Warsaw Summit Communiqué

Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Warsaw 8-9 July 2016

  • 09 Jul. 2016 -
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  • Press Release (2016) 100
  • Issued on 09 Jul. 2016
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  • Last updated: 01 Jul. 2022 16:42

1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, have gathered in Warsaw at a defining moment for the security of our nations and populations. We are pleased to have been joined by Montenegro, which we have invited to become the 29th member of our Alliance.

2. NATO's essential mission is unchanged: to ensure that the Alliance remains an unparalleled community of freedom, peace, security, and shared values, including individual liberty, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. We are united in our commitment to the Washington Treaty, the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN), and the vital transatlantic bond. To protect and defend our indivisible security and our common values, the Alliance must and will continue fulfilling effectively all three core tasks as set out in the Strategic Concept: collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security. These tasks remain fully relevant, are complementary, and contribute to safeguarding the freedom and security of all Allies.

3. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to all the brave men and women from Allied and partner nations who have served or are serving in NATO-led missions and operations and in Allies' missions and operations that contribute to the security of the Alliance. We honour all those who have been wounded or paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our common purposes and values.

4. Since our last Summit in Wales in 2014, we have taken a range of steps to reinforce our collective defence, enhance our capabilities, and strengthen our resilience. We have committed to providing our armed forces with sufficient and sustained resources. Today, faced with an increasingly diverse, unpredictable, and demanding security environment, we have taken further action to defend our territory and protect our populations, project stability beyond our borders, and continue the political, military, and institutional adaptation of our Alliance.

5. There is an arc of insecurity and instability along NATO's periphery and beyond. The Alliance faces a range of security challenges and threats that originate both from the east and from the south; from state and non-state actors; from military forces and from terrorist, cyber, or hybrid attacks. Russia's aggressive actions, including provocative military activities in the periphery of NATO territory and its demonstrated willingness to attain political goals by the threat and use of force, are a source of regional instability, fundamentally challenge the Alliance, have damaged Euro-Atlantic security, and threaten our long-standing goal of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. Our security is also deeply affected by the security situation in the Middle East and North Africa, which has deteriorated significantly across the whole region. Terrorism, particularly as perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)/Da'esh, has risen to an unprecedented level of intensity, reaches into all of Allied territory, and now represents an immediate and direct threat to our nations and the international community. Instability in the Middle East and North Africa also contributes to the refugee and migrant crisis.

6. The changed and evolving security environment demands the ability to meet challenges and threats of any kind and from any direction. Based on solidarity, Alliance cohesion, and the indivisibility of our security, NATO remains the transatlantic framework for strong collective defence and the essential forum for security consultations and decisions among Allies. The greatest responsibility of the Alliance is to protect and defend our territory and our populations against attack, as set out in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. And so renewed emphasis has been placed on deterrence and collective defence. At the same time, NATO must retain its ability to respond to crises beyond its borders, and remain actively engaged in projecting stability and enhancing international security through working with partners and other international organisations.

7. Allies confront a wide range of terrorist challenges that pose a direct threat to the security of our populations, and to international stability and prosperity more broadly. In the past months, we have faced terrible terrorist attacks on our soils and in our cities. In particular, ISIL/Da'esh poses a grave threat to the wider Middle East and North Africa region and to our own nations. In response, all NATO Allies and many NATO partners are contributing to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. Thanks to that determined action, the Global Coalition campaign has made considerable progress, building on our experience in working together and with partners in NATO-led operations, training, and exercises. ISIL/Da'esh is losing territory, control of strategic supply routes and resources, as well as its leaders, fighters, and followers. To ensure ISIL/Da'esh's lasting defeat, our nations remain committed to sustaining the momentum and work of the Global Coalition. In this context, it is important for the Iraqi authorities to continue to promote policies to ensure inclusivity at all levels of government, including the defence and security forces. We also recognise that an effective and enduring fight against ISIL/Da'esh in Syria will only be possible with a legitimate government in place, and stress the need for an immediate and genuine political transition in this country. We condemn ISIL/Da'esh's unrelenting barbaric attacks against all civilian populations, in particular the systematic and deliberate targeting of entire religious and ethnic communities. We also condemn in the strongest terms ISIL/Da'esh's violent and cowardly acts in Allied territory. If the security of any Ally is threatened, we will not hesitate to take all necessary steps to ensure our collective defence. In light of the dramatic humanitarian consequences of this crisis and its repercussions on regional stability and security, Allies are offering security and humanitarian assistance across the region.

8. The global threat of terrorism knows no border, nationality, or religion. We will continue to fight this threat in accordance with international law and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, with determination, and in solidarity with those Allies and partners that have been victims of terrorist attacks. We are ready to do more to counter this threat, including by helping our partners provide for their own security, defend against terrorism, and build resilience against attack. While we enhance our cooperation to prevent, mitigate, and respond effectively to terrorist attacks, including through our efforts to project stability, we are also mindful of the need to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.

9. For over two decades, NATO has striven to build a partnership with Russia, including through the mechanism of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC). Russia's recent activities and policies have reduced stability and security, increased unpredictability, and changed the security environment. While NATO stands by its international commitments, Russia has breached the values, principles and commitments which underpin the NATO-Russia relationship, as outlined in the 1997 Basic Document of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, and 2002 Rome Declaration, broken the trust at the core of our cooperation, and challenged the fundamental principles of the global and Euro-Atlantic security architecture. Decisions we have taken, including here at our Summit, are fully consistent with our international commitments, and therefore cannot be regarded by anyone as contradicting the NATO-Russia Founding Act.

10. Russia's destabilising actions and policies include: the ongoing illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, which we do not and will not recognise and which we call on Russia to reverse; the violation of sovereign borders by force; the deliberate destabilisation of eastern Ukraine; large-scale snap exercises contrary to the spirit of the Vienna Document, and provocative military activities near NATO borders, including in the Baltic and Black Sea regions and the Eastern Mediterranean; its irresponsible and aggressive nuclear rhetoric, military concept and underlying posture; and its repeated violations of NATO Allied airspace. In addition, Russia's military intervention, significant military presence and support for the regime in Syria, and its use of its military presence in the Black Sea to project power into the Eastern Mediterranean have posed further risks and challenges for the security of Allies and others.

11. NATO has responded to this changed security environment by enhancing its deterrence and defence posture, including by a forward presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, and by suspending all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia, while remaining open to political dialogue with Russia. We reaffirm these decisions.

12. As we agreed, talking to Russia allows us to communicate clearly our positions, with the crisis in and around Ukraine being, in current circumstances, the first topic on our agenda. We remain open to a periodic, focused and meaningful dialogue with a Russia willing to engage on the basis of reciprocity in the NRC, with a view to avoiding misunderstanding, miscalculation, and unintended escalation, and to increase transparency and predictability. We also have military lines of communication. We have agreed to continue to use all these channels to address the critical issues we face, and call on Russia to make good use of all lines of communication.

13. Reciprocal military transparency and risk reduction has the potential to improve stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area. In this context, we call on Russia to constructively engage in the ongoing discussions in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to modernise the Vienna Document, to help close the loopholes that reduce military transparency.

14. The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. But we cannot and will not compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest. NATO will continue to be transparent, predictable and resolute.

15. As we agreed at our Wales Summit, we will continue our strategic discussion on Euro-Atlantic security and our approach to Russia. As we also agreed at Wales, we continue to believe that a partnership between NATO and Russia, based on respect for international law and commitments, including as reflected in the NATO-Russia Founding Act and Rome Declaration, would be of strategic value. We regret that despite repeated calls by Allies and the international community since 2014 for Russia to change course, the conditions for that relationship do not currently exist. The nature of the Alliance's relations with Russia and aspirations for partnership will be contingent on a clear, constructive change in Russia's actions that demonstrates compliance with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities. Until then, we cannot return to "business as usual".

16. An independent, sovereign, and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security. We stand firm in our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and Ukraine's right to decide its own future and foreign policy course free from outside interference, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act. We strongly condemn Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine and its continued violation of international law and its international obligations, which have serious implications for the stability and security of the entire Euro-Atlantic area.

17. Russia bears full responsibility for the serious deterioration of the human rights situation on the Crimean peninsula, in particular the discrimination against the Crimean Tatars and other members of local communities. We demand that the Russian de facto authorities take the necessary measures to ensure the safety, rights, and freedoms of everyone living on the peninsula. International monitoring structures must be allowed to carry out their essential work in view of the protection of human rights. We condemn Russia's ongoing and wide-ranging military build-up in Crimea, and are concerned by Russia's efforts and stated plans for further military build-up in the Black Sea region.

18. We are committed to a peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has claimed nearly 10 000 lives, and reintegration of the areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions controlled by the Russian-backed militants. This will require full implementation of the Minsk Agreements based on a comprehensive ceasefire and an internationally verified withdrawal of weapons. We urge all signatories to fully comply with the commitments they signed up to.

19. Russia, as a signatory to the Minsk Agreements, bears significant responsibility in this regard. Despite its declared commitment to the Minsk Agreements, Russia continues its deliberate destabilisation of eastern Ukraine, in violation of international law. Russia continues to provide weapons, equipment, and personnel, as well as financial and other assistance to militant groups, and to intervene militarily in the conflict. We are extremely concerned by the destabilisation and deteriorating security situation in eastern Ukraine. We call on Russia to desist from aggressive actions and to use its considerable influence over the militants to meet their commitments in full, especially to allow for the observation of the ceasefire regime, implementation of confidence-building measures, and disarmament.

