Meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Foreign Ministers
- The historic events that have occurred since we met last December in Brussels confirm that Europe is entering a new era. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe are taking decisive steps to establish democratic institutions, hold free elections and promote political pluralism and market-oriented economic policies. Germany is peacefully and democratically moving towards unity. We welcome the expansion and deepening of political exchanges at all levels. The visits to NATO by the Soviet, Czechoslovak and Polish Foreign Ministers exemplify this broadened dialogue. We look to further such opportunities in the future. A continent divided for four decades is searching for new patterns and structures of cooperation. These positive trends are having repercussions beyond Europe: democracy, the search for peaceful solutions and respect for human values are gaining ground in other parts of the world as well. Our Alliance remains vitally important as an instrument both for ensuring the security of its members and the stability of Europe and as a keystone of our efforts to build a new European order of peace. At this meeting, we have looked ahead to both continuing and new Alliance tasks in support of the positive changes in Europe, in preparation for the decisions to be taken by our Heads of State and Government next month in London. To that end, we have confirmed our agreement on the following points.
- We strongly emphasise that we attach the highest priority to the conclusion this year of a CFE treaty. This must encompass all subjects under negotiation, and result in substantial, binding, verifiable reductions of conventional forces in Europe, thus eliminating destabilising disparities and the capability to launch a surprise attack or initiate large-scale offensive action. Such a treaty would be a dramatic advance towards greater stability and security in Europe. That goal is within sight, and it is now imperative that the remaining obstacles to its achievement be removed. We remain ready to take account of the stated interests of the other participants and to explore all open issues on the basis of a willingness on all sides to make reasonable compromises. We have therefore instructed our negotiators in Vienna to pursue new approaches to mutually acceptable solutions, in particular on aircraft, armour and verification. We call on the Soviet Union to cooperate in reaching agreement on all substantive issues this Summer, in order that progress can be made on the broader agenda for the construction of a new Europe, including a CSCE Summit later this year.
- Allied governments will continue to work for substantive results in the CSBM negotiations, in the form of an agreement later this year. To that end, Allies have recently proposed a series of innovative cooperative measures, such as a mechanism for discussion of unusual activities of a military nature and annual implementation assessment meetings. We will continue to build on the contributions to confidence-building flowing from the Military Doctrine Seminar held in January in the framework of the CSBM negotiations in order to further expand military contacts and exchanges on military matters.
- As soon as a CFE agreement is reached, Allies will be prepared to undertake follow-on negotiations to further enhance security and stability in Europe. The objectives of these follow-on negotiations, and of our further quest for European security, including through conventional arms control, will be considered at our meeting of Heads of State and Government.
- We welcome the progress attained at the US-Soviet Summit held last week and, in particular, the agreement on major outstanding issues governing a START treaty that will result in deep reductions in both sides' strategic nuclear weapons and greatly expand bilateral military transparency in that area, as well as agreement to begin further talks on strategic nuclear forces specifically devoted to achieving a more stable strategic balance after the current treaty is completed. We took special note of the progress represented by the signature at that Summit meeting of verification protocols for treaties limiting nuclear testing and expressed our satisfaction with the bilateral agreement that will drastically reduce both sides' stocks of chemical weapons.
- We believe the US-Soviet agreement on reducing chemical weapons stockpiles will provide great impetus towards the earliest possible conclusion of the convention for an effectively verifiable, global and comprehensive ban on chemical weapons now being negotiated, which remains our goal. All Allies hereby state their intention to be among the original signatories to the convention and to promote its early entry into force. We call on all other states to undertake a similar commitment. We reaffirm our determination to work to prevent the proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons and of missiles capable of carrying such weapons.
- We will pursue the"Open Skies " initiative, convinced that such a regime would make a significant contribution to the openness and transparency we wish to encourage. We therefore regret that our efforts to reach such an agreement have thus far not been successful and look to the Soviet Union to join with us to take the steps necessary to create an"Open Skies" regime that will increase calculability, mutual confidence and the security of all participants.
- Recognising that the verification of arms control treaties is destined to become a long-term task for the Alliance, we have decided to establish a coordination mechanism for this purpose.
- We agree on the crucial importance of the political and economic reforms underway in the states of Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The continued progress of these states towards becoming democratic and economically prosperous partners cooperating with us will be an important element in the future security and stability of Europe. We are prepared to support their efforts to integrate their economies more closely into the world economy and to widen and deepen the scope of our cooperation with them as they progress, thus contributing to the success of their reform programmes.
