Final Communiqué

Chairman: Mr. P.H. Spaak, Secretary General of NATO

  • 16 Dec. 1957 - 19 Dec. 1957
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  • Last updated: 20 Jun. 2023 15:59


We, the representatives of fifteen nations of the North Atlantic Alliance, believing in the sanctity of those human rights which are guaranteed to all men of free nations by their constitutions, laws and customs, re-dedicate ourselves and our nations to the principles and purposes of the North Atlantic Treaty. This Treaty has been in effect for nearly nine years. It was founded to protect the right of our peoples to live in peace and freedom under governments of their own choice. It has succeeded in protecting this right. Building on our experience and confident in the success already obtained, we have agreed together upon means to give added strength to our Alliance.

At the end of the Second World War, the armies of the West were largely disbanded. The Soviet Union did not demobilize. Its expansionist policy impelled us to establish our Treaty and to build up our armed forces.

We are an organization of free countries. We have learned to live and work together in the firm conviction that our fundamental unity and our combined strength are indispensable to our own security and to the peace of the world.

The meaning of our Alliance is clear. We have given a solemn guarantee, each to the other, to regard an attack upon one as an attack upon all, to be resisted with all the forces at our command. faithful to the Charter of the United Nations we reaffirm that our Alliance will never be used for aggressive purposes. We are always ready to settle international problems by negotiation, taking into account the legitimate interests of all. We seek an end to world tension, and intend to promote peace, economic prosperity and social progress throughout the world.

We continue firmly to stand for comprehensive and controlled disarmament, which we believe can be reached by stages. In spite of disappointments, we remain ready to discuss any reasonable proposal to reach this goal and to lay a solid foundation for a durable peace. This is the only way to dispel the anxieties arising from the armaments race.

The free world faces the mounting challenge of international Communism backed by Soviet power. Only last month in Moscow the Communist rulers again gave clear warning of their determination to press on to domination over the entire world, if possible by subversion, if necessary by violence. Within The North Atlantic Treaty there is no place for the concept of world domination. Firmly believing in peaceful change through democratic means, cherishing the character of our peoples and vigilant to safeguard their freedom, we will never yield to such a threat.

For the entire world it is both a tragedy and a great danger that the peoples under international Communist rule--their national independence, human liberties and their standard of living as well as their scientific and technological achievements--have been sacrificed to the purposes of world domination and military power. The suppression of their liberty will not last for ever. Already in these countries there is evidence of the growing desire for intellectual and economic freedom. If the free nations are steadfast, the totalitarian menace that now confronts them will eventually recede.

Established to defend the peace, our Alliance will also enable us to reach our objectives of economic and social progress. For this purpose we have agreed to co-operate closely to enable us to carry the necessary burden of defence without sacrificing the individual liberties or the welfare of our peoples. We shall reach this goal only by recognizing our interdependence and by combining our efforts and skills in order to make better use of our resources. Such efforts will now be applied particularly to the peaceful use of atomic energy and to the development and better organization of scientific co-operation.

To the many nations which have gained their independence since the end of the Second World War and to all other peoples, who, like ourselves, are dedicated to freedom in peace, we offer our co-operation on a basis of complete equality and in a spirit of fraternity.

Conscious of our intellectual and material resources, convinced of the value of our principles and of our way of life, without provocation but equally without fear, we have taken decisions to promote greater unity, greater strength and greater security not only for our own nations but also we believe, for the world at large.


International Situation

  1. The aim of the Soviet bloc is to weaken and disrupt the free world. Its instruments are military, political and economic: and its activities are world wide. To meet this challenge the free world must organize its resources--moral, military, political and economic--and be ready to deploy them wherever the situation demands. Our Alliance cannot therefore be concerned only with the North Atlantic area or only with military defence. It must also organize its political and economic strength on the principle of interdependence, and must take account of development outside its own area.
  2. In the course of our meeting we have therefore reviewed the international situation and, in particular, the dangers to world peace arising from Soviet actions and threats. In spite of the dangers of the situation which are obvious to all, the Soviet Union has made no real contribution to the solution of major problems causing international tension. We have especially in mind the problems of the reunification of Germany in freedom, and the continuing anomaly of the isolation of Berlin--the capital of Germany.

We renew and reaffirm our declaration of 23rd October, 1954 which had in view the establishment on a firm basis of the security and freedom of Berlin. The perpetuation of injustice to the German people undermines international confidence and endangers peace. At the Geneva Conference of Heads of Government in July, 1955, the Soviet leaders took a solemn commitment that"the reunification of Germany by means of free elections shall be carried out in conformity with the national interests of the German people and the interests of European security" . We call upon the Soviet Government to honor this pledge.

