Updated: 23-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


Dec. 1969

Final Communiqué

Chairman: Mr. M. Brosio.


Declaration on the future development of relations between East and West - SALT and disarmament questions - The security of the Mediterranean - Challenges to Modern Society.

Defence planning (paragraphs 8 to 12) - Nuclear consultation.

  1. The North Atlantic Council met in Ministerial Session at Brussels on 4th and 5th December, 1969. The meeting was attended by Foreign, Defence and Finance Ministers.

  2. Since the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty twenty years ago, the members of the Alliance have dedicated their efforts to the preservation of their freedom and security and to the improvement of East-West relations in the aim of reaching an ultimate peaceful solution of outstanding problems in Europe. They will continue to do so.

  3. By approving in December 1967 the Report on the Future Tasks of the Alliance, the Allied Governments resolved to maintain adequate military strength and political solidarity to deter aggression and other forms of pressure and to defend the territory of member countries if aggression should occur; and to examine suitable policies designed to achieve a just and stable order in Europe, to overcome the division of Germany and to foster European security.

  4. On the basis of these two concepts of defence and the relaxation of tensions, the Ministers issued the Declaration attached to this Communiqué in which they set forth their views on the future development of relations between Eastern and Western countries.

  5. Ministers welcomed the opening of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. They acknowledged the work in progress with regard to arms control on the sea bed, as well as the interest shown both by the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament and the United Nations in measures to deal with chemical and biological warfare. On all these questions the Council held detailed consultations which proved most useful in preparing the ground for the negotiations taking place elsewhere. The Ministers invited the Council in Permanent Session to continue to examine these problems, and reaffirmed the importance of any genuine disarmament measure, consistent with the security of all states and guaranteed by adequate international control, for the reduction of tension and the consolidation of peace in Europe and the world.

  6. The Ministers also studied a report by the Secretary General on the situation in the Mediterranean. Recalling the Communiqués issued on 27th June, 1968 and 16th November, 1968, they expressed the concern of their governments with regard to the situation in that area. The Ministers reaffirmed the value of full consultations among the Allies on this question. Accordingly, they requested the Council in Permanent Session to pursue with the greatest attention its examination of the situation in the Mediterranean and to report to Ministers at their Spring Meeting.

  7. In April 1969, Ministers called attention to the role the Alliance might play in tackling common environmental problems that could imperil the welfare and progress of modern societies. Consequently, the Council in Permanent Session established a Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society. The new Committee, beginning with its first meeting on 8th December, will address these urgent problems with the aim of stimulating action by members of the Alliance, either singly, jointly or in international organizations. The Ministers at their Spring Meeting will receive the Committee's first report on the newest task of the Alliance.

  8. Ministers of countries participating in NATO's integrated defence program met as the Defence Planning Committee on 3rd December, 1969. As an introduction to their discussions the Secretary General and the Chairman of the Military Committee gave overall appraisals of the state of defence planning within the Alliance. Ministers thereafter reviewed the work accomplished since their previous meeting on 28th May, 1969, and gave directions for future work.

  9. They agreed that the effectiveness of NATO's defensive posture continues to be an essential stabilizing factor in support of the search for meaningful détente. Therefore, until agreement can be reached on East-West mutual force reductions, balanced in scope and timing so as to maintain the present degree of security, NATO will continue to ensure that there is no reduction in its overall military capability.

  10. In reviewing Force Plans for 1970, Ministers were conscious of the necessity to maintain adequate and readily available forces both conventional and nuclear, in accordance with the NATO strategy, for the defence of the mainland of Europe and the whole NATO area. They took note of the positive outcome of consultations with the Canadian Authorities, concerning their forces for NATO, which were initiated following the Defence Planning Committee meeting of 28th May, 1969. Ministers committed forces for the year 1970 and endorsed a number of remedial measures necessary to maintain adequate forces in Central Europe; in addition further remedial measures are under consideration.

  11. They discussed measures required to implement the NATO strategy of forward defence based on flexibility in response, and arrangements for the reinforcement, in times of tension, of NATO's ready forces. They also noted a preliminary report on a comprehensive study which is being undertaken of the relative capabilities of the forces of NATO and the Warsaw Pact and gave instructions for the continuance of the study. In addition, Ministers reviewed the status of other defence planning studies including those for improved defence of the flanks.

  12. The Ministerial Meeting also provided the Defence Ministers comprising the Nuclear Defence Affairs Committee (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States) with the occasion to review work in progress in the Nuclear Planning Group during the past year and planned for the future. The Nuclear Defence Affairs Committee agreed that Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States will compose the Nuclear Planning Group starting 1st January, 1970.

  13. Acting on the recommendation of the Nuclear Defence Affairs Committee, the Defence Planning Committee adopted two policy documents originated by the Nuclear Planning Group at their meeting in the United States last November concerning general guidelines for nuclear consultation procedure and for the possible tactical use of nuclear weapons in defence of the Treaty area. These documents are based upon NATO's strategy of flexibility in response which was adopted in December 1967 and which remains unchanged.

  14. The next Ministerial Meeting of the Defence Planning Committee will take place in the Spring of 1970.

  15. The Spring Ministerial Meeting of the Council will be held in Italy on 26th and 27th May, 1970.

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