Updated: 31-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


of the North

10 June 1993

Final Communiqu

  1. Our meeting in Athens takes place against the background of the most violent conflict that our continent has witnessed in more than a generation.The ongoing fighting and cruelties pose a formidable challenge to the whole international community.We have today consulted first and foremost on the security problems of the Balkans - on ways to bring peace to the former Yugoslavia and to prevent spillover of conflict into other areas.We are determined, individually and as an Alliance, to support the efforts of the United Nations and other institutions to end this war.

  2. It must be understood by all concerned that spillover of the conflict would have grave consequences. In that connection, we support proposals to increase the number of CSCE monitors, particularly in Kosovo. We also welcome the US offer of troops to augment the UN contingent already in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

  3. We support the establishment of safe areas in Bosnia-Hercegovina for protection of the civilian population, as defined in UNSC Resolutions 824 and 836. In response to UNSC Resolution 836 and the expanded UNPROFOR mandate related to safe areas, we offer our protective airpower in case of attack against UNPROFOR in the performance of its overall mandate, if it so requests. We have asked the NATO Military Authorities, who have already undertaken preliminary work, to proceed rapidly with detailed planning for the air support that we are ready to provide, in coordination with UNPROFOR and other participating states. The establishment of safe areas is a temporary measure leading towards a negotiated settlement based on the principles of the Vance-Owen plan which guarantee the full sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina. In that context, we also welcomed the measures set forth in the Joint Action Programme signed in Washington DC on 22 May 1993. NATO remains ready to contribute to the implementation of such a settlement in concert with others and under the authority of the Security Council. We will continue rigorously to enforce UN embargoes in the Adriatic, together with the WEU and the UN declared no-fly zone over the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina. We do not exclude any options in support of new and tougher measures decided by the UN.

  4. In the CSCE area, other regional conflicts continue. They threaten the process of peaceful change and the emergence of a new order of cooperative security that our Alliance is seeking to achieve. In line with the core functions of the Alliance, we are determined to consult fully within NATO on these new challenges, Conflictprevention, crisis management and peacekeeping will be crucial to ensuring stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area in the years ahead. Our Alliance continues to have a key role in the security of Europe. While reaffirming that the primary goal of Alliance military forces is to guarantee the security and territorial integrity of member states, we will contribute actively to these new tasks in order to enhance our security and European stability.

The Transatlantic Link

  1. The transatlantic partnership remains vital for European security and stability. The promotion of peaceful change in Europe needs a strong and dynamic Atlantic Alliance. The challenges we face in building democracy and security by cooperation throughout Europe cannot be comprehensively addressed by Europe or North America alone but only through broad and thorough joint efforts. In order for NATO to fulfil its mission of collective defence and its new tasks as referred to above, not least in support of peacekeeping, and to enable it to cooperate with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, a strong transatlantic dimension is essential. The substantial presence of US armed forces in Europe and the continuing political and military commitment and active engagement in European security of both the United States and Canada will remain indispensable.

Alliance's Role in Support of Peacekeeping

  1. The Alliance has demonstrated its readiness to support UN or CSCE peacekeeping operations, which place new demands on it. The forces , internal structures and procedures of the Alliance are being adapted to the new security environment. The Alliance will carry this process further to enable us also to respond more quickly and effectively to requests to support peacekeeping operations and fully to involve all Allies in the Alliance new role in peacekeeping, recognizing that national participation will remain subject to national decision. We underline the importance of providing adequate resources, both to maintain an effective military contribution to the common defence and to ensure the implementation of NATO's new tasks.

Cooperation with the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

  1. We are developing with our partners in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council a common understanding on conceptual approaches to peacekeeping. In order to improve the ability of our forces to interact effectively when carrying out peacekeeping tasks together, we are enhancing our cooperation in this field. Associating non-Allied countries with the Alliance in this way underscores the extent of the Alliance's transformation and will be an important factor in building confidence and cooperative security in Europe. This effort complements that of the CSCE, which has been associated in this undertaking through Sweden as its Chairman-in-Office.

  2. The building of durable democratic institutions and the pursuit of effective political and economic reforms in our North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) partner countries remain of utmost importance for European stability. In this connection, we welcome the results of the Russian referendum in April which have clearly indicated the desire of the Russian people to move ahead with reform and not to return to discredited formulas of the past.Cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, particularly in the framework of NACC, is a key element of the Alliance's strategy for protecting peace and promoting progress through constructive joint effort. Development of cooperation in peacekeeping is substantively enhancing our cooperative activities and reflects our shared commitment to peace.Concrete cooperation among our countries is developing further through the implementation of the 1993 Work Plan.

