Updated: 27-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


at the
of the

18 Dec. 1992

Final Communiqu

  1. We, the Foreign Ministers and Representatives of the member countries of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council have today continued our consultations to contribute to enhanced security and cooperation in the area from Vancouver to Vladivostok.

  2. Our area faces new and difficult challenges which give rise to serious concern. Its stability and security will depend on how we are able to respond to these challenges and thereby to manage the process of change.

  3. During the first year of its existence, our Council has proved its usefulness for dialogue and cooperation and for strengthening security. Its potential will be further developed and applied. To that end, we have adopted today a substantial Work Plan for Dialogue, Partnership and Cooperation for the year 1993. It builds on the positive, mutually beneficial results of our initial Work Plan for 1992 in the political, military, economic, scientific, environmental and information fields, including defence conversion and civil/military coordination of air traffic management.

    We agreed to strengthen and broaden further our partnership as a dynamic process and to give it a more practical focus. This would support the continued progress in democratic and market-oriented reforms which is essential for the success of our cooperation. Our cooperation could also take the form of activities agreed by all the partners but carried out by some of them in open-ended groups which reflect specific shared interests, for example the pilot projects on defence conversion and on defence-related environmental issues.

    Active cooperation on defence matters and military contacts under our Work Plan are an important contribution to better mutual understanding among armed forces and fostering responsible and cooperative behaviour in the military field, which are essential to our efforts to help safeguard peace. We intend thus to contribute to achieving a pattern of democratically controlled and smaller military forces which are structured with defensive intent, at minimum levels consistent with legitimate security requirements. These objectives should be reflected in military doctrines.We welcome progress already made in these areas.

    Cooperation will be significantly increased in the science and environmental fields on priority issues.

  4. The further development of our cooperation is linked to respect by all our countries for international commitments undertaken inter alia within the framework of the CSCE. We are determined to implement these commitments fully and thereby to enhance the security and stability in our area.

  5. Regional tensions, conflicts and ethnic violence are threatening stability and security in our area and hampering the achievement of our goal of enhancing peaceful cooperation. We cannot allow the current process of transition in Europe to be undermined in this manner.

  6. We welcome the decisions taken by the CSCE Council in Stockholm to enhance the CSCE's operational and institutional capacity to prevent conflicts, manage crises and settle disputes peacefully. We are determined to contribute to achieving these goals.

  7. Our countries are ready to support and contribute on a case by case basis to peacekeeping operations under UN authority or CSCE responsibility, which ensure international legitimacy for such operations.

    Taking into account the decision of the 1992 CSCE Summit Meeting in Helsinki, we will exchange experience and expertise on peacekeeping and related matters; we will continue our consultations leading to cooperation on this subject in conformity with the Work Plan we have adopted.

  8. Our Council is continuing to contribute to the building of a new security architecture based on cooperative relations among states and a network of mutually reinforcing institutions.

  9. We condemn the use of force not sanctioned by international law as a means to pursue political goals. Permanent solutions to regional conflicts can only be reached through negotiations as well as equal and full respect for human rights, including those of persons belonging to national minorities, the territorial integrity of all states and the inviolability of their borders in accordance with CSCE principles and other relevant international commitments and norms. We pledge to use our dialogue and cooperation within the NACC to help prevent conflicts.

  10. We are profoundly disturbed by the deteriorating situation in the former Yugoslavia, which constitutes a serious threat to international peace, security, and stability. We fully support the efforts of the UN, the CSCE and the UN and EC Co-Chairmen of the International Conference on former Yugoslavia to find a negotiated and just settlement to the tragic conflict in the former Yugoslavia and call on all parties, especially the leadership of Serbia and Montenegro and of the Bosnian Serbs to cooperate with these efforts, in particular to implement strictly the decisions of the London Conference and the mandatory resolutions of the UN Security Council. Any taking of territory by force or any practice of "ethnic cleansing" is unlawful and unacceptable and must not be permitted to affect the outcome of the negotiations on constitutional arrangements for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. All displaced persons must be enabled to return in peace to their former homes. We support all humanitarian efforts aimed at alleviating the plight of the population and at preventing further dislocation, e.g. through the development of safe areas for the protection of the civilian population and a provision of refuge for particularly vulnerable categories of refugees.

    We are gravely concerned about the risk of conflict spilling over into other areas. This would have serious implications for the region. In this connection, we are disturbed by the dangerous situation in Kosovo, developments in the Sandjak and Vojvodina and some recent events in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. We stress the necessity of urgent preventive measures and support the steps that have already been taken by the United Nations and the CSCE. We welcome the UN Security Council decision to place preventive peacekeeping forces in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. We believe that a UN presence in Kosovo would be a positive step.