20. We fully support the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), which has a key role in helping to de-escalate the conflict and stress the importance of full and unhindered access by the OSCE monitors. Impediments to the SMM's work, which continue to occur overwhelmingly in areas under the control of the Russian-backed militants, represent a violation of the Minsk Agreements and seriously hamper the monitoring function of the SMM. We call on those responsible to stop any attacks against OSCE observers, and for the perpetrators to be held accountable. We also commend the work of the EU Advisory Mission to assist Ukraine in the field of civilian security sector reform, including police and the rule of law.

21. We welcome the efforts of the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group to advance the implementation of the Minsk Agreements to open the way to the full reintegration of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including passing a local election law for eastern Ukraine; carrying out local elections, when the security situation allows, in accordance with Ukrainian law and relevant OSCE standards and with a strong presence of international observers; implementation of special status and amnesty; withdrawal of foreign forces; and restoration of Ukraine's control over its side of the international border. We condemn the militants' use of residential areas to launch heavy weapons. We urge all parties to take concrete steps to reduce civilian casualties and to adhere strictly to the requirements of international humanitarian law.

22. We remain committed to a continued coherent international approach, in particular between NATO and the European Union (EU). NATO's response is in support of this overall effort, which includes sanctions as decided by the EU, the G7 and others, to promote a peaceful solution to the conflict and to address Russia's actions.

23. We face evolving challenges in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, the North Atlantic, as well as in the Mediterranean, which are of strategic importance to the Alliance and to our partners. Russia continues to strengthen its military posture, increase its military activities, deploy new high-end capabilities, and challenge regional security. These developments have resulted in increased unpredictability that could be mitigated through reciprocal transparency and risk reduction measures. Recognising the indivisibility of Allied security, we will continue to closely monitor the situation in these regions. Our response will be tailored to specific circumstances in each region. We will also work with interested partners to enhance our situational awareness and to develop common approaches to evolving challenges.

In the Baltic Sea region, where the security situation has deteriorated since 2014, the Alliance has developed mutually beneficial partnership relations with Finland and Sweden on a broad range of issues. We appreciate the significant contributions of Finland and Sweden to NATO-led operations. We are dedicated to the continuous process of further strengthening our cooperation with these enhanced opportunities partners, including through regular political consultations, shared situational awareness, and joint exercises, in order to respond to common challenges in a timely and effective manner.

In the Black Sea region, the security situation has also deteriorated in recent years. We will continue to address the implications for NATO of developments in the region and take them into account in the Alliance's approaches and policies. We will continue to support, as appropriate, regional efforts by the Black Sea littoral states aimed at ensuring security and stability. We will also strengthen our dialogue and cooperation with Georgia and Ukraine in this regard.

In the North Atlantic, as elsewhere, the Alliance will be ready to deter and defend against any potential threats, including against sea lines of communication and maritime approaches of NATO territory. In this context, we will further strengthen our maritime posture and comprehensive situational awareness.

24. We continue to support the right of all our partners to make independent and sovereign choices on foreign and security policy, free from external pressure and coercion. We remain committed in our support for the territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova. In this context, we continue to support efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflicts in the South Caucasus, as well as in the Republic of Moldova, based upon these principles and the norms of international law, the UN Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act. We urge all parties to engage constructively and with reinforced political will in peaceful conflict resolution, within the established negotiation frameworks.

25. The continuing crises and instability across the Middle East and North Africa region, in particular in Syria, Iraq and Libya, as well as the threat of terrorism and violent extremism across the region and beyond, demonstrate that the security of the region has direct implications for the security of NATO. In addition to the spill-over of conflict from failing and failed states, terrorism and violent extremism, we face other common transnational security threats and challenges, including trafficking of small arms and light weapons, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means, and threats against maritime security and energy supply. Criminal trafficking gangs have exploited this situation at the expense of displaced people. Peace and stability in this region are essential for the Alliance. Therefore, we emphasise the need to do more to achieve lasting calm and an end to violence.

26. We are adapting our defence and deterrence posture to respond to threats and challenges, including from the south. At the same time, we are continuing to draw on our cooperative security network to enhance political dialogue, to foster constructive relationships in the region, and to increase our support for partners through practical cooperation, as well as defence capacity building and crisis management. We are also exploring options for possible NATO contributions to international efforts to bring stability in the region, building on decisions taken by our Foreign Ministers in May.

27. We remain concerned and vigilant towards the ongoing crisis in Syria, which has direct ramifications for regional stability and for the security of NATO's south-eastern border. The dynamics of this conflict – including terrorism and violent extremism in all their forms and manifestations, the humanitarian tragedy it has caused, and the massive flow of migrants – present challenges and threats for international stability, security, and prosperity. We reiterate our full commitment and determination to defend NATO territory and borders against any threats and address challenges emanating from the Syrian conflict. We condemn all kinds of indiscriminate violence against civilians and civilian infrastructure. We also condemn in the strongest terms the unabated and indiscriminate campaign of bombardment, including the use of incendiary weapons, and violence by the Assad regime and its supporters deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure. We also condemn indiscriminate violence against civilians, in particular by ISIL/Da'esh, the Al Nusra Front, and other groups designated as terrorist organisations by the UN.

28. We call on the Syrian regime to fully comply with the provisions of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs), and to immediately take steps for a genuine political transition in accordance with UNSCR 2254 and the 30 June 2012 Geneva Communiqué. We underline that stability and security cannot be reinstated in Syria without a genuine political transition to a new, representative leadership, based on an inclusive and Syrian-led political process. In this vein, we support the political process under the auspices of the UN and the efforts of the International Syria Support Group to assist the political process. We call for full implementation of the humanitarian provisions of the UNSCR 2254 and the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement. We strongly condemn the violations of the CoH, in particular by the regime and its supporters. These violations constitute a serious hindrance for the political process. We call upon the parties to the CoH to remain committed to the agreement and its full implementation.

29. We stand in support of Iraq in its efforts to build institutions that could restore stability and security in the country. We commend the success to date of the Iraqi security forces in pushing back and reclaiming key territories from ISIL/Da'esh. The participation of all Iraqis through national reconciliation and inclusive governance is crucial, and we therefore encourage the Iraqi authorities to continue to implement policies to bridge ethnic, sectarian, and religious divisions, and ensure inclusive representation in all governmental institutions, and to develop the country's security forces.

30. We welcome the political developments that have taken place in Libya since December 2015: we support the UN and Libyan-led efforts, which have led to the Libyan political agreement, and recognise the Government of National Accord as the sole legitimate government of Libya. We encourage full implementation of the political agreement, and we express support to efforts by the Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidency Council towards an inclusive political process aimed at promoting national reconciliation in order to establish functioning state structures. These efforts mark an important step to strengthen Libya's democratic transition. The unification of all Libyan forces under the authority of the Presidency Council will be key for Libya's ability to fight terrorism.

31. Terrorist acts and the trafficking of arms, drugs, and human beings across the Sahel-Sahara region continue to threaten regional and our own security. We welcome the efforts of the UN and the EU, and underscore the importance of a strong commitment by the international community to address the complex security and political challenges in this region. In Mali, we welcome the endorsement of the peace agreement, the steps taken in its implementation, and the support of the international community to the stabilisation of the country. We also welcome the robust military commitment of Allies in the Sahel-Sahara region, in support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries in the region, and of the security of the Alliance. We commend our African partners' action to deepen regional cooperation to confront security issues in the Sahel.

32. The Alliance military posture is defensive in nature. Deterrence and defence are at the heart of the Alliance's mission and purpose – as the fundamental means of preventing conflict, protecting Allied territories and populations, and maintaining the Alliance's freedom of decision and action at any time, as well as upholding the principles and values enshrined in the North Atlantic Treaty. We will ensure that NATO has the full range of capabilities necessary to deter and defend against potential adversaries and the full spectrum of threats that could confront the Alliance from any direction.

33. All of the actions that we have taken to strengthen our deterrence and defence posture require appropriate investment in capabilities and the development of highly-capable and deployable forces. Our overall security and defence depend both on how much we spend and how we spend it. Increased investments should be directed towards meeting our capability priorities. It is essential that Allies display the political will to provide required capabilities and deploy forces when they are needed. Allies also need to ensure forces are deployable, sustainable, and interoperable. The Defence Investment Pledge we agreed at the Wales Summit is an important step in this direction and today we reaffirm its importance. Through this Pledge we agreed to reverse the trend of declining defence budgets, to make the most effective use of our funds, and to further a more balanced sharing of the costs and responsibilities.

34. Since Wales, we have turned a corner. Collectively, Allies' defence expenditures have increased in 2016 for the first time since 2009. In just two years, a majority of Allies have halted or reversed declines in defence spending in real terms. Today, five Allies meet the NATO guideline to spend a minimum of 2% of their Gross Domestic Product on defence. Ten Allies meet the NATO guideline to spend more than 20% of their defence budgets on major equipment, including related Research & Development. Output is also important, in particular deployability and sustainability of Allied forces. Allies continue to make important contributions to NATO operations, missions, and activities, as well as the NATO Command and Force Structures. Allies invest considerable resources in preparing their forces, capabilities, and infrastructure for Alliance activities and Allies' operations that contribute to our collective security. There is still much work to be done. Efforts to achieve a more balanced sharing of the costs and responsibilities continue. Defence Ministers will continue to review progress annually.

35. In Wales, we approved our Readiness Action Plan (RAP) to respond swiftly to the fundamental changes in the security environment on NATO's borders and further afield that are of concern to Allies. It responds to the challenges posed by Russia and their strategic implications. It also responds to the risks and threats emanating from our southern neighbourhood, the Middle East and North Africa. Less than two years later, it has already contributed to a substantial adaptation of NATO's military posture. The RAP has significantly enhanced our readiness, responsiveness, and flexibility required to deal with the changed security environment. We welcome the Plan's implementation.

