Final Communiqué

of the Ninth Session of the North Atlantic Council ("The Lisbon Decisions" on the reorganisation of the Alliance and the appointment of a Secretary General) Chairman: Mr. L.B. Pearson

  • 25 Feb. 1952 -
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  • Last updated: 09 Nov. 2010 09:22

Accession of Greece and Turkey - Proposed European Defence Com- munity - TCC recommendations adopted -Infrastructure- Military terms of reference revised - Adaptation of NATO's organization by appointment of a Secretary General heading a unified interna

  1. The ninth session of the North Atlantic Council was held in Lisbon from February 20th to February 25th 1952, under the Chairmanship of the Hon. Lester B. Pearson, Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs.

On February 18th, the Kingdom of Greece and the Republic of Turkey acceded to the Treaty, and representatives of their respective governments attended throughout the session. In all, thirty-five Ministers of fourteen countries took part in the discussions of the Council.

  1. The Council made further progress in dealing with current and long-range problems of the Atlantic Community. The decisions taken and the agreements reached by the Council are the practical result of projects initiated at earlier sessions and reflect the continuing work of the Treaty agencies. They represent the united efforts of member governments to safeguard the peace, stability and well-being of the North Atlantic Community through the strengthening of their collective defence.
  2. The Council took note of a report of the Paris Conference on the European Defence Community and a report by the Occupying Powers on the proposed contractual arrangements with the German Federal Republic. The Council found that the principles underlying the Treaty to establish the European Defence Community conformed to the interests of the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty. It also agreed on the principles which should govern the relationship between the proposed Community and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The North Atlantic Council agreed to propose to its members and to the European Defence Community reciprocal security undertakings between the members of the two organizations. Such undertakings would require ratification in accordance with the constitutional processes of the states involved. All these decisions are inspired by the conviction that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Defence Community have a common objective, to strengthen the defence of the Atlantic area, and that the development of the European Defence Community should be carried forward in this spirit. Therefore, the Council considered that the obligations and relationships between the Communities should be based on the concept of two closely related organizations, one working, so far as this objective is concerned, within the framework of, and reinforcing the other.
  3. The Council took detailed and comprehensive action based on the recommendations of the Temporary Council Committee. The decisions taken by the Council provided for the earliest building up of balanced collective forces to meet the requirements of external security within the capabilities of member countries. Agreement was reached on the specific defensive strength to be built this year, and on a definite programme of measures to be taken this year to increase defensive strength in following years. A number of important steps were agreed to be taken by the Treaty Organization and by member governments to accomplish this building-up with a more efficient use of resources. Policies designed to maintain and strengthen the economies and social stability of member countries were agreed and recommended to governments.
  4. Agreement was reached on the financing of a further portion of the infrastructure program, for airfields, communications and headquarters.
  5. The terms of reference of the Standing Group and of the Supreme Commander, Allied Powers in Europe, were revised to reflect added responsibilities, notably for equipment priorities and planning for the logistical support of the military forces.

The Council agreed that the ground and air forces of Greece and Turkey assigned to NATO will operate under the overall command of SACEUR through Commander-in-Chief, Southern Europe. The Naval Forces of Greece and Turkey will remain for the present under their national Chiefs of Staff, operating in close co-ordination with all other naval forces in the Mediterranean. The Standing Group was directed to continue its study of command of naval forces in the Mediterranean area and their co-ordination with land and air forces and to submit a definitive report to the Council at its next meeting.

  1. The Council also took action to adapt the Treaty Organization to the needs arising from the development of its activities from the planning to the operational stage. The North Atlantic Council, while continuing to hold periodic Ministerial meetings, will henceforth function in permanent session through the appointment of Permanent Representatives. The Council decided to appoint a Secretary-General, who will head a unified international Secretariat designed to assist the Council in the fulfillment of its increasing responsibilities. All civilian activities of the Organization will be concentrated in the geographical area where are situated other international agencies whose work is closely related to that of the Treaty Organization and with which close administrative connection is essential to efficiency. These are presently situated in the vicinity of Paris. When these changes become effective, the Council will assume the functions hitherto performed by the Council Deputies, the Defence Production Board, and the Financial and Economic Board.
  2. The Council adopted a report of the Atlantic Community Committee, established at its Ottawa meeting. This report emphasized the importance of economic co-operation, the expansion and liberalization of trade, and the possibility of working out closer co-operative arrangements with other bodies, particularly the OEEC. In approving the analysis of the problem of the movement of labor between member countries in the report of the Atlantic Community Committee, the Council acknowledged the importance of this problem and endorsed the resolution of the Temporary Council Committee on this subject. It was agreed that the permanent North Atlantic Treaty Organization should keep this problem under continuous review, and make recommendations for the elimination, by the most effective utilization of manpower resources, of general or specific manpower shortages which hinder defence production. As co-operation in the field covered by the Five Power Atlantic Community Committee is of direct and common concern to each member of the Council, it was decided that the future work in this sphere should be transferred to the Council.
  3. The Council issued a Declaration reaffirming the aims of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as the promotion of peace through defensive strength and enduring progress.