The North Atlantic Council met in Ministerial Session in Bonn
on 30th and 31st May, 1972.
- Ministers reaffirmed that the purpose of the Alliance is to
preserve the freedom and security of all its members. Defence
and the relaxation of tension are inseparably linked. The
solidarity of the Alliance is indispensable in this respect.
Allied governments seek an improvement in their relations with
the countries of Eastern Europe and aim at a just and durable
peace which could overcome the division of Germany and foster
security in Europe.
- Ministers noted progress in relations between Western and
Eastern countries, increasing contacts between the leaders of
these countries, and the conclusion of important agreements and
arrangements. They welcomed these developments flowing from
major initiatives undertaken by their governments, which had
full and timely consultations on these subjects. Such
consultations will continue.
- Ministers welcomed the signing by the United States and the
USSR of the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile
Systems and the interim agreement on Certain Measures with
respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. They
believe these two agreements limiting the strategic arms of the
United States and the USSR will contribute to strategic
stability, significantly strengthen international confidence,
and reduce the danger of nuclear war. Ministers also welcomed
the commitment by the United States and the USSR actively to
continue negotiations on limiting strategic arms. They
expressed the hope that these two agreements will be the
beginning of a new and promising era of negotiations in the
arms control field.
- Ministers noted with satisfaction that the treaty of 12th
August, 1970, between the Federal Republic of Germany and the
Soviet Union and the treaty of 7th December, 1970, between the
Federal Republic of Germany and the Polish People's Republic
are to enter into force in the near future. They reaffirmed
their opinion that these treaties are important, both as
contributions towards the relaxation of tension in Europe and
as elements of the modus vivendi which the Federal Republic of
Germany wishes to establish with its Eastern neighbors.
Ministers welcomed the declaration of 17th May, 1972, in which
the Federal Republic confirmed its policy to this end and
reaffirmed its loyalty to the Atlantic Alliance as the basis of
its security and freedom. They noted that it remains the policy
of the Federal Republic of Germany to work for circumstances of
peace in Europe in which the German people, in free
self-determination, can recover their unity; and that the
existing treaties and agreements to which the Federal Republic
of Germany is a party and the rights and responsibilities of
the Four Powers relating to Berlin and Germany as a whole
- Ministers also welcomed the progress made since their last
meeting in the talks between the Federal Republic of Germany
and the GDR. They regard the conclusion of the agreements and
arrangements between the competent German authorities, which
supplement the Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin of 3rd Septem-
ber, 1971, as well as the signature of a Treaty on Questions of
Traffic between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR, as
important steps in the effort to improve the situation in
Germany. They thus feel encouraged in the hope that, in further
negotiations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the
GDR, agreement might be reached on more comprehensive
arrangements which would take into account the special
situation in Germany.
- Ministers noted with satisfaction that the governments of
France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet
Union have arranged to sign the Final Protocol to the
Quadripartite Agreement. The entry into force of the entire
Berlin Agreement being thus assured, the Ministers hope that a
new era can begin for Berlin, free of the tension that has
marked its history for the past quarter century.
- In the light of these favorable developments, Ministers
agreed to enter into multilateral conversations concerned with
preparations for a Conference on Security and Co-operation in
Europe. They accepted with gratitude the proposal of the
Finnish Government to act as host for such talks in Helsinki at
the level of Heads of Mission under the conditions set out in
its aide-memoire of 24th November, 1970. Accordingly, they
decided to work out with other interested governments the
necessary arrangements for beginning the multilateral
- Ministers stated that the aim of Allied Governments at the
multilateral preparatory talks would be to ensure that their
proposals were fully considered at a Conference and to
establish that enough common ground existed among the
participants to warrant reasonable expectations that a
Conference would produce satisfactory results.
- Prepared in this way, a Conference on Security and Co-oper-
ation in Europe should constitute an important factor in the
process of reducing tension. It should help to eliminate
obstacles to closer relations and co-operation among the
participants while maintaining the security of all. Allied
governments look forward to a serious examination of the real
problems at issue and to a Conference which would yield
- Ministers considered that, in the interest of security, the
examination at a CSCE of appropriate measures, including
certain military measures, aimed at strengthening confidence
and increasing stability would contribute to the process of
reducing the dangers of military confrontation.
- Ministers noted the Report of the Council in Permanent Session concerning a Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe. The Report examined the issues which might be included on the Agenda of a Conference as set forth in paragraph 13 of the Brussels Communiqué of 10th December, 1971, as well as the procedural questions relating to the convening of a Conference. Ministers directed the Council in Permanent Session to develop further its substantive and procedural studies in preparation for a Conference.
- Ministers representing countries which participate in
NATO's Integrated Defence Program recalled the offers to
discuss mutual and balanced force reductions which they had
made at Reykjavik in 1968, at Rome in 1970, and subsequently
- These Ministers continue to aim at negotiations on mutual
and balanced force reductions and related measures. They
believe that these negotiations should be conducted on a
multilateral basis and be preceded by suitable explorations.
They regretted that the Soviet Government has failed to respond
to the Allied offer of October 1971 to enter into exploratory
talks. They therefore now propose that multilateral
explorations on mutual and balanced force reductions be
undertaken as soon as practicable, either before or in parallel
with multilateral preparatory talks on a Conference on Security
and Co-operation in Europe.
- These Ministers noted the studies conducted since their
last meeting on political, military and technical aspects of
mutual and balanced force reductions. They instructed the
Permanent Representatives to continue this work in preparation
for eventual negotiations.
- These Ministers stated that the present military balance of
forces in Europe does not allow a unilateral relaxation of the
defence efforts of the Allies. Unilateral force reductions
would detract from the Alliance's efforts to achieve greater
stability and detente and would jeopardize the prospects for
mutual and balanced force reductions.
- Ministers took note of a Report by the Council in Permanent
Session on the situation in the Mediterranean. They expressed
their concern regarding the factors of instability in the area
which could endanger the security of the members of the
Alliance. They instructed the Council in Permanent Session to
follow closely the evolution of the situation and to report to
them at their next meeting.
- The next Ministerial Session of the North Atlantic Council
will be held in Brussels in December 1972
- Ministers requested the Foreign Minister of the Grand Duchy
of Luxembourg to transmit this Communiqué on their behalf
through diplomatic channels to all other interested parties,
including neutral and non-aliened governments.