36. The Readiness Action Plan Assurance Measures have provided continuous military presence and meaningful activity in the eastern part of the Alliance, on a rotational basis, for the past two years. These defensive measures demonstrate our collective solidarity and resolve to protect all Allies. Assurance Measures provide the fundamental baseline requirement for assurance and deterrence. In addition, tailored assurance measures for Turkey to respond to the growing security challenges from the south contribute to the security of the Alliance as a whole, and will be fully implemented. Assurance Measures are flexible and scalable in response to the evolving security situation, and will be kept under annual review by the Council.

37. Through the longer term Adaptation Measures of the Readiness Action Plan, we have:

a. Enhanced the NATO Response Force (NRF), increasing its readiness and substantially enlarging its size, making it a more capable and flexible joint force comprised of a division-size land element with air, maritime, and special operations forces components.

b. Created a new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), able to begin deployment within two to three days. It has been certified, exercised at short notice, and on stand-by since 2015. Seven VJTF framework nations1 have been identified and a VJTF rotation plan established through 2022.

c. Established eight multinational NATO Force Integration Units on the territory of Allies in the eastern part of the Alliance to assist in training of Alliance forces and in the reception of reinforcements when needed.

d. Taken the necessary steps to increase NATO's ability to reinforce through new infrastructure projects and increased flexibility in the rapid movement of forces across national territory.

e. As part of the NATO Force Structure, made the Headquarters of a Multinational Corps Northeast in Poland fully operational, and established the Headquarters of a Multinational Division Southeast in Romania to take command of the NATO Force Integration Units and to provide flexible command and control options in their regions.

f. Decided to enhance NATO Standing Naval Forces with additional capabilities.

g. Delivered a more ambitious NATO exercise programme. National exercises are an important part of this effort. In 2015 alone, NATO and Allies conducted 300 exercises, including NATO's largest and most complex exercise in over a decade – Trident Juncture 2015 in Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

h. Enhanced advance planning and enabled accelerated decision-making to ensure both military and political responsiveness.

i. Agreed a strategy on NATO's role in Countering Hybrid Warfare, which is being implemented in coordination with the EU.

j .Established a framework for NATO's adaptation in response to growing challenges and threats from the south.

These Adaptation Measures will remain a major driver of NATO's military adaptation and need to be sustained over time.

38. In light of the changed and evolving security environment, further adaptation is needed. Therefore, we have decided to further strengthen the Alliance's deterrence and defence posture. Building on the success of the Readiness Action Plan, today we are adopting a broad approach to deterrence and defence which draws upon all of the tools at NATO's disposal. This will provide the Alliance with a range of options to be able to respond to any threats from wherever they arise. Given the different nature, types and origins of threats, we will tailor our response to specific circumstances. Taken together, the measures we are approving at this Summit will enhance the security of all Allies and ensure protection of Alliance territory, populations, airspace and sealines of communication, including across the Atlantic, against all threats from wherever they arise. In this context, our response is united and adequate to the new security environment, demonstrating our ability and willingness to defend one another. As part of the Alliance posture, these measures are defensive in nature, proportionate, consistent with our international commitments and demonstrate our respect for the rules-based European security architecture.

39. As a means to prevent conflict and war, credible deterrence and defence is essential. At the same time, as part of the Alliance's overall approach to providing security for NATO populations and territory, deterrence has to be complemented by meaningful dialogue and engagement with Russia, to seek reciprocal transparency and risk reduction. Those efforts will not come at the expense of ensuring NATO's credible deterrence and defence.

40. We have decided to establish an enhanced forward presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to unambiguously demonstrate, as part of our overall posture, Allies' solidarity, determination, and ability to act by triggering an immediate Allied response to any aggression. Beginning in early 2017, enhanced forward presence will comprise multinational forces provided by framework nations and other contributing Allies on a voluntary, sustainable, and rotational basis. They will be based on four battalion-sized battlegroups that can operate in concert with national forces, present at all times in these countries, underpinned by a viable reinforcement strategy. We welcome the offers of Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States to serve as framework nations for the robust multinational presence in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland respectively. We have also accepted the Polish offer to provide an existing division headquarters as a basis for the establishment of a multinational division headquarters, pending agreement on the modalities by the Council. We recognise the integral role host nations will play in enhanced forward presence. We further welcome additional contributions from across the Alliance to support this important endeavour. We recognise the significant resource commitments of Allies.

41. We will also develop tailored forward presence in the southeast part of the Alliance territory. Appropriate measures, tailored to the Black Sea region and including the Romanian initiative to establish a multinational framework brigade to help improve integrated training of Allied units under Headquarters Multinational Division Southeast, will contribute to the Alliance's strengthened deterrence and defence posture, situational awareness, and peacetime demonstration of NATO's intent to operate without constraint. It will also provide a strong signal of support to regional security. Options for a strengthened NATO air and maritime presence will be assessed.

42. As part of the Readiness Action Plan and as a contribution to our deterrence and defence posture, we have established a framework for NATO's adaptation in response to growing challenges and threats emanating from the south. The framework focusses on better regional understanding and situational awareness, the ability to anticipate and respond to crises emanating from the south, improved capabilities for expeditionary operations, and enhancing NATO's ability to project stability through regional partnerships and capacity building efforts. We will proceed with the implementation of this framework.

43. As part of a broader approach and the concerted efforts of the international community, we also need to deter and defend against non-state actors that have state-like aspirations, capabilities, and resources, and that threaten or affect the security of Allied populations and the integrity of Allied territory. We have agreed a series of measures to respond to this threat, including ensuring that it is appropriately monitored and assessed and that relevant plans will be updated as necessary.

44. We will not accept to be constrained by any potential adversary as regards the freedom of movement of Allied forces by land, air, or sea to and within any part of Alliance territory. Alliance capabilities, training, and exercises contribute to our ability to operate freely. We remain ready to rapidly reinforce any Ally that comes under threat, when needed, to counter all contingencies.

45. We will ensure that NATO has the full range of capabilities necessary to fulfil the whole range of Alliance missions, including to deter and defend against potential adversaries, and the full spectrum of threats that could confront the Alliance from any direction. In line with our defence planning priorities, we are committed to delivering heavier and more high-end forces and capabilities, as well as more forces at higher readiness. The primary responsibility for achieving this remains with Allies, individually. Multinational approaches are valuable in meeting these vital needs.

46. We will ensure that the NATO Command Structure remains robust and agile, and able to undertake all elements of effective command and control for simultaneous challenges across the full spectrum of missions. In light of the changed and evolving security environment and the increased overall requirements, we will conduct a functional assessment of the current structure.

47. We will further improve our strategic anticipation by enhancing our situational awareness, particularly in the east and south and in the North Atlantic. Our ability to understand, track and, ultimately, anticipate, the actions of potential adversaries through Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and comprehensive intelligence arrangements is increasingly important. These are essential to enable timely and informed political and military decisions. We have established the capabilities necessary to ensure our responsiveness is commensurate with our highest readiness forces.

48. The Alliance maritime posture supports the four roles consisting of collective defence and deterrence, crisis management, cooperative security, and maritime security, and thus also contributes to projecting stability. The Standing Naval Forces are a core maritime capability of the Alliance and are the centrepiece of NATO's maritime posture. They are being enhanced and will be aligned with NATO's enhanced NATO Response Force to provide NATO's highest readiness maritime forces. We will continue to reinforce our maritime posture by exploiting the full potential of the Alliance's overall maritime power. Work is under way on the operationalisation of the Alliance Maritime Strategy, as well as on the future of NATO's maritime operations, which are key to NATO's maritime posture. Allies are also considering complementary maritime governance initiatives to contribute to this endeavour.

49. Interoperability of our armed forces is fundamental to our success and an important added value of our Alliance. Through training and exercises, the development of NATO standards and common technical solutions, the NATO Response Force, Assurance Measures, forward presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, and joint operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and the Mediterranean, all Allies are also reinforcing their interoperability within NATO as well as with partners, as appropriate. This enables our armed forces to work together successfully, be it in NATO operations or in national, coalition, EU or UN formats, which contributes to our common security.

50. We welcome the many concrete multinational and national initiatives, carried out independently or under the auspices of Smart Defence or the Framework Nations Concept, which strengthen the Alliance. They contribute directly to capability development and to our strengthened deterrence and defence posture. We will ensure overall coherence and unity of effort across all elements of Allied capability development and military presence, including between forward presence and Allies' multinational and national military activities and initiatives.

51. The greatest responsibility of the Alliance is to protect and defend our territory and our populations against attack, as set out in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. No one should doubt NATO's resolve if the security of any of its members were to be threatened. NATO will maintain the full range of capabilities necessary to deter and defend against any threat to the safety and security of our populations, wherever it should arise.

52. As a means to prevent conflict and war, credible deterrence and defence is essential. Therefore, deterrence and defence, based on an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional, and missile defence capabilities, remains a core element of our overall strategy. A robust deterrence and defence posture strengthens Alliance cohesion, including the transatlantic link, through an equitable and sustainable distribution of roles, responsibilities, and burdens. NATO must continue to adapt its strategy in line with trends in the security environment – including with respect to capabilities and other measures required – to ensure that NATO's overall deterrence and defence posture is capable of addressing potential adversaries' doctrine and capabilities, and that it remains credible, flexible, resilient, and adaptable.

