- The North Atlantic Council met in Ministerial Session in Paris
on the 16th and 17th December, 1963. Ministers expressed their
profound grief at the heavy loss sustained by the Alliance and
the whole of mankind in the tragic death of President Kennedy.
They welcomed a message from President Johnson renewing United
States pledges to support the Alliance with all its strength
and to maintain its forces in Europe.
- Ministers, reaffirming their faith in the North Atlantic
Alliance, emphasized that the continuing strength of the
Alliance, the solidarity of its member states, and their
determination to defend freedom and to resist aggression
remain essential prerequisites for the maintenance of world
- Ministers stressed the peaceful and defensive purposes of
the North Atlantic Alliance. In subscribing to the North
Atlantic Treaty the members of NATO, whether members of the
United Nations or not, had affirmed their faith in the
principles of the United Nations Charter and had pledged
themselves to refrain in their international relations from
the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the
purposes of the United Nations. In the pursuit of peace, the
achievement of general and complete disarmament, under
effective international control, remains an essential
- In reviewing the international situation, Ministers noted
that there had been no major crisis since the confrontation
over Cuba. They emphasized that the unity and military
strength of the Alliance had largely contributed to this
result and to the international atmosphere now prevailing. At
the same time Ministers emphasized the importance not only of
seeking agreement on limited measures which would help to
reduce tension, but of achieving a genuine and fundamental
improvement in East-West relations. They expressed the hope
that Soviet policy would not limit the possibilities of making
progress in this direction and of reaching solutions for the
problems which are the real causes of tension in the world, in
particular those of Berlin and Germany. Despite recent
incidents, freedom of access to Berlin had been upheld; in
this connection Ministers reiterated their determination, as
expressed in the Declaration of 16th December, 1958, to defend
and maintain the freedom of West Berlin and its people.
- Ministers also reviewed the situation in various areas of
the world threatened by internal conflict and external force.
They noted developments which continued to be a cause of
concern in South-East Asia, in the Caribbean area and
- Ministers reaffirmed their determination to improve and
intensify their political consultation on subjects of common
concern. They also agreed on the necessity of maintaining and
strengthening the defensive capability of the Alliance, having
regard to the constant advances in science and technology.
They reviewed the implementation of decisions reached at
Ottawa regarding fuller information on nuclear questions for
national authorities and broader participation by member
countries in the organization and operational planning
functions of SACEUR's nuclear forces. Finally, they took note
of the progress achieved to give effect to the decisions made
at Ottawa to pursue the study of the interrelated questions of
strategy, force requirements, and the resources available to
meet them. This study is under way.
- Ministers reviewed the progress made during the year in
improving co-operation in research, development and production
of military equipment. They also noted with satisfaction the
recent decisions in regard to the establishment of a NATO air
defence ground environment system.
- In the economic field, Ministers noted that the economies
of the NATO countries have been steadily expanding and, in
contrast to what has been happening in the Communist world,
the economic systems of the West have shown themselves capable
of flexible adaptation to circumstances. This has permitted
not only an increase in the standards of living of their own
peoples but has also enabled large-scale assistance to be
extended to the developing countries.
- The Council, having noted progress made in the implemen-
tation of earlier resolutions concerning the defence problems
of Greece, reaffirmed its interest in the further effective
application of these resolutions.
- Ministers agreed to give urgent priority to a study of the
military and economic problems of the defence of Greece and
Turkey; and, if possible, a report is to be made to the Spring
Ministerial Meeting of the Council.
- Ministers examined a report on civil defence and civil
emergency planning, which are an essential complement to the
- The next meeting of the North Atlantic Council at
Ministerial level will be held, on the invitation of the
Netherlands Government, at The Hague from the 12th to the 14th