Updated: 27-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


Dec. 1990

Final Communiqué

Chairman: Manfred Wörner


Progress towards a just and lasting order of peace in Europe - German unity - German contribution to European security and stability as a full member of the Alliance - Charter of Paris for a New Europe - CFE Treaty - Adoption of CSBM document - Joint Declaration on Peaceful Relations - Diplomatic liaison with the Soviet Union and countries of Central and Eastern Europe - Political and military exchanges - Economic disparities on the European continent - Focus of long-term efforts - Enhancement of the Alliance's political component - Council deliberations on the adaptation of NATO - Review of military strategy - Strategic consequences of instabilities - Residual Soviet military capabilities - Sharing of leadership and responsibilities between Europe and North America - Development of a European identity and defence rôle in the interests of the Alliance as a whole - Adaptation of Allied political and military structures - Decisions of the European Council in Rome - Complementarity and transparency between the process of adaptation of the Alliance and the development of European security cooperation - Arms control and disarmament - CFE implementation and resolution of problems relating to data and Treaty interpreta- tion - Coordination of national verification efforts - Limitations on personnel strengths of national conventional armed forces - Confidence and security-building measures - Work of the High Level Task Force - Negotiations towards an Open Skies agreement - Preparations in the Special Consultative Group for US-Soviet negotiations on short-range nuclear forces - US efforts towards the conclusion of a START Treaty - Priority accorded to achievement of a global comprehensive and verifiable ban on chemical weapons - Preparations for Third Review Conference of the 1972 Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention to be held in September 1991 - Progress towards the construction of a new Europe - Future European architecture - Institutional arrangements within the CSCE process - New cooperative relationship with the Soviet Union and countries of Central and Eastern Europe - Process of political and economic reform in the Soviet Union - Economic cooperation - Support for aspirations of the Baltic peoples and need for negotiated solutions - Reforms in central and Eastern Europe - Initiatives undertaken in the Group of 24 - Expansion of dialogue and political and military exchanges - Rô1e of NATO's scientifice and environmental activities and information programme in developing future contacts - Prospects for democratic reform in Albania - Implications of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and spread of military technology - New global security risks and challenges - Statement on the Gulf crisis.

Basing of the United States 401st Tactical Fighter Wing - Economic cooperation and assistance within the Alliance - The situation in the Mediterra- nean - Science Committee - Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society - Conference of National Armaments Directors.

Moving Forward from the London Declaration

  1. In the months since the London Summit we have made important steps towards our goal of a just and lasting order of peace in Europe. As co-operation based on greater freedom and democracy has replaced competition and ideological confrontation, our vision of a Europe whole and free is being realised:

    • Germany has peacefully and democratically achieved its unity, contributing as a full member of the Alliance to security and stability in the heart of Europe.

    • The signing last month of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe is a landmark in European history, and gives a new impetus to the spread of democracy, freedom and unity across our continent.

    • Equally the CFE treaty, which is the first agreement to reduce and limit the number of conventional weapons in Europe, marks an important new beginning. A substantive document on CSBMs has also been adopted.

    • We have signed a Joint Declaration on Peaceful Relations between the Allies and the Soviet Union and the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe which affirms our desire for a co-operative partnership.

    • The Soviet Union and the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe have established regular diplomatic liaison with the Alliance, permitting a useful interchange of information and views. A regular sequence of high level exchanges by senior political and military officials has been established, symbolised by visits to NATO by elected leaders of Central and Eastern European nations and the Secretary General's visits to Moscow, Prague, Warsaw and Budapest.

  2. Having worked to overcome past divisions, our countries must now direct their efforts to avoiding grave economic disparities becoming the new dividing lines on the continent. All countries have the right to exist in security. In the midst of change, tendencies towards greater insularity must be resisted. We seek to spread the values of freedom and democracy that are at the heart of our transatlantic partnership so that past labels of East and West no longer have political meaning.

    The Alliance remains essential and has a vital role to play. Mindful that we face many challenges ahead which transcend the resources of either Europe or America alone, we will focus our major long-term efforts on:

    • sustaining the enduring principles and benefits of our transatlantic partnership, including those that flow from our collective defence, while our Alliance adapts to new circumstances and new opportunities;

    • continuing to provide the indispensable basis for the security of our member states, and thereby the foundation of an environment of stability and co-operation in which democracies can flourish;

    • expanding our active search for a co-operative approach to security;

    • helping to construct a new Europe in which all peoples will be able to share in the benefits of a more secure and prosperous peace;

    • ensuring that the Allies can successfully meet new challenges to security from any quarter.