53. Allies' goal is to bolster deterrence as a core element of our collective defence and to contribute to the indivisible security of the Alliance. As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance. The strategic forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States, are the supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies. The independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France have a deterrent role of their own and contribute to the overall security of the Alliance. These Allies' separate centres of decision-making contribute to deterrence by complicating the calculations of potential adversaries. NATO's nuclear deterrence posture also relies, in part, on United States' nuclear weapons forward-deployed in Europe and on capabilities and infrastructure provided by Allies concerned. These Allies will ensure that all components of NATO's nuclear deterrent remain safe, secure, and effective. That requires sustained leadership focus and institutional excellence for the nuclear deterrence mission and planning guidance aligned with 21st century requirements. The Alliance will ensure the broadest possible participation of Allies concerned in their agreed nuclear burden-sharing arrangements.

54. The fundamental purpose of NATO's nuclear capability is to preserve peace, prevent coercion, and deter aggression. Nuclear weapons are unique. Any employment of nuclear weapons against NATO would fundamentally alter the nature of a conflict. The circumstances in which NATO might have to use nuclear weapons are extremely remote. If the fundamental security of any of its members were to be threatened however, NATO has the capabilities and resolve to impose costs on an adversary that would be unacceptable and far outweigh the benefits that an adversary could hope to achieve.

55. Missile defence can complement the role of nuclear weapons in deterrence; it cannot substitute for them. The capability is purely defensive. The threat to NATO populations, territory, and forces posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles continues to increase, and missile defence forms part of a broader response to counter it.

56. At our Summit in Lisbon in 2010, we decided to develop a NATO Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) capability to pursue our core task of collective defence. The aim of this capability is to provide full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory, and forces against the increasing threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles, based on the principles of indivisibility of Allies' security and NATO solidarity, equitable sharing of risks and burdens, as well as reasonable challenge, taking into account the level of threat, affordability, and technical feasibility, and in accordance with the latest common threat assessments agreed by the Alliance. Should international efforts reduce the threats posed by ballistic missile proliferation, NATO missile defence can and will adapt accordingly.

57. At our Summit in Chicago in 2012, we declared the achievement of an Interim NATO BMD Capability as an operationally significant first step. At the Wales Summit, we welcomed the forward deployment of BMD-capable Aegis ships to Rota, Spain that could be made available to NATO. Today a new milestone in the development of NATO BMD has been reached and we are pleased to declare the achievement of the NATO BMD Initial Operational Capability. This is a significant step toward the aim of NATO BMD that offers a stronger capability to defend our populations, territory, and forces across southern NATO Europe against a potential ballistic missile attack. The Aegis Ashore site in Deveselu, Romania represents a significant portion of this increase in capability, and the command and control (C2) of the Aegis Ashore site is being transferred to NATO. We also welcome that Turkey hosts a forward-based early-warning BMD radar at Kürecik and that Poland will be hosting an Aegis Ashore site at the Redzikowo military base. We are also pleased that additional voluntary national contributions have been offered by Allies, and we encourage further voluntary contributions, all of which will add robustness to the capability.

58. As with all of NATO's operations, full political control by Allies is essential and will be ensured over the BMD capability. We will continue to deepen political oversight of NATO BMD as the capability develops. It is essential that the functionality of the Alliance C2 network for BMD matches that development. In this context, the next necessary major milestone for NATO BMD capability will be the completion of the next core element of the NATO BMD C2. Overall completion of the NATO BMD C2 will then provide the additional functionalities required for the BMD system to reach maturity.

59. We will develop further our engagement with third states, on a case-by-case basis, to enhance transparency and confidence and to increase ballistic missile defence effectiveness. This could involve information exchange, consultation, and cooperation. NATO missile defence is not directed against Russia and will not undermine Russia's strategic deterrence capabilities. NATO missile defence is intended to defend against potential threats emanating from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. We have explained to Russia many times that the BMD system is not capable against Russia's strategic nuclear deterrent and there is no intention to redesign this system to have such a capability in the future. Hence, Russian statements threatening to target Allies because of NATO BMD are unacceptable and counterproductive. Should Russia be ready to discuss BMD with NATO, and subject to Alliance agreement, NATO remains open to discussion.

60. NATO BMD is based on voluntary national contributions, including nationally funded interceptors and sensors, hosting arrangements, and on the expansion of the BMD capability. The command and control systems for NATO BMD are the only portion for NATO BMD that is eligible for common funding.

61. We also task the Council to regularly review the implementation of the NATO BMD capability, including before the Foreign and Defence Ministers' meetings, and prepare a comprehensive report on progress and issues to be addressed for its future development by our next Summit.

62. Arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation continue to play an important role in the achievement of the Alliance's security objectives. Both the success and failure of these efforts can have a direct impact on the threat environment of NATO. In this context, it is of paramount importance that disarmament and non-proliferation commitments under existing treaties are honoured, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, crucial to Euro-Atlantic security. Allies therefore continue to call on Russia to preserve the viability of the INF Treaty through ensuring full and verifiable compliance.

63. We remain deeply concerned by the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD), as well as their means of delivery, by states and non-state actors, which continues to present a threat to our populations, territory, and forces. Addressing serious proliferation challenges remains an urgent international priority.

64. Allies emphasise their strong commitment to full implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The Alliance reaffirms its resolve to seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons in full accordance with all provisions of the NPT, including Article VI, in a step-by-step and verifiable way that promotes international stability, and is based on the principle of undiminished security for all. Allies reiterate their commitment to progress towards the goals and objectives of the NPT in its mutually reinforcing three pillars: nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

65. After the end of the Cold War, NATO dramatically reduced the number of nuclear weapons stationed in Europe and its reliance on nuclear weapons in NATO strategy. We remain committed to contribute to creating the conditions for further reductions in the future on the basis of reciprocity, recognising that progress on arms control and disarmament must take into account the prevailing international security environment. We regret that the conditions for achieving disarmament are not favourable today.

66. We call on all states to commit to combatting effectively the proliferation of WMD through the universalisation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, negotiation of the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, and through the Proliferation Security Initiative. Continued use of chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria, which we condemn, further underscores the evolving and increasing WMD threat to the Alliance.

67. We are deeply concerned about the persistent provocative behaviour by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and we strongly condemn the DPRK's nuclear test of 6 January 2016, the 7 February 2016 launch using ballistic missile technologies, and multiple tests of ballistic missiles since then. We urge rigorous implementation of UNSCR 2270 and other relevant Security Council resolutions. We call on Pyongyang to immediately cease and abandon all its existing nuclear and ballistic missile activities in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner and re-engage in international talks.

68. We commend the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the E3/EU+3 and Iran, signed on 14 July 2015, and its ongoing implementation since 16 January 2016. We also underscore the importance for Iran to fully cooperate in a timely manner with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in implementation of the JCPOA. However, we remain seriously concerned by the development of Iran's ballistic missile programme and continuing missile tests that are inconsistent with UNSCR 2231.

69. We remain committed to conventional arms control as a key element of Euro-Atlantic security. Full implementation and compliance with these commitments is essential to rebuild trust and confidence in the Euro-Atlantic region. Russia's unilateral military activity in and around Ukraine continues to undermine peace, security, and stability across the region, and its selective implementation of the Vienna Document and Open Skies Treaty and long-standing non-implementation of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty have eroded the positive contributions of these arms control instruments. Allies call on Russia to fully adhere to its commitments. Allies are determined to preserve, strengthen, and modernise conventional arms control in Europe, based on key principles and commitments, including reciprocity, transparency, and host nation consent. We underscore the importance of modernising the Vienna Document to ensure its continued relevance in the evolving security environment, including through its substantive update in 2016.

70. Cyber attacks present a clear challenge to the security of the Alliance and could be as harmful to modern societies as a conventional attack. We agreed in Wales that cyber defence is part of NATO's core task of collective defence. Now, in Warsaw, we reaffirm NATO's defensive mandate, and recognise cyberspace as a domain of operations in which NATO must defend itself as effectively as it does in the air, on land, and at sea. This will improve NATO's ability to protect and conduct operations across these domains and maintain our freedom of action and decision, in all circumstances. It will support NATO's broader deterrence and defence: cyber defence will continue to be integrated into operational planning and Alliance operations and missions, and we will work together to contribute to their success. Furthermore, it will ensure more effective organisation of NATO's cyber defence and better management of resources, skills, and capabilities. This forms part of NATO's long term adaptation. We continue to implement NATO's Enhanced Policy on Cyber Defence and strengthen NATO's cyber defence capabilities, benefiting from the latest cutting edge technologies. We reaffirm our commitment to act in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter, international humanitarian law, and human rights law, as applicable. We will continue to follow the principle of restraint and support maintaining international peace, security, and stability in cyberspace. We welcome the work on voluntary international norms of responsible state behaviour and confidence-building measures regarding cyberspace.

71. We will ensure that Allies are equipped for, and meet requirements tailored to, the 21st century. Today, through our Cyber Defence Pledge, we have committed to enhance the cyber defences of our national networks and infrastructures, as a matter of priority. Each Ally will honour its responsibility to improve its resilience and ability to respond quickly and effectively to cyber attacks, including in hybrid contexts. Together with the continuous adaptation of NATO's cyber defence capabilities, this will reinforce the Alliance's cyber defence. We are expanding the capabilities and scope of the NATO Cyber Range, where Allies can build skills, enhance expertise, and exchange best practices. We remain committed to close bilateral and multilateral cyber defence cooperation, including on information sharing and situational awareness, education, training, and exercises. Strong partnerships play a key role in effectively addressing cyber challenges. We will continue to deepen cooperation with the EU, as agreed, including through the on-going implementation of the Technical Arrangement that contributes to better prevention and response to cyber attacks. We will further enhance our partnerships with other international organisations and partner nations, as well as with industry and academia through the NATO Industry Cyber Partnership.

