Updated: 23-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


18th-19th Dec

Final Communiqué

Chairman: Mr. P. van Zeeland, Foreign Minister of Belgium.


Council appoints General Eisenhower to be SACEUR - Approves creation of a Defence Production Board - Invites the three Occupying Powers to explore with the German Federal Government Germany's participation in defence.

The North Atlantic Council acting on recommendations of the Defence Committee today completed the arrangements initiated in September last for the establishment in Europe of an integrated force under centralized control and command. This force is to be composed of contingents contributed by the participating governments.

The Council yesterday unanimously decided to ask the President of the United States to make available General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve as Supreme Commander. Following receipt this morning of a message from the President of the United States that he had made General Eisenhower available, the Council appointed him. He will assume his command and establish his headquarters in Europe early in the New Year. He will have the authority to train the national units assigned to his command and to organize them into an effective integrated defence force. He will be supported by an international staff drawn from the nations contributing to the force.

The Council, desiring to simplify the structure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in order to make it more effective, asked the Council Deputies to initiate appropriate action. In this connection the Defence Committee, meeting separately on 18th December, had already taken action to establish a Defence Production Board with greater powers than those of the Military Production and Supply Board which it supersedes. The new Board is charged with expanding and accelerating production and with furthering the mutual use of the industrial capacities of the member nations.

The Council also reached unanimous agreement regarding the part which Germany might assume in the common defence. The German participation would strengthen the defence of Europe without altering in any way the purely defensive character of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The Council invited the Governments of France, the United Kingdom and the United States to explore this matter with the Government of the German Federal Republic.

The decisions taken and the measures contemplated have the sole purpose of maintaining and consolidating peace. The North Atlantic nations are determined to pursue this policy until peace is secure.

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