    Today more than ever before, security and stability cannot be achieved by military means alone. Therefore, as we pursue these tasks, we will continue to enhance the political component of our Alliance, as foreseen in Article 2, as well as in Article 4, of the Washington Treaty. The Alliance will be essential both as the link between the security of North America and that of Europe and as a framework for broad co-operation among ourselves.

  3. We have given further impetus to our efforts to adapt to a radically altered security environment, consistent with the mandate for a transformed North Atlantic Alliance that was set out in the Turnberry Communiqué and affirmed in the London Declaration. The Secretary General reported on the status of the deliberations under way in the Council in Permanent Session on the adaptation of all aspects of our organisation. These discussions will be vigorously pursued. The Secretary General also reported on the stage reached by those Allies involved in collective defence planning in the review of their military strategy, which will fully reflect the principles and directions for both conventional and nuclear forces set out in the London Declaration. To keep the peace the Alliance must maintain for the foreseeable future an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces at the lowest levels consistent with our security needs.

  4. The risks that Allies now face in Europe arise less from a likelihood of deliberate aggression against Allied territory by former adversaries, than from the unforeseeable strategic consequences of instabilities that might emerge in a period of rapid and widespread political and economic transformation. Even in a non- adversarial relationship, prudence requires NATO to counterbalance the Soviet Union's substantial residual military capabilities. Neither can we exclude that risks to Allies' security arise from elsewhere. In the midst of change, our solidarity in support of the indivisibility of security of all member countries remains fundamental to our Alliance.

  5. The adaptation of our Alliance to new circumstances will include enhancing the role of the European Allies with a view to ensuring a full and equitable sharing of leadership and responsibilities between Europe and North America. All Allies agree that the foundation of European stability and security will continue to be a strong and viable North Atlantic Alliance which requires the continuing active political engagement and significant military presence of the North American democracies in Europe. A European security identity and defence role, reflected in the construction of a European pillar within the Alliance, will not only serve the interests of the European states but also help to strengthen Atlantic solidarity. In this context, and as this process evolves, we will consider how the political and military structures of the Alliance must be adapted accordingly.

    We support current efforts to strengthen the security dimension in the process of European political integration, and recognise the importance of the recent decisions of the European Council in Rome. We emphasise, in this regard, the importance of safeguarding complementarity and transparency between the two processes of the adaptation of the Alliance and of the development of European security co-operation.

  6. The Allies arms control and disarmament efforts are the expression of our readiness to increase common security through measures adopted jointly with other States. To that end, we are agreed on the following steps:

    • We will seek full implementation by all parties of the CFE Treaty, and in particular the timely resolution by the Soviet Union of serious problems relating to data and Treaty interpretation, which is an essential condition for early ratification of the Treaty. We will ensure due coordination of national verification efforts through new Alliance bodies.

    • Pursuant to the mandate of the CFE negotiations, we will propose new measures aimed at further strengthening security and stability, including measures to limit the personnel strength of national conventional armed forces and thereby further restrain offensive capabilities within the area of application.

    • Building upon the adoption by members of the CSCE process of new confidence- and security-building measures to supplement and extend the Stockholm document of 1986, we will continue the CSBM negotiations in conformity with the mandate for these talks, to contribute further to stability and openness.

    • Looking further to the future the Alliance will continue to explore broader arms control and confidence-building opportunities. Within the Alliance the work of the High Level Task Force will be intensified in preparation for the discussions and consultations among the 34 states participating in the CSCE with a view to the opening - after the Helsinki Follow-Up Meeting in 1992 - of new negotiations on arms control and confidence-building measures involving all CSCE member states which wish to take part.

    • As a matter of priority, we will call for the resumption of negotiations with a view to the conclusion of an "Open Skies" agreement. Furthermore, we will work towards establishing an aerial inspection regime in the framework of the CFE Treaty.

    • The Special Consultative Group of those Allies concerned, in accordance with the objectives set out in the London Declaration, will continue its preparations for negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union on the reduction of their short-range nuclear forces.

    • We support the efforts of the United States towards the conclusion as soon as possible of a START Treaty reducing US and Soviet offensive strategic nuclear arms on the basis agreed at the Washington Summit of June 1990.

    • A global, comprehensive and effectively verifiable ban on chemical weapons remains an item of the highest priority on the arms control agenda of the Allies.

    • In the field of biological weapons, all Alliance members are party to the 1972 "Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention" and will play an active part in its Third Review Conference in September 1991 with the aim of strengthening the authority of the Treaty.

