Mutual And Balanced Force Reductions

  • 24 Jun. 1968 - 25 Jun. 1968
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  • Last updated: 05 Nov. 2008 20:32

Declaration adopted by Foreign Ministers and Representatives of Countries participating in the NATO Defence Program

  1. Meeting at Reykjavik on 24th and 25th June, 1968, the Ministers recalled the frequently expressed and strong desire of their countries to make progress in the field of disarmament and arms control.

  3. Ministers recognized that the unresolved issues which still divide the European Continent must be settled by peaceful means, and are convinced that the ultimate goal of a lasting, peaceful order in Europe requires an atmosphere of trust and confidence and can only be reached by a step-by-step process. Mindful of the obvious and considerable interest of all European States in this goal,Ministers expressed their belief that measures in this field including balanced and mutual force reductions can contribute significantly to the lessening of tension and to further reducing the danger of war.

  5. Ministers noted the important work undertaken within the North Atlantic Council by member governments in examining possible proposals for such reductions pursuant to paragraph 13 of the"Report on the Future Tasks of the Alliance" , approved by the Ministers in December 1967. In particular, they have taken note of the work being done in the Committee of Political Advisers to establish bases of comparison and to analyze alternative ways of achieving a balanced reduction of forces, particularly in the Central part of Europe.

  7. Ministers affirmed the need for the Alliance to maintain an effective military capability and to assure a balance of forces between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Since the security of the NATO countries and the prospects for mutual force reductions would be weakened by NATO reductions alone, Ministers affirmed the proposition that the overall military capability of NATO should not be reduced except as part of a pattern of mutual force reductions balanced in scope and timing.

  9. Accordingly, Ministers directed Permanent Representatives to continue and intensify their work in accordance with the following agreed principles:
    1. Mutual force reduction should be reciprocal and balanced in scope and timing.
    2. Mutual reductions should represent a substantial and significant step, which will serve to maintain the present degree of security at reduced cost, but should not be such as to risk de-stabilizing the situation in Europe.
    3. Mutual reductions should be consonant with the aim of creating confidence in Europe generally and in the case of each party concerned.
    4. To this end, any new arrangement regarding forces should be consistent with the vital security interests of all parties and capable of being carried out effectively.


  10. Ministers affirmed the readiness of their governments to explore with other interested states specific and practical steps in the arms control field.

  12. In particular, Ministers agreed that it was desirable that a process leading to mutual force reductions should be initiated. To that end they decided to make all necessary preparations for discussions on this subject with the Soviet Union and other countries of Eastern Europe and they call on them to join in this search for progress towards peace.

  14. Ministers directed their Permanent Representatives to follow up on this declaration.