CNAD was intensifying work on pending issues and options to pursue an Alliance Ground Surveillance capability, namely a minimum essential NATO owned and operated core capability supplemented by interoperable national assets, and we look forward to the decisions on which options to pursue further being taken at the end of 1997. We welcomed the significant contribution of the CNAD to the enhancement of PfP, notably by the decision to invite participation in discussions and staffing of documents by Partners in selected CNAD groups.
- The decision to hold a Summit meeting next year marks the threshold of a new era, one that will bring both challenges and opportunities. The internal and external adaptation of the Alliance and the establishment of strong and stable relationships with Russia and Ukraine will continue to demand the foresight and the capacity to adapt that the Alliance has demonstrated in the past. We are confident in the ability of the Alliance to meet these demands, and believe the era will also be one of exceptional opportunity -- the opportunity to reinforce security and stability for the Alliance, for its Partners, and for the entire Euro-Atlantic region.