Cooperation with other Institutions

  1. Our Alliance's objective of coping with regional conflicts and of contributing to security and stability in Europe can be accomplished only through close cooperation with other institutions in the framework of our concept of mutually reinforcing institutions:

    • The conflict in the former Yugoslavia has given rise to the implementation by NATO of a number of Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council which has the primary responsibility for international peace and security.Relations between both organizations have developed very substantively and effectively. The Alliance has responded to the invitation of the Secretary General of the United Nations to suggest ways in which the Alliance might generally contribute to the realisation of the concept developed in his "Agenda for Peace". The Secretaries General of the two organizations have established direct contact and we would welcome further contacts at various levels. Communication and coordination between NATO and the United Nations need to be further enhanced. We have asked the Secretary General to propose to the Council in Permanent Session appropriate measures to that end.

    • The work of the CSCE will continue to have our active support. We look forward to continued discussion of European security issues in the CSCE Forum for Security Cooperation with the goal of achieving timely results in all the areas currently under consideration in the Forum. The CSCE has a central role to play in preventive diplomacy. Security and stability in Europe are decisively advanced by the prevention of conflicts. We welcome the important contribution of the CSCE to conflict prevention and efforts to achieve apeaceful settlement of disputes. We encourage the further development of the CSCE's capacities in this area. In this respect we welcome decisions taken by the CSCE to strengthen its operational capabilities through structural reforms and the appointment of a Secretary General. We welcome the arrangements which allow NATO to participate in the work of the CSCE and to cooperate with it. We will strive to develop further the interaction and cooperation between NATO and the CSCE.

    • The WEU's move to Brussels has contributed to enhancing interaction and close day-to-day working relations between NATO and the WEU in the spirit of transparency and complementary to which we are both committed. The participation of the Secretaries General in respective Council meetings has been valuable. The two organizations have contributed in close cooperation and in a complementary manner to the efforts by the international community to deal with the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. This is demonstrated clearly by the Sharp Guard operation in the Adriatic. The two organizations have decided to reinforce their cooperation in the Adriatic by forming a single command structure for their participating vessels, under the joint direction of the Councils of both organizations. We welcome the common initiative of the WEU and Riparian States to strengthen the enforcement of the United Nations' sanctions on the Danube.

Regional Issues

  1. We discussed a number of regional issues, in particular the conflict being dealt with by the CSCE Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh and other sources of tension on the territory of the former Soviet Union, as well as the need for the expeditious completion of the withdrawal of foreign forces from the Baltic States.We will also consult tomorrow with our Cooperation Partners in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council on all these issues.

The Mediterranean

  1. Security in Europe is greatly affected by security in the Mediterranean. Consequently, we encourage all efforts for dialogue and cooperation which aim at strengthening stability in this region. The example of our improved understanding and cooperative partnership with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe could serve to inspire such efforts.

Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament

  1. We remain determined to pursue our arms control objectives, in particular in the field of non-proliferation and with respect to full implementation of existing Agreements.In this regard:

    • we reiterate our strong support for the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and for its unconditional and indefinite extension in 1995.We shall be working for a strengthened verification regime.We welcome Belarus's decision to adhere to the Treaty, and urge Kazakhstan and Ukraine to fulfil without delay their commitment to accede to it as non-nuclear weapon States.We also urge all countries that have not yet done so to become parties to the NPT as non-nuclear weapons states.We call on North Korea to revoke its stated intention to withdraw from this Treaty, and to comply with its IAEA safeguards obligations;

    • we welcome the START II Treaty and look forward to the early ratification by all parties and entry into force of both START Agreements.In this context, we welcome the ratification of START I by Belarus and Kazakhstan.We call on Ukraine to ratify START I and to allow its provisions to be implemented, and for START II to be ratified and implemented.We expect Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to implement fully their commitments to eliminate all nuclear weapons from their territories as soon as possible.The Allies intend to continue to offer support to ensure the rapid, safe and secure elimination of former Soviet nuclear weapons, in accordance with current agreements;

    • we stress the critical importance of the CFE Treaty and of its full implementation for European security. We call upon all other signatories to comply fully with the Treaty's provisions. In particular, we attach great importance to the timely fulfillment of reduction obligations, including the provision of coordinated reduction liability data by the CFE successor states to the Former Soviet Union in accordance with the Oslo Final Document.

    We intend to consult on these and other arms control and disarmament issues tomorrow with our Cooperation Partners in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council.


  1. Three years after the revolutionary changes in Europe we can register important achievements.But more needs to be done.The Alliance's long-standing and ultimate goal of a just and lasting order of peace in Europe remains far from being reached.We will, individually and as an Alliance, pursue with vigour and determination our commitment to overcoming the resurgent quarrels and to building mutual understanding, peace and cooperation.

We thank the Hellenic Republic for its gracious hospitality.

Our Autumn North Atlantic Council meeting will be held in Brussels on 2 December 1993.

 [ Go to Comm '93 ]  [ Go to Homepage ]