    We urge all parties concerned to strive in the framework of an overall settlement of the crisis for a significant reduction in the level of armaments in the region, in particular through a comprehensive regional harmonization of arms control obligations.

    We deeply regret the ongoing hostilities in the conflict being dealt with by the CSCE Conference on Nagorno- Karabakh. We urge the parties involved to take immediate steps in order to establish an effective ceasefire. We strongly support UN and CSCE principles as well as all steps and decisions taken by the CSCE in relation to the present conflict. We continue to believe the proposed CSCE Conference in Minsk offers an immediate opportunity to achieve a peaceful settlement of this conflict and we support efforts to convene the conference on the basis of the continuation of the work begun in the framework of the Rome meeting.

    We welcome the continuation of the democratization process in Georgia. We are pleased that the ceasefire agreement between Georgians and Ossetians in the area of conflict has held so far. We welcome the dispatch of the CSCE mission to the area. We hope that it will play a constructive role in promoting a political settlement. We hope that the Georgian-Russian-Ossetian Peacekeeping Force will develop a relationship of cooperation, consultation and trust with the mission. We remain deeply concerned about the conflict in Abkhazia.We call on the parties involved to establish an effective ceasefire and to work together with the CSCE and the UN Secretary-General's representatives for a lasting peaceful solution.

    We are pleased that the ceasefire in the Republic of Moldova is holding. We urge further efforts towards an expeditious permanent solution to the problem of the Left Bank Dniester Areas without further violence and towards agreement on the status and the early, orderly and complete withdrawal of foreign troops from the Republic of Moldova. We support CSCE efforts to contribute to a peaceful resolution of the current situation.

    We urgently call for a halt to the civil strife in Tajikistan. We welcome the election of a new chairman of the national assembly and head of state of Tajikistan. We hope that this transition will help end the fighting. The restoration of peace will allow Tajikistan to focus on the challenges of democratic development in the interest of its people.

  11. Completion of the expeditious withdrawal of foreign troops from the Baltic states under appropriate withdrawal agreements is important in view of the overriding principle that military forces may be stationed on the territory of a foreign state only with the consent of that state. The continuation of the withdrawal process will be a major contribution to stability in the Baltic region. We recognize that practical difficulties have to be overcome but they should not be allowed to unduly delay the overall process. We hope that international cooperation will help overcome those difficulties. This withdrawal should not be - and is not- linked to other issues. All parties must exercise flexibility and moderation in negotiations to resolve remaining problems, including those of social and material nature.

  12. We have already achieved historic advances in arms control, disarmament and confidence building. Full implementation of existing agreements, further dialogue, transparency and confidence and security building measures, as well as the enhancement of consultation and cooperation are fundamental to increased security, taking into account new political and military realities. To this end,

    • We welcome entry into force and successful completion of the baseline validation period of the CFE Treaty, which has always received the support of our Council. The High Level Working Group which our Council established on 20 December 1991 has significantly contributed to this success. We are committed to full implementation of all provisions of this vital Treaty, including those on reductions, information exchange and verification.

    • We will work with all CSCE countries to make the Forum for Security Cooperation a success, particularly in the areas of harmonization of existing arms control commitments, transparency in defence planning, and non-proliferation. We urge all CSCE participating states to take part in this important forum.

    • We support development and definition of the concept of a code of conduct in the security field and we welcome pioneering work undertaken in this respect within the framework of the CSCE.

    • We urge those states concerned which have not yet ratified the START Treaty, including the Lisbon Protocol, to do so speedily in order to permit its prompt entry into force.

    • We are committed to preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We reiterate our support for the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and for its indefinite extension in 1995. We urge all countries that have not yet done so to become parties to the NPT as non-nuclear weapons states.

    • We welcome the successful achievement of a draft Chemical Weapons Convention. We pledge to become original signatories and commit ourselves to its early ratification. We urge other countries to do likewise.

    • We call on all countries, particularly those located in regions where the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has increased alarmingly, to take all appropriate steps to prevent the proliferation of such weapons.

    • We are equally committed to responsibility and restraint with respect to transfers of conventional weapons. We call on all countries to submit full relevant data to the UN Register of Conventional Arms by April 1993.

    • Those of us who are signatories of the Treaty on Open Skies are committed to early ratification and entry into force. Those of us who have not yet signed the Treaty will consider the question of accession as soon as possible. We look forward to wider adherence to the Treaty by interested states which are participating in the CSCE but are not original signatories to the Treaty as provided for by Article XVII of the Treaty and called for in the CSCE Open Skies Declaration of 24 March 1992.

  13. While we recognize the resource constraints faced by many of our members, we nonetheless encourage the widest possible participation in activities within the framework of our Council.

  14. Having taken due notice of the statement by the Representative of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, we state our readiness to welcome the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic as members of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council as of 1 January 1993.

  15. Finland attended the meeting as an observer.

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