  1. We have reviewed the situation in the Middle East. In line with the peaceful aims of our Alliance, we confirm the support of our Governments for the independence and sovereignty of the states in this region, and our interest in the economic well-being of their peoples. We believe that the stability of this important area is vital to world peace.
  2. We express our interest in the maintenance of peace and the development of conditions of stability and economic and political well-being in the vitally important continent of Africa. We hope that the countries and peoples of that continent who are disposed to do so will co-operate within the free world in efforts to promote these purposes. We affirm the readiness of our countries to co-operate for our part with the countries and peoples of Africa to further these ends. Historic, economic and other friendly ties between certain European countries and Africa would make co-operation particularly desirable and effective.
  3. In the course of our review of the international situation we have given consideration to recent serious events in Indonesia. We view them with concern.

The Working of the Alliance

  1. The strength of our Alliance, freely concluded between independent nations, lies in our fundamental unity in the face of the danger which threatens us. Thanks to this fundamental unity, we can overcome our difficulties and bring into harmony our individual points of view. In contrast, as events in Hungary have shown, the Soviet bloc is held together only by political and military coercion.
  2. Although progress has been made, further improvement is needed in our political consultation. We are resolved to bring this about. Our Permanent Representatives will be kept fully informed of all government policies which materially affect the Alliance and its members. In this way, we shall be able to draw fully on each other's political experience and to ensure a broad co-ordination of our policies in the interest, not only of the Alliance, but of the free world as a whole.

In addition, to strengthen the cohesion of the Alliance, the Permanent Council and the Secretary General should ensure effective consultation, including, where necessary, procedures of conciliation at an early stage.


  1. We recall that in the course of this year, the Western countries taking part in the London Disarmament talks put forward to the Soviet Union, with the unanimous agreement of NATO, a series of concrete proposals providing, subject to effective controls:
    • for reduction of all armaments and military forces;
    • for the cessation of the production of fissionable material for weapons purposes;
    • for the reduction of existing stocks of nuclear weapons;
    • for the suspension of nuclear weapons tests;
    • for measures to guard against the risk of surprise attack.
  2. We note with regret that these various proposals, which would halt the armaments race and add to world security if they were accepted, were rejected en bloc by the Soviet Union, although they had been approved by 56 members of the United Nations.
  3. We regret that the Soviet Union has brought about a deadlock in the disarmament negotiations by declaring their intention to boycott the United Nations Disarmament Commission which had been extended, by a strong majority of the General Assembly, to include 25 nations.
  4. We denounce Soviet tactics of alternating between peace propaganda statements and attempted intimidation by the threat of nuclear attack.
  5. We deplore, also, that the leaders of the USSR do not allow the Soviet populations to be impartially informed and enlightened by the services of the United Nations at the time as the populations of other member countries, as to the danger of destruction to which all peoples would be exposed in the event of general war. A resolution to this effect was adopted in November, 1957, by the General Assembly of the United Nations by 71 nations against 9 nations of the Soviet bloc.
  6. We emphasize that, in order to be effective, any disarmament agreement implies adequate international control, that the acceptance of such control is the test of a true desire for peace, and that the Soviet Union refuses to put this principle into practice.
  7. We have decided to establish a Technical Group to advise on problems of arms control arising out of new technical developments.
  8. In spite of the successive setbacks given by the Soviet Union to the cause of controlled disarmament and of peace, the NATO Council will neglect no possibility of restricting armaments within the limits imposed by security and will take all necessary action to this end.
  9. We state our willingness to promote, preferably within the framework of the United Nations, any negotiations with the USSR likely to lead to the implementation of the proposals recalled above.

We are also prepared to examine any proposal, from whatever source, for general or partial disarmament, and any proposal enabling agreement to be reached on the controlled reduction of armaments of all types.

  1. Should the Soviet government refuse to participate in the work of the new Disarmament Commission, we would welcome a meeting at Foreign Ministers' level to resolve the deadlock.

