Updated: 27-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


11 Dec. 1992

Final Communiqu

  1. The Defence Planning Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization met in Ministerial session in Brussels on 10 and 11 December 1992.

  2. We are at a critical period in the transformation of Europe. Our meeting has built on the decisions taken at the NATO Summits in London and Rome; at Maastricht, and at the CSCE Helsinki Summit. At our recent meeting at Gleneagles, we expressed our deep concern about the risks to European security and stability posed by the growth of regional conflicts involving ethnic rivalries and territorial disputes. The Alliance remains committed to play a full part in seeking the peaceful resolution of these conflicts, thus bringing to an end the loss of life, suffering and destruction involved.

  3. The most acute crisis is the war in the former Yugoslavia. We fully support the efforts of the United Nations, the CSCE and the European Community to find a negotiated settlement to this tragic conflict and call on all parties to cooperate with these efforts. The Allies are making substantial practical contributions to the peacekeeping efforts of the United Nations, including ceasefire monitoring and participation in and the protection of humanitarian relief convoys. NATO has increased its involvement in recent weeks: it is providing important elements of the operational headquarters of the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia-Hercegovina as well as undertaking air monitoring operations and, in cooperation with the WEU, maritime enforcement actions in support of UN Security Council Resolutions. The Alliance has made clear its willingness to consider positively further requests for assistance from the United Nations.

  4. NATO possesses unique capabilities to contribute to peacekeeping operations. We, as Defence Ministers, have an important role to play in developing NATO's ability to support such operations in response to requests from the UN or CSCE. An Alliance commitment to peacekeeping, either by the use of collective assets, or in the context of individual national contributions to peacekeeping missions, has implications for NATO's defence planning. It will be important to ensure that individual national contributions to peacekeeping operations are consistent with the Alliance's collective defence responsibilities and capabilities. Recognising that decisions to support peacekeeping activities will have to be taken on a case by case basis and in accordance with Alliance procedures, we need to ensure that the necessary capabilities are refined and are available if and when such decisions are made. NATO's Military Authorities have already begun to prepare the basis necessary for possible future NATO support to peacekeeping activities. To complement this work, and consistent with the political decision taken by the Council in Oslo on Alliance support of peacekeeping, we have tasked the DPC in permanent session to identify specific measures in such areas as command and control, logistic support, infrastructure, and training and exercises which will enhance NATO's peacekeeping capabilities and which can be refined through the force planning process. We have concluded that support for UN and CSCE peacekeeping should be included among the missions of NATO forces and headquarters. We believe that planning and preparations in this area should be undertaken as far as possible with the close involvement of all Allies.

  5. The spread of crisis and conflict in Europe has made dialogue and cooperation even more important.Defence-related activities with our cooperation partners are making a valuable contribution to improving the overall security environment. Frequent discussions are taking place at all levels between Alliance officials and military officers and our partners. Successful high-level seminars have been held on Defence Policy and Management, and the Organisation and Structure of Defence Staffs and Armed Forces in Democratic Societies. A further seminar on Defence and the Environment will be held early next year in the Netherlands. Representatives of most partner countries have attended special courses arranged at NATO institutions.A considerable proportion of our defence-related cooperation effort involves the provision of specific practical expertise to individual partners, both by NATO teams and by individual Allies. We shall continue to develop all these activities further, especially in the practical field, in order to intensify our cooperation and to enhance our common security. This is not a one-way street: the Allies are also benefiting from the experience gained through the exchanges which are taking place.We look forward to further discussions with our cooperation partner colleagues, in particular on peacekeeping issues, at our next meeting in the New Year.