72. We have taken steps to ensure our ability to effectively address the challenges posed by hybrid warfare, where a broad, complex, and adaptive combination of conventional and non-conventional means, and overt and covert military, paramilitary, and civilian measures, are employed in a highly integrated design by state and non-state actors to achieve their objectives. Responding to this challenge, we have adopted a strategy and actionable implementation plans on NATO's role in countering hybrid warfare. The primary responsibility to respond to hybrid threats or attacks rests with the targeted nation. NATO is prepared to assist an Ally at any stage of a hybrid campaign. The Alliance and Allies will be prepared to counter hybrid warfare as part of collective defence. The Council could decide to invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. The Alliance is committed to effective cooperation and coordination with partners and relevant international organisations, in particular the EU, as agreed, in efforts to counter hybrid warfare.

73. Today we have made a commitment to continue to enhance our resilience and to maintain and further develop our individual and collective capacity to resist any form of armed attack. Civil preparedness is a central pillar of Allies' resilience and a critical enabler for Alliance collective defence. While this remains a national responsibility, NATO can support Allies in assessing and, upon request, enhancing their civil preparedness. We will improve civil preparedness by achieving the NATO Baseline Requirements for National Resilience, which focus on continuity of government, continuity of essential services, security of critical civilian infrastructure, and support to military forces with civilian means. In this context, we welcome the Resilience Guidelines approved by Defence Ministers in June 2016.

74. We will ensure that NATO continues to be both strategically and operationally prepared with policies, plans, and capabilities to counter a wide range of state and non-state Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) threats, based on NATO's Comprehensive Strategic-Level Policy for Preventing the Proliferation of WMD and Defending Against CBRN Threats that we endorsed in 2009, and look forward to a report on its continued implementation at our next Summit.

75. At Chicago in 2012, we launched the Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) initiative. JISR is a high-value, complex, and wide-reaching capability area. Following up on our commitments, we welcome the February 2016 declaration of the initial operational JISR capability, centred upon enhancing the situational awareness of the NATO Response Force through heightened proficiency in collecting and exchanging information and intelligence. Allies also intend to work together to promote intelligence-sharing, as appropriate, by using NATO platforms and networks and optimising use of multilateral platforms and networks to enhance overall JISR efforts, including but not limited to the JISR Smart Defence project.

76. Moving forward, we will sustain these achievements and support future NATO Response Force rotations with the necessary JISR capabilities. We will also expand the scope of our JISR initiative, making the most effective use of Allies' complementary JISR contributions to enhance both strategic anticipation and awareness. It is within this context that we also note the significant progress made on NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS). This capability will become operational in 2017 as planned, and will be complemented in some cases by Allies' contributions in kind.

77. NATO's Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (AWACS) continues to prove itself instrumental not only to monitoring our airspace, but also as a critical part of NATO's command and control capabilities. NATO AWACS will continue to be modernised and extended in service until 2035. By 2035, the Alliance needs to have a follow-on capability to the E-3 AWACS. Based on high-level military requirements, we have decided to collectively start the process of defining options for future NATO surveillance and control capabilities.

78. Multinational and national initiatives provide an important contribution to capability development and our strengthened posture. NATO will continue to work closely with the EU, as agreed, to ensure that our Smart Defence and the EU's Pooling and Sharing initiatives are complementary and mutually reinforcing, and to support capability development and interoperability with a view to avoiding unnecessary duplication and maximizing cost-effectiveness. At the Wales Summit, six Allies launched a multinational effort, led by Denmark, to address their requirements for air-to-ground Precision Guided Munitions. We welcome the progress achieved in this group since then, including its expansion by two Allies and the processing of its first multinational acquisition employing the US Lead Nation Procurement Initiative. We welcome the progress made in implementing NATO's Framework Nations Concept. A group of 16 Allies, led by Germany, is working on establishing larger formations to deliver usable forces and capabilities. Another group, led by Italy and composed of six nations, is developing programmes and activities aimed at supporting the Alliance's operational commitments. We welcome the United States' European Reassurance Initiative, including the rotational Armoured Brigade Combat Team and US Army prepositioned stocks. We welcome the Transatlantic Capability Enhancement and Training Initiative (TACET), which will promote capability development, interoperability, and training, and will enhance NATO resilience in response to the challenges in the Baltic region. We also welcome the Combined Joint Enhanced Training Initiative (CJET), which provides similar engagement with Romania and Bulgaria. We welcome progress on delivering the United Kingdom-led Joint Expeditionary Force, made up of high readiness, flexible, integrated forces from seven Allies. We also welcome the validation, through an exercise in 2016, of the UK-France Combined Joint Expeditionary Force, which will enhance the Alliance's ability to respond rapidly to any challenge. We welcome the decision of the Visegrad Group to provide rotational presence in the Baltic states in 2017 to conduct exercises in support of Allied activities. We further welcome the Letter of Intent on multinational cooperation for the provision of Airborne Electronic Attack. We welcome Allied efforts to address, as appropriate, existing dependencies on Russian-sourced legacy military equipment.

79. To position the Alliance in responding to evolving threats, NATO intelligence reform must be an ongoing, dynamic process. The importance of intelligence in informing our planning, operations, and decision-making continues to increase. To improve NATO's ability to draw on a wide range of intelligence resources, we have agreed to establish a new Joint Intelligence and Security Division to be led by an Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence and Security. The new Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence and Security will direct NATO's intelligence and security activities, ensuring better use of existing personnel and resources, while maximizing the efficient use of intelligence provided by Allies.

80. Against the background of an increasingly unstable, global security environment, and based on a broad and strengthened deterrence and defence posture, we seek to contribute more to the efforts of the international community in projecting stability and strengthening security outside our territory, thereby contributing to Alliance security overall.

81. Our efforts to enhance the Alliance's role in projecting stability will be guided by enduring principles, including a 360 degree approach, commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law, complementarity with international actors, in particular with the UN, EU, and the OSCE and focusing on NATO's added value, local ownership and buy-in, partner involvement, inclusiveness, tailored cooperation, long-term commitment, prioritisation and sustainability, and overall coherence.

82. The Alliance is already responding to these challenges and will continue to do so, building on its recognised experience and its crisis management and cooperative security toolkit. NATO's added-value in contributing to the international community's efforts includes its ability to offer defence reform assistance and advice in a coherent way, its recognised track record in the training and development of local forces, including in more difficult circumstances, and defence education. The Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative that we adopted in Wales has proven a particularly important tool to help project stability, providing support to Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, and the Republic of Moldova. We are committed to further develop and adequately resource our capacity building efforts.

83. While retaining our ability to respond to crises beyond our borders, NATO will continue to pursue cooperative security through partnership with relevant countries and other international organisations, and investing in capacity building and training efforts enabling countries to enhance their resilience and to provide for their own security.

84. NATO will continue to enhance its role in projecting stability, including through enhancing regional understanding and situational awareness, further adapting to the challenges and threats from all directions, reinforcing its maritime dimension, and developing a more strategic, more coherent, and more effective approach to partnerships. These efforts will draw upon the important contributions that partners can bring. The Alliance, including with partners where appropriate, will continue to help manage challenges – before, during, and after conflict – where they affect Alliance security. The implementation of the agreed Alliance policies and initiatives must also continue. At the same time, we will continue to consider the political implications of our effort.

85. We are facing long-term challenges, and we are committed to ensure that NATO has a long-term and sustainable approach to projecting stability with adequate and sustainable resources and structures, making best use of existing funding mechanisms. We task the Council to evaluate progress made regarding the implementation of our efforts to project stability, including the specific areas put forward by Foreign Ministers in May 2016, emphasising how efforts can become sustainable, better organised and supported, and to report by the time of the meeting of our Foreign Ministers in December 2016.

86. In a separate declaration issued today, together with Afghanistan and our Resolute Support operational partners, we have reaffirmed our mutual commitment to ensure long-term security and stability in Afghanistan. NATO and its operational partners have committed to sustain the Resolute Support mission beyond 2016 through a flexible, regional model, to continue to deliver training, advice, and assistance to the Afghan security institutions and forces; continue national contributions to the financial sustainment of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, including until the end of 2020; and strengthen and enhance the long-term Enduring Partnership. Afghanistan has made a significant set of commitments. NATO and its operational partners will continue to play an important supporting role in their delivery.

87. Together with the rest of the international community, our aim remains that Afghanistan will never again become a safe haven for terrorists who can pose a threat to our security, and that it is able to sustain its own security, governance, and economic and social development, while respecting human rights for all of its citizens, notably those of women and children. We remain resolute and united in our commitment to a secure and stable Afghanistan.

88. Good neighbourly relations, and regional cooperation and support to a secure and stable Afghanistan, remain essential. The pathway to a sustainable resolution of the conflict is an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, which respects the Afghan constitution and human rights, including notably the rights of women. The region and the international community at large must respect and support such a process and its outcome.

89. In accordance with UNSCR 1244, the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) will continue to contribute to a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement in Kosovo, working in close cooperation with the Kosovo authorities and the EU. While we welcome the progress achieved through the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, the security situation in Kosovo is broadly stable, though challenges remain. Changes in our troop presence will remain conditions-based and not calendar-driven. Furthermore, the Alliance will continue to support the development of the security organisations in Kosovo, including through the NATO advisory team on the ground and in accordance with Allied decisions, and will keep the nature of further support under review. We note Kosovo's request for an enhanced relationship with NATO and will respond no later than the December Foreign Ministerial on ways to further develop our support.