NATO Defence

  1. The Soviet leaders, while preventing a general disarmament agreement, have made it clear that the most modern and destructive weapons, including missiles of all kind, are being introduced in the Soviet armed forces. In the Soviet view, all European nations except the USSR should, without waiting for general disarmament, renounce nuclear weapons and missiles and rely on arms of the preatomic age.
  2. As long as the Soviet Union persists in this attitude, we have no alternative but to remain vigilant and to look to our defences. We are therefore resolved to achieve the most effective pattern of NATO military defensive strength, taking into account the most recent developments in weapons and techniques.
  3. To this end, NATO has decided to establish stocks of nuclear warheads, which will be readily available for the defence of the Alliance in case of need. In view of the present Soviet policies in the field of new weapons, the Council has also decided that intermediate range ballistic missiles will have to be put at the disposal of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
  4. The deployment of these stocks and missiles and arrangements for their use will accordingly be decided in conformity with NATO defence plans and in agreement with the states directly concerned. The NATO military authorities have been requested to submit to the Council at an early date their recommendations on the introduction of these weapons in the common defence. The Council in permanent session will consider the various questions involved.
  5. Recognising the rapidly growing interdependence of the nations of the free world, we have, in organizing our forces, decided to bring about closer co-ordination with a view to ensuring that each NATO member country makes its most effective contribution to the requirements established by the Alliance. Better use of the resources of the Alliance and greater efficiency for its forces will be obtained through as high a degree of standarisation and integration as possible in all fields, particularly in certain aspects of air and naval defence, logistic support and of the composition and equipment of forces. We have agreed that a military conference should be held at Ministerial level in the early months of 1958 to discuss progress made in these fields in the light, in particular, of the results of the 1957 Annual Review.
  6. As regard defence production, we have decided in view of the progress already made, to take further measures within NATO to promote the co-ordination of research, development and manufacture of modern weapons including intermediate range ballistic missiles.
  7. The best means of achieving co-ordinated production of advanced weapons needed by our forces will be studied as a matter of urgency. Those NATO countries whose programmes have already a very advanced stage have offered to share with their allies significant production techniques and results of their research work in order to stimulate a truly productive effort in the defence production field.

Scientific and Technical Co-operation

  1. we recognize that in most of our countries more should be done to increase the supply of trained men in many branches of science and technology. The full development of our science and technology is essential to the culture, to the economy and to the political and military strength of the Atlantic Community.
  2. We realise that progress will depend on vigorous action within individual states and in particular on the devoted contribution of teachers and scientists. We must increase the provision for the training of young people in scientific and technical subjects and must also ensure that the free pursuit of fundamental research continues to flourish. Each of our governments will therefore reappraise the support being given to scientific and technical education and to fundamental research.
  3. We seek to increase he effectiveness of national efforts through the pooling of scientific facilities and information and the sharing of tasks. We must build on the established tradition of the universality of true science. Our governments will support the international organizations doing work in this field.
  4. We have decided to establish forthwith a Science Committee on which all of the NATO countries will be represented by men highly qualified to speak authoritatively on science policy. In addition, a scientist of outstanding qualifications will be appointed as Science Advisor to the Secretary General of NATO.
  5. The Science Committee will be responsible in particular for making specific recommendations to the Council for action on proposal by the French Government for a Western Foundation for Scientific Research and on the many other valuable proposals which have been put forward by the NATO Task Force on Scientific and Technical Co-operation and by the NATO Parliamentarians Conference.

Economic Co-operation

  1. We are united in our common purpose to promote the economic and social development of our peoples and to assist the peoples of other countries to achieve the same objective. We consider that the purpose of government in a free society is to enlarge the opportunity of the individual rather than to subordinate him to the state.
  2. We will co-operate among ourselves and with other free governments to further the achievement of economic stability, a steady rate of economic growth, and the expansion of international trade through the further reduction of exchange and trade barriers.
  3. We reaffirm the desirability of a closer economic association between the countries of Western Europe, which we deem to be in the interest of all countries, and we will accordingly lend encouragement to the successful development of the European Economic Community and of a European Free Trade Area in which a full account would be taken of the interests of the less developed member countries. We attach particular importance to these initiatives being worked out in such a way as to strengthen not only the participating countries but also the relations within the Atlantic Community and the free world as a whole. We recognize the interdependence of the economies of the members of NATO and of the other countries of the free world.
  4. We affirm the interest of our governments in an enlargement of the resources, both public and private, available for the purpose of accelerating the economic advancement of the less developed areas of the free world.
  5. We have decided that the North Atlantic Council, without duplicating the work of other agencies, shall from time to time, and in the spirit of Article 2 of the Treaty, review economic trends and assess economic progress, and may make suggestions for improvements either through existing organizations or by the efforts of individual countries, or in special cases by new initiatives.
  6. Under present circumstances, our defensive Alliance takes on a new significance. Only an intensified collective effort can safeguard our peoples and their liberties. We have, together, ample capacity in freedom to defend freedom.
  7. We have taken a series of decisions which will promote greater strength and greater security not only for our own nations but also for the world at large.