  6. The crisis in former Yugoslavia has underlined the importance of effective cooperation between the various institutional components of the new European security architecture. The security of Europe is inseparably linked to that of North America: close transatlantic links and continued presence of United States forces in Europe are therefore in the interest of all Allies and remain vital to the security of the Alliance. NATO will remain, as was agreed in Rome and Maastricht, the essential forum for consultation among the Allies and the forum for agreement on policies bearing on the security and defence commitments of its members under the Washington Treaty; NATO's collective defence will therefore remain the primary responsibility of forces answerable to the WEU.We continue to attach importance to mutual transparency and complementarity between NATO and the WEU. We welcome the results of the WEU Council Meeting in Rome on 20 November, which confirmed that all European Allies would be given the opportunity to participate fully in the activities of the WEU, as full members, as associate members or observers, thereby reinforcing the European pillar of the Alliance. We also welcome the strengthening of the organisation and the operational role of the WEU, notably the recent establishment in Brussels of the WEU Planning Cell. We look forward to the forthcoming move of the WEU Council and Secretariat to Brussels which will further contribute to improved cooperation between NATO and the WEU.

  7. We welcomed the initiative of France and Germany to establish a European Corps that is intended to be available for Alliance missions and thus to provide a significant contribution to strengthening the European pillar of the Alliance. SACEUR is now undertaking negotiations with the two Chiefs of Defence Staff concerned to establish a special agreement setting out the detailed arrangements for the availability of the Corps in the framework of the Alliance.

  8. The process of adapting the Alliance's structures to the new security requirements continues. The transformation of NATO's force and command structures has made good progress. We completed our review of NATO's high-level command arrangements by agreeing the detailed command structure for the Southern Region. We noted that the necessary measures were already in hand to ensure the timely implementation of the new Alliance command structure. We also noted a document containing revised Military Committee guidance for defence planning.

  9. In our Annual Review of national defence plans for 1993-1997 and beyond, we concluded that the commitment of forces to the Alliance reaction forces is generally satisfactory. We welcomed the establishment of the ACE Reaction Force Planning Staff at SHAPE and the recent activation of the Headquarters of the ACE Rapid Reaction Corps. However, a number of planned national force reductions will have an effect on the future size and capabilities of main defence forces, and we initiated a review of the implications of changing force levels for the new force structure.

  10. We noted that, while growing pressures on national defence budgets will affect some existing modernisation plans, the transfer of equipment following the CFE Treaty has led to enhancement of the modernisation programmes of a number of Allies. We considered a report on the Alliance's logistics support capabilities and noted in particular changed requirements for mobility and Host Nation Support. We also agreed that military use of civil resources should be encouraged to promote cost-effectiveness.

  11. We received an update by the United States on the status of discussions with the Russian Federation and other states about establishing a Global Protection System. We agreed that the Alliance should continue to discuss the concept of a GPS, in the context of a strategy designed to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles.

  12. Armaments cooperation remains an important component of Alliance security. NATO's Conventional Armaments Planning System offers significant opportunities for achieving greater cooperation. The increased emphasis on multinational forces also requires higher levels of material standardisation and interoperability. We welcomed the progress made by the Conference of National Armaments Directors towards reforming and streamlining Alliance policies, structures and procedures for armaments cooperation, and look forward to the rapid implementation of these improvements. We are also encouraged by progress made to date in the development of a NATO Code of Conduct for Defence Trade between the Allies, which should enable all member countries to make the best possible use of their limited defence procurement budgets.

  13. The infrastructure programme is a major success story of our Alliance.However, an adaptation of the programme is needed to meet the challenges of the new security environment, while retaining the essential elements of the current programme. We support the work that has been initiated to this end and we look forward to receiving a report at our Spring meeting next year. We agreed that it is necessary to continue to provide infrastructure funding at a sufficient level to sustain both existing commitments and a restructured programme adequate to support the new Alliance strategy.

  14. The Alliance will continue to play a major role in encouraging and underpinning stability in Europe. Because of its transatlantic dimension, its experience and its unique military structures and capabilities, NATO is well placed to assist the UN and CSCE in their efforts to contain and resolve escalating regional conflicts in Europe.The continuing process of adapting Alliance structures to the new security environment will further improve NATO's capabilities in this respect. The Alliance's collective defence provides the essential basis for our own security as well as making a crucial contribution to the enhancement of security and stability in Europe as a whole.

 [ Go to Comm '92 ]  [ Go to Homepage ]