90. NATO has made an important contribution to international efforts to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia through Operation Ocean Shield, which has achieved its military strategic objectives. We note that the last successful pirate attack in the Indian Ocean took place in May 2012. While we have agreed to terminate the Operation at the end of 2016, NATO will remain engaged in the fight against piracy by maintaining maritime situational awareness and continuing close links with other international counter-piracy actors.

91. We have transitioned Operation Active Endeavour, our Article 5 maritime operation in the Mediterranean, which has contributed to the fight against terrorism, to a non-Article 5 Maritime Security Operation, Operation Sea Guardian, able to perform the full range of Maritime Security Operation tasks, as needed.

92. Following decisions by our Defence Ministers in February 2016, Allies have swiftly contributed maritime assets to international efforts to stem the flow of irregular migration in the Aegean Sea in the context of the refugee and migrant crisis. The NATO activity has added value by providing real time information on irregular migrant flows to Turkey, Greece, and the EU's Border Management Agency, FRONTEX. The activity is being conducted in cooperation with relevant national authorities and through the establishment of direct links between Maritime Command (MARCOM) and FRONTEX at the operational level. It is an effective contribution to existing efforts in controlling irregular migration in the area, and has also offered new opportunities for enhanced cooperation with the EU at tactical and operational levels in the context of stemming irregular migration. This activity will be evaluated in September and reviewed in time for the meeting of our Defence Ministers in October.

93. We have agreed, in principle, on a possible NATO role in the Central Mediterranean, to complement and/or, upon European Union request, support, as appropriate, the EU's Operation Sophia through the provision of a range of capabilities including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and logistics support; through contribution to capacity building of the Libyan coastguard and navy, if requested by the legitimate Libyan authorities and/or the EU; and in the context of the implementation of UNSCR 2292 on the situation in Libya, in close coordination with the EU.

94. We reaffirm our commitment to a long-term partnership with Iraq, as well as to assisting the country through the Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative agreed in Wales. We are committed to strengthening Iraq's defence forces and institutions through the defence capacity building assistance measures agreed in August 2015, on the basis of Iraq's request. We have made progress in implementing the tailored package of DCB assistance for Iraq as agreed, taking advantage of the availability of the King Abdullah II Special Operation Forces Center in Jordan and of training and education centres in Turkey.

95. Through DCB activities being implemented in Jordan, which include counter-improvised explosive devices, explosive ordnance disposal and demining, as well as civilian-military planning and advice on security sector reform in Iraq, NATO is training Iraqis in selected areas. Building on this effort, we have decided to respond positively to the 5 May 2016 request of the Prime Minister of Iraq and agree to provide in-country NATO training to Iraqi security and military forces, in agreed areas, including, as part of the DCB programme, to continue to support institutional capacity building, in order to contribute to effective and efficient structures and policies to sustain advancement in Iraqi training capacity over the medium- and long-term. This NATO effort in Iraq will continue to be conducted so as to ensure complementarity and added value; inclusiveness; local ownership; sustainability and prioritisation; overall coherence; and tailored cooperation. The continued inclusivity of the Iraqi government and defence and security forces, will be of key importance. The initial planning for implementing these activities in country should be completed in time for Defence Ministers' review in October, which will enable the training and capacity building to start in Iraq by January 2017.

96. Bearing in mind the threat that ISIL/Da'esh poses to all our nations and populations, we have agreed in principle to enhance the Alliance's contribution to the efforts of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL by providing direct NATO AWACS support to increase the coalition's situational awareness. This support is planned to start in the autumn, pending national approval procedures, and the NATO Military Authorities are now developing the details. By providing such support, we reaffirm our resolve to help tackle the security challenges coming from the south, including terrorism. This contribution to the Global Coalition does not make NATO a member of this coalition.

97. In accordance with our Wales decision, we are ready to provide Libya with advice in the field of defence and security institution building, following a request by the Government of National Accord, and to develop a long-term partnership, possibly leading to Libya's membership in the Mediterranean Dialogue, which would be a natural framework for our cooperation. Any NATO assistance to Libya would be provided in full complementarity and in close coordination with other international efforts, including those of the UN and the EU, in line with decisions taken. Libyan ownership will be essential.

98. NATO's partnerships are, and will continue to be, essential to the way NATO works. The success of NATO partnerships is demonstrated by their strategic contribution to Alliance and international security. Over the last decades, the Alliance has developed structured partnerships – Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, and partners across the globe – with countries interested in pursuing political dialogue and practical cooperation, and engaging actively with other international actors and organisations on a wide range of political and security-related issues. Together we have built a broad cooperative security network. The complexity and volatility of the security environment underscore the need for a more tailor-made, individual, and flexible approach to make our partnership cooperation more strategic, coherent, and effective. We reaffirm our commitment, based on the objectives, priorities, and principles of the Berlin Partnership Policy, to expand political dialogue and practical cooperation with any nation that shares the Alliance's values and interest in international peace and security. We will further develop our partnerships so that they continue to meet the interests of both Allies and partners.

99. We salute the ongoing and substantial contributions that our partners make by deploying together with Allies in operations and missions, and contributing to practical cooperation activities, including Trust Funds and capacity building efforts. Partners are also serving alongside the armed forces of several Allies outside existing formats, in particular to combat terrorism. This has increased our interoperability and strengthened resilience in a changed security environment.

100. At Wales, we endorsed the Partnership Interoperability Initiative, launching the Interoperability Platform, which has become a key format for working with partners on the broad range of issues related to interoperability and preparedness for future crisis management. Since then, the number of partner units certified and evaluated to NATO standards has increased, new partners have joined interoperability programmes, and opportunities for partner participation in NATO exercises have been widened. Here at Warsaw, Interoperability Platform Defence Ministers endorsed a roadmap to guide our joint work on preparing for crisis management for the coming year and discussed future opportunities for NATO-partner cooperation to project stability.

101. As part of the Partnership Interoperability Initiative, at Wales we also agreed to offer enhanced opportunities for cooperation to Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden, in recognition of their significant operational contributions to NATO. These partners have been increasingly involved into NATO's work on our common security challenges. Their participation at this Summit testifies to the deep links we have built with them. We engage with each of them individually, according to our and their needs, circumstances, and ambitions, and in line with NATO's own security interests. We have developed our practical cooperation to varying degrees and in different formats: enhanced opportunities partners are now pre-approved for a range of NATO exercises; they are also engaged in NATO defence capacity building work, participating in the enhanced NATO Response Force and developing joint threat assessments with us. We stand ready to consider offering enhanced opportunities to other partners as their contributions and interests warrant.

102. We welcome the opening of diplomatic missions to NATO Headquarters by several of our partners as an important step in our cooperation. In line with our Berlin Partnership Policy and the Brussels Agreement, we encourage other partners to follow the same path.

103. We will continue to develop our partnership with countries of the Middle East and North Africa region through deeper political dialogue and enhanced practical cooperation. The Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) remain complementary and yet distinct partnership frameworks. We remain open to welcoming new members in both partnership frameworks. We are providing assistance to 11 partner countries in the region to help them modernise their defence establishments and military forces, through the MD and the ICI.

104. MD and ICI are unique frameworks that bring together key NATO partners: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, respectively. Regular political consultations improve our mutual understanding and our situational awareness. We have also developed tailor-made Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programmes with all our MD and ICI partners. We will continue to enhance practical cooperation, including through further support in the areas of counter-terrorism, small arms and light weapons, counter-improvised explosive devices, and military border security.

105. Bearing in mind the strategic importance of the Gulf region, we look forward to the establishment of regular working-level ties between the international secretariats of NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and to the launch of practical cooperation with the GCC as well as with its member states. Increased information exchange to promote a better mutual understanding of our functions and policies would be a solid basis for more regular political dialogue and possible practical cooperation regarding our shared security challenges. We task the Council to report on progress to Foreign Ministers at their December meeting.

106. We welcome the long-standing partnership with Jordan, a key partner in the Middle East, and the success of NATO's existing Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB) assistance to Jordan. Our efforts are in seven priority areas: information protection; cyber defence; military exercises; counter-improvised explosive devices; communication, command and control; harbour protection; and border security. We remain committed to strengthening NATO-Jordan relations through enhanced political dialogue and practical cooperation in the framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue, as well as through the DCB Initiative and the Interoperability Platform, including the enhanced opportunities. We are grateful to our partner Jordan for its contributions to NATO-led operations over many years, and for hosting our DCB training activities for Iraq.

107. The Western Balkans is a region of strategic importance, as demonstrated by our long history of cooperation and operations in the region. We remain fully committed to the stability and security of the Western Balkans, as well as to supporting the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of countries in the region. Democratic values, rule of law, domestic reforms, and good neighbourly relations are vital for regional cooperation and for the Euro-Atlantic integration process. We welcome recent progress on border demarcation in the region. The Alliance will continue to work closely with the Western Balkans to maintain and promote regional and international peace and security. We task the Council to prepare a report on NATO's activities and relations in the region for submission to Foreign Ministers in December.

108. Strengthening NATO-Serbia relations are of benefit to the Alliance, to Serbia, and to the whole region. We welcome the continued progress made in building the NATO-Serbia partnership and support further political dialogue and practical cooperation to this end. We also welcome the progress achieved in the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and encourage both parties to implement the agreements reached and to sustain continued progress. We welcome Kosovo's aspirations to improve its ability to ensure safety and security for all its inhabitants, as well as to contribute to security in the Western Balkans.