- We strongly hope that the processes of economic reorientation and development and of democratic institution-building in these countries, necessarily complicated and uneven, will successfully overcome periods of uncertainty and potential instability. The historic changes already underway and the prospects for further positive developments have not removed all grounds for concern about the stability and security of Europe. Moreover, we cannot be oblivious to the fact that the Soviet Union will retain substantial military capabilities, which it is continuing to modernise and which have implications for our defence.
- The need to maintain our common defence remains vital. The Alliance's role in preventing conflict, precluding the use or threat of force against any of its members and guaranteeing stability will continue to be essential. That role is built upon the principle of the indivisibility of security for all member countries and embodies an undispensable link between North America and European democracies. For the foreseeable future, the prevention of war will continue to require an appropriate mix of survivable and effective conventional and nuclear forces, at the lowest levels consistent with our security needs. Our resolve, our commitment to the equitable and widespread sharing of responsibilities, and our solidarity with which we have maintained adequate collective defence arrangements for so long, including the presence of significant North American conventional and nuclear forces in Europe, will continue to be crucial factors in the maintenance of peace in Europe.
- The military risks facing the Alliance have already decreased substantially, and implementation of a successful CFE agreement would result in a further dramatic improvement. The principles of Alliance security set out in May 1989 in the Comprehensive Concept of Arms Control and Disarmament are the basis for our further work in assessing the implications of the changing situation in Europe for our strategy. Thus, those governments among us participating in the Defence Planning Committee welcome its recent decision to undertake a review of NATO's military strategy, and the means of implementing it, in the emerging circumstances. They also welcome the invitation to the NATO Military Authorities to undertake a study of the possibilities for greater use of multi-national forces. They endorse the US President's recent proposal that negotiations on US and Soviet short-range nuclear weapon systems in Europe begin shortly after a CFE agreement is concluded.
- We see the CSCE process as an important framework for far-reaching reforms and stability and as a central element in the construction of a new Europe, along with other European institutions including the Alliance itself. The function of the CSCE will be complementary to that of the Alliance. The CSCE, having from the outset served to ease the burden of the division of Europe, will now become even more vital as an instrument for developing structures for a Europe whole and free and for cooperation within a united continent. The Allies look forward to an early outcome to the CFE negotiations which are taking place in the CSCE framework and to continued progress in the talks on confidence and security-building measures, which, along with results of CSCE inter-sessional activities, will lay the necessary basis for the CSCE Summit this year. The Summit should reflect the new role of the CSCE and take appropriate decisions. Furthermore, it is the hope of the Allies that the "2 + 4" process will be completed prior to the CSCE Summit. That Summit will help consolidate the changes that have taken place in Central and Eastern Europe, and provide substantial new impetus to the CSCE process in all main areas of the Helsinki Final Act. To this end, implementation in letter and spirit of all CSCE obligations by all CSCE participating states remains essential. Meanwhile, we believe that the time has now come to determine the modalities of institutionalisation without depriving the process of its flexibility and balance. A number of valuable proposals have been raised within the framework of Alliance consultations for the further development of the CSCE process and for enhancing regional cooperation efforts. They include a consultation mechanism on a high level as well as other arrangements in specific fields of cooperation. Our governments continue to develop these ideas as our preparations continue for the CSCE Summit. We are pleased that other CSCE participants are equally developing their ideas. We welcome the decision of the Foreign Ministers of the 35 CSCE states at their meeting in Copenhagen on 5th June 1990 to establish a preparatory Committee for the Summit, and for Ministers of the "35" to meet in the United States this Autumn.
- Welcoming agreement at the recent Bonn Conference on Economic Cooperation in Europe on fundamental principles to guide the conversion from planned to market-oriented economies, we fully support the efforts of the Copenhagen meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension now underway to reinforce and extend the protection and guarantee of human rights and individual freedoms. Allies place particular importance on resolutions concerning the right to free and fair elections held at regular intervals, a commitment to the rule of law, and rights of persons belonging to national minorities among many proposals put forward for consideration at the Copenhagen meeting. We hope that the Palma d'Mallorca meeting on the Mediterranean will contribute to enhancing cooperation also in that region. We also welcome the interest recently expressed by the Albanian Government in associating itself with the CSCE process and the commitments therein. We look to the Albanian Government to demonstrate its willingness to comply with all existing CSCE commitments, including those on human rights.
