Updated: 23-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


May 1963

Final Communiqué

Chairman : Mr. D. U. Stikker.


Berlin - Cuba - Laos - Disarmament - Political Consultation - Organization of nuclear forces assigned to SACEUR - Balance between conventional and nuclear arms - Defence problems of Greece.

  1. The North Atlantic Council met in Ministerial Session in Ottawa from 22nd to 24th May, '963.

  2. In their review of the international situation, Ministers emphasized that in the world of today peace is indivisible. The enduring character of the North Atlantic Alliance, founded on the principles of interdependence and common defence, constitues a basic guarantee for the maintenance of peace.

  3. The Council noted with regret that the Soviet Union had so far shown little interest in seeking equitable solutions for outstanding problems.

  4. With regard to Germany and Berlin, the threat has not dis- appeared. Thanks to the firm attitude maintained by the West, however, developments detrimental to the interests of Berlin and the Alliance have been effectively discouraged. In this connection, the Alliance abides by the terms of its Declaration of 16th December, 1958 on Berlin.

  5. Outside the Treaty area too, tensions and difficulties continue to exist which have a profound effect on the Alliance. Soviet military personnel remain in Cuba; and the situation there, with its repercussions in the region generally, still gives cause for concern. Ministers also expressed their disquiet over recent events in Laos, and stressed the importance of sustained efforts to secure respect for the Geneva Agreements.

  6. Ministers reaffirmed the importance, in building a peaceful world, of progress towards general and complete disarmament by stages and under effective international control. In this connection, they noted that agreement in principle had been reached between the United States and the USSR on measures to improve communications designed to reduce the risk of war by accident or miscalculation. They expressed the hope that the Soviet Union's attitude would evolve sufficiently to permit genuine progress to be made on key disarmament questions.

  7. The growing scope and complexity of the problems facing the Alliance make it imperative for the Council to ensure that its political consultations are as prompt and effective as they can be made. Ministers noted the progress already achieved in this direction and expressed their determination to secure still further improvements.

  8. Ministers discussed NATO defence policy and approved the steps taken to organize the nuclear forces assigned or to be assigned to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).

    These include notably:

    1. assignment of the United Kingdom V-bomber force and three United States Polaris submarines to SACEUR;

    2. establishment by SACEUR on his staff of a Deputy respon- sible to him for nuclear affairs;

    3. arrangements for broader participation by officers of NATO member countries in nuclear activities in Allied Command Europe and in co-ordination of operational planning at Omaha;

    4. fuller information to national authorities, both political and military.

    Ministers welcomed these measures to increase the effectiveness of the nuclear capability at the disposal of the Alliance and to improve co-ordination and control of its nuclear deterrent forces.

  9. Ministers recognized the need to achieve a satisfactory balance between nuclear and conventional arms. They directed the Council in Permanent Session to undertake, with the advice of the NATO military authorities, further studies of the inter-related questions of strategy, force requirements and the resources available to meet them.

  10. The Council noted progress made in the implementation of earlier resolutions concerning the defence problems of Greece and reaffirmed its interest in the effective application of these resolutions.

  11. The North Atlantic Alliance seeks peace. It deplores the diversion into the military field of resources which might be used for the betterment of mankind, and in particular for increased efforts to raise living standards in developing countries. But the Free World remains faced with a continuing threat and the members of the North Atlantic Alliance have both the right and the duty to protect their freedom and independence.

  12. The next Ministerial Meeting will be held in Paris in December 1963.

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