109. The invitation to Montenegro in December 2015 to join our Alliance and the subsequent signature of the Accession Protocol in May 2016 recognise the reforms Montenegro has undertaken, the commitment it has shown to our common values, and its contribution to international security. Montenegro now has Invitee status and is integrating into NATO activities. We look forward to the expeditious conclusion of the ratification of the Accession Protocol, and to Montenegro's continued progress on reform, before and after accession, in order to enhance its contribution to the Alliance. We appreciate the significant contribution Montenegro makes to NATO-led operations.

110. Today we reaffirm our commitment to the Open Door Policy, a founding principle of the Washington Treaty and one of the Alliance's great successes. Montenegro's presence with us today is a tangible demonstration of this, and we look forward to welcoming the country as our next member as soon as possible. Euro-Atlantic integration advances democratic values, reform, and respect for the rule of law. The freedom and prosperity of our societies are built on these foundations. Euro-Atlantic integration also provides a path to stability and strengthens collective security. Successive rounds of enlargement have enhanced our security and the security of the entire Euro-Atlantic region. NATO's door is open to all European democracies which share the values of our Alliance, which are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership, which are in a position to further the principles of the Treaty, and whose inclusion can contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area. Decisions on enlargement are for NATO itself. We remain fully committed to the integration of those countries that aspire to join the Alliance, judging each on its own merits. We encourage those partners who aspire to join the Alliance – Georgia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia2, and Bosnia and Herzegovina – to continue to implement the necessary reforms and decisions to prepare for membership. We will continue to offer support to their efforts and look to them to take the steps necessary to advance their aspirations.

111. At the 2008 Bucharest Summit we agreed that Georgia will become a member of NATO with MAP as an integral part of the process; today we reaffirm all elements of that decision, as well as subsequent decisions. We welcome the significant progress realised since 2008. Georgia's relationship with the Alliance contains all the practical tools to prepare for eventual membership. This year's parliamentary elections will be another key step towards the consolidation of democratic institutions. We encourage Georgia to continue making full use of all the opportunities for coming closer to the Alliance offered by the NATO-Georgia Commission, the Annual National Programme, its role as an enhanced opportunities partner, its participation in our Defence Capacity Building Initiative, and the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package. NATO highly appreciates Georgia's significant and continuous contributions to the NATO Response Force and the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan and recognises the sacrifices and contributions the Georgian people have made to our shared security.

112. We welcome the important progress made in implementing the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, which we initiated at the Wales Summit. More than 30 experts from Allied and partner countries are now supporting Georgia across various areas of cooperation. Georgia is doing its part in allocating significant resources to this effort. The Joint Training and Evaluation Centre, which helps strengthen Georgia's self-defence and resilience capabilities, is up and running. We will continue to provide the resources needed to implement the Substantial Package, which aims to strengthen Georgia's capabilities and, thereby, helps Georgia advance in its preparations for membership in the Alliance. We have agreed additional practical ways to intensify efforts, including support to Georgia's crisis management capabilities, training and exercises, and improvements in strategic communications. Allies will provide support to the development of Georgia's air defence and air surveillance. We will also deepen our focus on security in the Black Sea region.

113. We reiterate our support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders. We welcome Georgia's commitment not to use force and call on Russia to reciprocate. We call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states, to stop its construction of border-like obstacles along the administrative boundary lines, and to withdraw its forces from Georgia. NATO does not recognise the so-called treaties signed between the Abkhazia region of Georgia and Russia in November 2014, and the South Ossetia region of Georgia and Russia in March 2015. These violate Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and blatantly contradict the principles of international law, OSCE principles and Russia's international commitments. We encourage all participants in the Geneva talks to play a constructive role, as well as to continue working closely with the OSCE, the UN, and the EU to pursue peaceful conflict resolution in the internationally recognised territory of Georgia.

114. We reiterate our decision made at the 2008 Bucharest Summit and reiterated at subsequent Summits that NATO will extend an invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia2 to join the Alliance as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached within the framework of the UN. We therefore strongly urge intensified efforts to find a solution to the name issue. We encourage further efforts to develop good neighbourly relations. We also encourage the building of a fully functioning multi-ethnic society based on full implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Given concerns over political developments in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which have taken the country further away from NATO values, we urge all political leaders in the country to fully implement their commitments under the Przino Agreement of June/July 2015, as the framework for a sustainable solution to the political crisis. Acknowledging initial steps on implementation, we renew our call to all parties to engage in effective democratic dialogue and to put in place the conditions for credible elections, strengthening the rule of law, media freedom, and judicial independence. We will continue to follow closely Skopje's progress in these areas, which reflect NATO's core values. We appreciate the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's commitment to international security, as demonstrated by its steadfast contribution to our operations, its participation in fora and organisations for regional dialogue and cooperation, and its commitment to the NATO accession process.

115. We reaffirm our commitment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of a stable and secure Bosnia and Herzegovina and our full support for its membership aspirations. We encourage the leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue demonstrating political will and to work constructively for the benefit of all its citizens in pursuit of reforms. We will offer our continued support to defence reform efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We welcome the recent agreement by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on principles for the defence review and urge its completion as soon as possible. We welcome the progress made on registration of immovable defence property to the state, but we look to the leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina to accelerate efforts toward meeting the requirements set by NATO Foreign Ministers in Tallinn in April 2010 so that its first Membership Action Plan cycle can be activated as soon as possible, which remains our goal. Allies will keep developments under active review. We commend Bosnia and Herzegovina for its contributions to NATO-led operations and for its commitment to regional dialogue, cooperation, and security.

116. In Wales, we extended the Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative to the Republic of Moldova. Since then, Allies and partners have provided expertise and advice in support of the ongoing defence reform process to strengthen the capabilities of the Moldovan armed forces and the defence sector. Allies remain committed to this work so that the country can enjoy a stable, secure and prosperous future in accordance with the values shared by European democracies. In order to realise such a future, it is important that the Republic of Moldova remains committed to the implementation of reforms that benefit all its citizens. We thank the Republic of Moldova for its contribution to NATO-led operations.

117. Ukraine is a long-standing and distinctive partner of the Alliance. At our Summit here in Warsaw, we are meeting with President Poroshenko and issuing a joint statement. An independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security. We stand firm in our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and Ukraine's right to decide its own future and foreign policy course free from outside interference, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act. Russia continues to violate Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. Despite these challenging circumstances, Ukraine's government is making progress in implementing wide-ranging reforms towards European and Euro-Atlantic standards, based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law, which will be essential in promoting prosperity and long-term stability. We welcome the steps Ukraine has taken to fight corruption, maintain International Monetary Fund conditionality, reform the judiciary, and move towards decentralisation, but substantial challenges remain and continued efforts are required. We strongly encourage Ukraine to remain committed to the full implementation of these and other necessary reforms and to ensuring their sustainability. Recalling our previous Summit decisions, NATO will continue to support Ukraine in carrying out its reform agenda, including through the Annual National Programme in the framework of our Distinctive Partnership.

118. NATO-Ukraine cooperation is an important part of the Alliance's contribution to the international community's efforts to project stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond. We welcome Ukraine's intent to further deepen its Distinctive Partnership with NATO, as well as its past and present contributions to NATO-led operations and the NATO Response Force even while it has been defending itself against Russia's aggressive actions. Ukraine's choice to adopt and implement NATO principles and standards, for which its Strategic Defence Bulletin provides a roadmap, will promote greater interoperability between our forces. The Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade is an important element of this effort. It will also enhance Ukraine's ability to better provide for its own security, through functioning security and defence institutions under civilian democratic control that are accountable, sustainable, and effective. Ukraine's participation in the Defence Education Enhancement Programme is an important effort in this respect. NATO will continue to provide strategic advice and practical support to the reform of Ukraine's security and defence sector, including as set out in the Comprehensive Assistance Package which we are endorsing together with President Poroshenko at today's meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. The Comprehensive Assistance Package is aimed at consolidating and enhancing NATO's support to Ukraine, including by tailored capability and capacity building measures for the security and defence sector, which will contribute to enhance Ukraine's resilience against a wide array of threats, including hybrid threats.

119. In light of NATO's operational experiences and the evolving complex security environment, a comprehensive political, civilian, and military approach is essential in crisis management and cooperative security. Furthermore, it contributes to the effectiveness of our common security and defence, without prejudice to Alliance collective defence commitments. NATO has developed a modest but appropriate civilian capability in line with Lisbon Summit decisions. We will continue to pursue coherence within NATO's own tools and strands of work, concerted approaches with partner nations and organisations such as the UN, the EU, and the OSCE, as well as further dialogue with non-governmental organisations. We look forward to a review of the 2011 Comprehensive Approach Action Plan for consideration by our Foreign Ministers in 2017.

120. As challenges to international peace and security multiply, cooperation between NATO and the United Nations is increasingly important. We welcome the continued growth in political dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO and the UN, covering a broad range of areas of mutual interest. At last year's Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping, NATO pledged to enhance its support to UN peace operations, including in the areas of counter-improvised explosive devices, training and preparedness, improving the UN's ability to deploy more rapidly into the field, and through cooperation on building defence capacity in countries at risk. We stand by this commitment and remain ready to further deepen our interaction in these and other fields, including through NATO's participation in the follow-up conference to be held in London in September of this year.

121. The European Union remains a unique and essential partner for NATO. Enhanced consultations at all levels and practical cooperation in operations and capability development have brought concrete results. The security challenges in our shared eastern and southern neighbourhoods make it more important than ever before to reinforce our strategic partnership in a spirit of full mutual openness, transparency, and complementarity, while respecting the organisations' different mandates, decision-making autonomy and institutional integrity, and as agreed by the two organisations.