- We note with pride that after 40 years as a divided city, Berlin is finally growing together again. The Berlin Wall has come down. This heralds the long- awaited ending of the post-war era and of the division of Germany and of Europe. The realisation of the unity of Germany has always been a primary goal of our Alliance. Therefore, on the basis of our close and continuing consultations within the Alliance, we are united in actively supporting the progress that has already been achieved in the process of German unification; we also support the efforts underway in the "2 + 4" talks to seek a final settlement under international law terminating the Four Power rights and responsibilities relating to Berlin and Germany as a whole, and without the establishment of constraints on the sovereignty of Germany. A united Germany must have the right, recognised in the Helsinki Final Act, to choose to be a party to a treaty of alliance. We believe that European stability, as well as the wishes of the German people, requires that a unified Germany be a full member of this Alliance, including its integrated military structure, without prejudice to stated positions about nondeployment of NATO forces on the present GDR territory. The security guarantee provided by Articles 5 and 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty will extend to all the territory of a united Germany. We seek no unilateral advantage from German unity and are prepared to demonstrate this, taking into account legitimate Soviet security interests. A free and democratic Germany will be an essential element of a peaceful order in Europe in which no state need harbour fears for its security against its neighbours. We underline the importance of the points on German unification discussed with the Soviet leadership in Washington, which fully reflect our consultations.
- We express the wish that the problems accompanying the difficult internal transition of the Soviet Union be solved in a constructive manner and to the satisfaction of all concerned. In this context, we firmly support the expectations and aspirations of the Baltic peoples. It is our understanding that the leaders of Lithuania and the Soviet Union have indicated their willingness to begin a dialogue upon the suspension - and not retraction - by the Lithuanian leadership of the implementation of their declaration of independence. We appeal to all parties to show flexibility and enter into true dialogue to reach an early solution.
- Our activities in the scientific and environmental fields, known as NATO's"Third Dimension" , remain of major benefit to our member nations and are an expression of their solidarity. In the spirit of the 40th Anniversary Summit Declaration , we shall pursue measures to invite scientific experts from Central and Eastern Europe to participate in work on the environment connected with pilot studies within the framework of the Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society.
- The NATO Summit in May 1989 launched a Democratic Institutions Fellowship programme intended to help qualified applicants from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as those from Alliance countries, to study our democratic values and way of life. We intend to pursue this initiative and are pleased with the strong response it has received in its first year.
- Mindful of the continuing need to inform our publics better about the work and objectives of the Alliance, we expressed our strong support for the network of Atlantic Committees and Associations brought together under the Atlantic Treaty Association. We are convinced that they have a vital role to play in deepening public understanding of the role of the Alliance. We underline the great value of the exchange of views in the North Atlantic Assembly on issues facing the Alliance.
- The developments which we are now witnessing and of which we have been and will continue to be among the principal architects, are producing far-reaching changes in the political and military fundamentals of European security, and consequently in the conditions under which our Alliance is required to work.
These changes call into question neither the necessity for maintaining the Alliance nor the permanence of its fundamental features. We will keep our Alliance dynamic and cohesive and will continue to foster a solid and fruitful transatlantic relationship between North America and an increasingly united Europe. We will remain cognisant of the need for intra-Alliance cooperation and assistance. We must continue, in the face of historic change, to deepen and strengthen our political consultation and, where appropriate, coordination.
Thus, while ensuring that the permanent principles which form the basis of our Alliance and guarantee its effectiveness are preserved, we must today adapt it to the enormous changes now taking place. We have already begun this process in the political and defence spheres, as demonstrated by our Ministerial consultations this Spring. We have shown ourselves ready, through the arms control negotiations in which we are participating or which we are preparing to initiate, to adjust the size of the Allies' conventional and nuclear forces. We have noted that the Defence Ministers who participate in the Nuclear Planning Group and the Defence Planning Committee have decided to reconsider their strategy. Although the prevention of war will always remain our fundamental task, the changing European environment now requires of us a broader approach to security based as much on constructive peace-building as on peace-keeping.
- We recognise, against the background of the changes now taking place in Europe, that the modifications in certain aspects of the Alliance's policies and functioning will form part of a broader pattern of adaptation within the Organization. This process should encompass all activities of our Alliance and must be consistent with the principles which we have declared to be permanent and with the requirements of the new era upon which we are embarking. We have, therefore, instructed our Council in Permanent Session to oversee the work in hand, with a view to ensuring that it is effectively coordinated, and to report regularly to us on the progress made.
- We express our deep appreciation for the warm hospitality provided by the Government of the United Kingdom.