Further Progress in Constructing a New Europe

  1. Security and cooperation in the Europe of tomorrow can best be achieved by a framework of interlocking institutions in which the interests of all European states can be accommodated. The three key elements of the European architecture are the Alliance, the process of European integration and the CSCE. Each has its own purpose but complements the others. Our Alliance will provide an essential underpinning to this architecture, guaranteeing the transatlantic dimension of security, providing effective defence for all the Allies, and contributing to an environment of stability in which democratic institutions can be firmly rooted.

  2. We will continue to work, together with all participating states, in making the CSCE process increasingly effective, by making practical use of close consultations within the Alliance. By promoting the principles and provisions of the Helsinki Final Act and subsequent CSCE documents, and by creating a network of institutions binding together the countries of Europe and North America, a strengthened CSCE can encourage a new quality in the security relations of all CSCE states. As a result of the measures adopted at the Paris Summit, the CSCE will provide forums for regular consultation and conflict prevention in which member countries of the Alliance can work with other participating states to enhance further democracy, prosperity and stability. Regional co-operation initiatives in Europe will also be beneficial to this end. In this connection, stability must embrace not only traditional security aspects, but also economic, social, environmental and other factors.

  3. At our London Summit, we extended to past adversaries the hand of friendship in an effort to build new partnerships with all the nations of Europe. Working individually and in concert, Allies have begun a special effort to develop a new co-operative relationship with the Soviet Union and the other states of Central and Eastern Europe in order to help them continue on their path towards political change and economic reform.

  4. The Soviet Union has demonstrated its determination for change and has undertaken a fundamental reassessment of its security requirements. We agree on the importance of the process of political and economic reform in the Soviet Union, which should also lead to the integration of its economy into broader patterns of international economic cooperation. We are prepared to see the scope of economic cooperation substantially widened in appropriate forums to assist that effort. We agree that each of us should further explore actively the possibilities for well-directed cooperation and timely assistance.

  5. We reaffirm the wish expressed at Turnberry that the problems accompanying the difficult internal transition of the Soviet Union be solved in a constructive manner and to the satisfaction of all concerned. In this context, we support the expectations and legitimate aspirations of the Baltic peoples. We call on the Soviet authorities to continue to seek, through just and open dialogue with the democratically elected leaders of the three Baltic republics, a negotiated solution based on the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, and for all concerned to exercise restraint.

  6. We welcome the achievements of the reforms now under way in most countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the determination of their democratic governments to pursue their reform policies further. But we are also aware of the difficulties they are facing in this effort. We reaffirm our commitment to assist them, and support the initiatives undertaken in the Group of 24 and through other multilateral channels, in surmounting the problems they encounter in their transition to market-oriented economies.

  7. There can be no security in Europe that is not based upon respect for the legitimate interests of all states. This principle will govern our relationship with the Soviet Union and the other states of Central and Eastern Europe. We intend to build upon the Alliance's diplomatic liaison relationship with these countries. We will deepen our dialogue on security matters through broader and more active exchanges and cooperation on issues of common concern in the spirit of our Message from Turnberry. We especially look forward to the planned visits to NATO by President Gorbachev and President Havel as well as those in the future by other leaders. We welcome the expansion of contacts between our respective military authorities as an important means of establishing greater mutual understanding in the field of defence. NATO's Third Dimension programmes in the scientific and environmental fields, which have proved their value in building bridges between the participating countries and as a catalyst for advanced scientific research, will be, together with the NATO information programme, useful tools in developing our contacts with the Soviet Union and the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, focusing on their scientific communities and public opinion.

  8. We look to the eventual spread of democratic freedoms to the people of Albania and hope that attempts at reform in this country will bear fruit.

Meeting New Challenges

  1. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the spread of destabilising military technology have implications for Allies' security and illustrate that in an ever more interdependent world, we face new security risks and challenges of a global nature. Consistent with the Washington Treaty and the United Nations Charter, we shall consult closely in addressing such developments. Where they pose a threat to our common interests, we will consider what individual or joint action may be most appropriate under the circumstances.

  2. The demands of the Gulf crisis, on which we have issued a separate statement, have confirmed the value of Alliance mechanisms for consultation pursuant to Article 4 of the Washington Treaty.

  1. In an era of unprecedented promise but also uncertainty, the Alliance is working to adapt to new challenges. It will remain both an anchor of stability and an agent of change.

  2. The Spring 1991 meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Ministerial session will be held in Copenhagen in June.

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