122. We welcome the joint declaration issued here in Warsaw by the NATO Secretary General, the President of the European Council, and the President of the European Commission, which outlines a series of actions the two organisations intend to take together in concrete areas, including countering hybrid threats, enhancing resilience, defence capacity building, cyber defence, maritime security, and exercises. We task the Council to review the implementation of these proposals and to report to Foreign Ministers by December 2016.

123. We welcome the European Council Conclusions of June 2016, calling for further enhancement of the relationship between NATO and the EU. We also welcome the presentation of the Global Strategy for the European Union's Foreign and Security Policy.

124. NATO recognises the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence, which will lead to a stronger NATO, help enhance the security of all Allies, and foster an equitable sharing of the burden, benefits and responsibilities of Alliance membership. In this context, we welcome the strengthening of European defence and crisis management as we have seen over the past few years.

125. Non-EU Allies continue to make significant contributions to the EU's efforts to strengthen its capacities to address common security challenges. For the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU, non-EU Allies' fullest involvement in these efforts is essential. We encourage further mutual steps in this area to support a strengthened strategic partnership.

126. We welcome the Secretary General's report on NATO-EU relations. We encourage him to continue to work closely with the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the High Representative, on all aspects of the NATO-EU strategic partnership and provide a report to the Council for the next Summit.

127. NATO and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe both play important roles in maintaining stability and addressing security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic area. We appreciate the OSCE's comprehensive approach to security, covering the political-military, economic-environmental, and human dimensions. We also value the OSCE's important role in trying to bring an end to several protracted conflicts in the Euro-Atlantic area. The crisis in Ukraine has once again highlighted the significance of the OSCE for international efforts to support the peaceful resolution of conflicts, confidence- and security-building, and as a platform for cooperation and inclusive dialogue on security in Europe. We also underline the value of confidence- and security-building and transparency measures within the framework of the OSCE. We are committed to further enhancing our cooperation, at both the political and operational level, in all areas of common interest, including through the newly appointed Secretary General's Representative for the OSCE.

128. NATO's cooperation with the African Union (AU) encompasses operational, logistic and capacity building support, as well as support for the operationalisation of the African Standby Force, including through exercises, and tailor-made training, in accordance with the AU's requests to NATO. We look forward to further strengthening and expanding our political and practical partnership with the AU, so we are better able to respond together to common threats and challenges.

129. NATO is an alliance of values, including individual liberty, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. These shared values are essential to what NATO is and what it does. Further incorporating them into all areas of our work will make NATO stronger.

130. Corruption and poor governance are security challenges which undermine democracy, the rule of law and economic development. The importance of implementing measures to improve integrity building, anti-corruption and good governance applies to NATO, Allies, and partners alike. To further our work in this area, today we endorsed a new NATO Building Integrity Policy which reaffirms our conviction that transparent and accountable defence institutions under democratic control are fundamental to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and essential for international security cooperation.

131. Empowerment of women at NATO and in our militaries makes our Alliance stronger. We attach great importance to ensuring women's full and active participation in the prevention, management, and resolution of conflicts, as well as in post-conflict efforts and cooperation. Since our last Summit in Wales, we have made good progress in implementing UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and related resolutions. Yet, more work is to be done, which requires enduring leadership, transparency, and accountability. We welcome recent high-level appointments in both NATO's civilian and military structures. However, there are still shortfalls in the representation of women at NATO that need to be addressed. We will implement the updated WPS Action Plan, which has been developed with many of our partners and in consultation with the newly established civil society advisory panel. NATO's efforts to project stability are further bolstered by the comprehensive NATO Gender Education and Training Package now available to all. Our Strategic Commands are now operationalising the approved Military Guidelines on the Prevention of and Response to Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. We affirm the critical importance of robust training and accountability measures in regards to prevention of misconduct, including sexual misconduct and abuse. Our ongoing efforts and commitment to integrate gender perspectives into Alliance activities throughout NATO's three core tasks will contribute to a more modern, ready, and responsive Alliance.

132. Driven by our values and international law, we recognise the imperative to protect civilians from the effects of armed conflict. That is why we have today endorsed the NATO Policy on the Protection of Civilians, developed with our partners and in consultation with the UN and other international organisations. In this Policy, protection of civilians includes all efforts taken to avoid, minimise, and mitigate the negative effects on civilians arising from NATO and NATO-led military operations and, when applicable, to protect civilians from conflict-related physical violence or threats of physical violence by other actors. The Policy complements NATO's existing efforts in related areas and it includes a stability policing dimension. We will implement this Policy through a concrete action plan, which will be reviewed regularly by the Council.

133. We remain deeply concerned that children continue to be the victims of grave violations, especially the six practices identified by the UN Secretary General: the killing or maiming of children; recruitment or using child soldiers; attacks against schools or hospitals; rape or other grave sexual violence; abduction; and denial of humanitarian access. Since our Summit in Wales, NATO has established a robust policy, in consultation with the UN, to enhance our implementation of UNSCR 1612 and related resolutions. The Policy directs our troops, when deployed in NATO-led operations and missions, to monitor and report violations against children and to engage with local authorities. In our Resolute Support mission we have appointed, for the first time, a Children and Armed Conflict Adviser to contribute to the training of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. In cooperation with the UN, NATO will also further expand its relevant training, exercise and education opportunities. The Council will regularly assess the implementation of our Policy.

134. In the fight against terrorism, NATO adds value and has a role to play, without prejudice to national legislation and responsibilities, in coherence with the EU, and in particular through our military cooperation with partners to build their capacity to face terrorist threats. NATO will continue to reach out to partners and other international organisations, as appropriate, to promote common understanding and practical cooperation in support of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Building on our Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work and our Biometrics Programme of Work, we will continue to improve our capabilities and technologies, including to defend against improvised explosive devices and CBRN threats. As terrorism and related threats remain high on NATO's security agenda, Allies intend to work together, in accordance with national and international law, as well as established NATO procedures, to promote information-sharing through the optimised use of multilateral platforms, such as NATO's Battlefield Information Collection and Exploitation System (BICES). Allies will continue to seek to enhance their cooperation in exchanging information on returning foreign fighters. The Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence and Security, acting within the agreed Terms of Reference, could serve as a facilitator to enhance the exchange of information.

135. Energy developments can have significant political and security implications for Allies and the Alliance, as demonstrated by the crises to NATO's east and south. A stable and reliable energy supply, the diversification of import routes, suppliers and energy resources, and the interconnectivity of energy networks are of critical importance and increase our resilience against political and economic pressure. While these issues are primarily the responsibility of national governments and other international organisations NATO closely follows the security implications of relevant energy developments and attaches particular importance to diversification of energy supply in the Euro-Atlantic region. We will therefore further enhance our strategic awareness in this regard, including through sharing intelligence and through expanding our links with other international organisations such as the International Energy Agency and the EU, as appropriate. We will consult and share information on energy security issues of particular concern to Allies and the Alliance, with a view to providing a comprehensive picture of the evolving energy landscape, concentrating on areas where NATO can add value. We will also continue to develop NATO's capacity to support national authorities in protecting critical infrastructure, as well as enhancing their resilience against energy supply disruptions that could affect national and collective defence, including hybrid and cyber threats. In this context, we will include energy security considerations in training, exercises, and advance planning. We will continue to engage with our partner countries where appropriate. We will further improve the energy efficiency of our military forces through establishing common standards, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and demonstrating energy-efficient solutions for the military. Today we have noted a progress report on NATO's role in energy security. We task the Council to further refine NATO's role in accordance with established principles and guidelines, and to produce a progress report for our next Summit.

136. A stronger defence industry across the Alliance, which includes small- and medium-sized enterprises, greater defence industrial and technological cooperation across the Atlantic and within Europe, and a robust industrial base in the whole of Europe and North America, remain essential for acquiring needed Alliance capabilities. For the Alliance to keep its technological edge, it is of particular importance to support innovation with the aim to identify advanced and emerging technologies, evaluate their applicability in the military domain, and implement them through innovative solutions. In this regard, NATO welcomes initiatives from both sides of the Atlantic to maintain and advance the military and technological advantage of Allied capabilities through innovation and encourages nations to ensure such initiatives will lead to increased cooperation within the Alliance and among Allies.

137. Institutional adaptation underpins NATO's political and military adaptation. The objective is an Alliance adaptable by design, where the capacity to anticipate, and react to, change is integral to how we operate. Reforms since 2010 have contributed to improved effectiveness and efficiency, adapting NATO towards greater readiness and responsiveness. There has been reform of the Headquarters, Agencies and Command Structure. We have introduced greater transparency by publishing financial audits. We have improved our strategic communications. To take forward these efforts we will develop a stronger and more consistent approach to prioritisation, better linking our political and military priorities with resource requirements, in particular through a more efficient use of the common-funded capability delivery process. We will continue improving accountability, governance and transparency. We task the Council to pursue these efforts, building on recent achievements and taking advantage of the move to the new NATO Headquarters, to ensure we remain ready and able to face the challenges of the future as a confident, committed, adaptable Alliance, and report on progress by our next Summit.

138. We welcome the role of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in complementing NATO's efforts to promote stability throughout Europe. We also appreciate the contribution made by the Atlantic Treaty Association in promoting a better understanding of the Alliance among our nations.

139. We express our appreciation for the generous hospitality extended to us by the Government and the people of Poland. With key decisions to reinforce our deterrence and defence, project stability beyond our borders, and promote our values, our Warsaw Summit has demonstrated our unity, solidarity, and strength. We look forward to meeting again in 2017 at our new NATO Headquarters in Brussels.


  1. France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom.
  2. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.