Updated: 23-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


Dec 1963

Final Communiqué

Chairman : Mr. D. U. Stikker.


President Johnson's pledge to support Alliance - Faith in the principles of the U.N. Charter - International situation reviewed - Developments in S-E Asia and the Caribbean - Questions regarding nuclear and other forces- Western economic development - Military and economic problems of Greece and Turkey - Civil emergency planning.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 peace.

  3. 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 objective.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 elsewhere.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Ministers examined a report on civil defence and civil emergency planning, which are an essential complement to the defence effort.

  12. 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 May, 1964.

 [ Go to Index Comm '60-'69 ]  [ Go to Homepage ]