Updated: 23-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus



15th-17th Apr

Final Communiqué

Chairman: Mr. P.H. Spaak.


Defence Ministers reaffirm NATO's defensive strategy.

  1. In accordance with the decision taken at the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council held at the level of Heads of Government on l9th December last, the Defence Ministers of the NATO member countries met at the Palais de Chaillot, under the chairmanship of the Secretary General, Monsieur P.-H. Spaak, on 15th, 16th and 17th April, 1958.

  2. The Ministers heard full and valuable reports by the Military Committee, the Standing Group and the Supreme Allied Commanders on the present state of the forces of the Alliance, on the pro- gressive introduction of the most modern weapons and equipment and on the forces needed for NATO defence in the years ahead. They also heard progress reports on projects initiated by the Heads of Government in December. On the basis of these reports a most useful discussion took place between the Ministers and the NATO military authorities.

  3. In order to meet the continuing efforts made by the Soviet leaders to equip their large forces with the most modern weapons the Ministers discussed ways and means of making the best use of the resources of the Alliance and of achieving greater effectiveness for its forces. They confirmed their support of the basic NATO strategy for the preservation of peace and for the defence of member countries. This defensive strategy continues to be founded on the concept of a strong deterrent, comprising the Shield, with its conventional and nuclear elements, and the nuclear retaliatory forces.

  4. The Ministers also were in agreement on certain measures to achieve greater co-ordination and to widen co-operation among member countries, both with respect to defence research, development and production and to the organization of forces.

  5. The Ministers are confident after these discussions, which confirmed their unity and common purpose, that the progressive modernization of NATO forces, on the basis of the agreed strategic plans, will enable the Alliance to maintain its defensive strength, while efforts continue to be made to re-establish international confidence through effective, controlled disarmament.

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