Updated: 23-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus



Final Communiqué

Chairman: Mr. M. Brosio.


Reviews balance of strategic forces - Agreement on political guidelines covering possible use of atomic demolition munitions.

The NATO Nuclear Planning Group composed of Ministers of Defence of eight NATO countries adjourned today after a two-day conference in Ottawa, Canada. This was the eighth of the regular half-yearly meetings of the group. Ministers of Defence attending the meeting were Mr. Donald S. MacDonald, Canada; Mr. Helmut Schmidt, Germany; Mr. Mario Tanassi, Italy; Mr. Willem den Toom, Netherlands; Mr. Gunnar Hellesen, Norway; Lord Carrington, United Kingdom, and Mr. Melvin R. Laird, United States. Greece was represented by Ambassador P.A. Cavalierato. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Manlio Brosio, Secretary General of NATO.

Ministers discussed the balance of strategic forces and reviewed in particular changes which have occurred in the strategic nuclear capabilities facing NATO since their last meeting in Venice. They had before them a series of papers covering policy issues on the role of the Alliance's nuclear forces and on the defensive use of nuclear weapons, within the concept of flexibility in response which remains the basis of allied strategy. Their decisions will be forwarded for endorsement by Ministers of the Nuclear Defence Affairs Committee and subsequently by the Defence Planning Committee at their meetings to be held in Brussels in December. Ministers reviewed the military planning and refined the political guidelines for the initial defensive tactical use of nuclear weapons which had been adopted a year ago. After completion of studies of the role of atomic demolition munitions they reached agreement on political guidelines to cover the possible use of such weapons.

Ministers re-affirmed the importance of the Nuclear Planning Group in providing a continuing forum for allied consultation on nuclear matters, in which political and military considerations are closely inter-related.

Ministers also noted the progress made on certain on-going studies and agreed to consider these at their next meeting which will be held in Germany in May 1971.

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