Updated: 31-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


at the Meeting
of the North

11 June 1993


  1. We, the Foreign Ministers and Representatives of the member countries of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council have met today in Athens to continue our consultations on pressing security matters and regional conflicts.

  2. Our practical cooperation is developing dynamically in accordance with the work plan we approved at our meeting in Brussels last December. We attach particular importance to the development of effective tools for peacekeeping and related tasks. To this end, we have launched a programme of cooperation in preparation for joint peacekeeping activities in support of the UN and CSCE. We welcomed today the report of the Ad Hoc Group on Cooperation in Peacekeeping, which sets out a common understanding on conceptual approaches and a common programme for practical cooperation aimed at sharing information and experiences, undertaking joint training and education, and possibly conducting joint exercises. We have made this report public today. We have directed the Ad Hoc Group to accelerate its work to implement this programme, which complements the efforts of the CSCE in this field.

  3. We place great value on our consultations on regional security issues. Regional tensions, conflicts and ethnic violence represent a danger to the current process of democratic transition in Europe. We reject territorial gains and faits accomplis through the use of force. Only solutions achieved through negotiation or by other peaceful means, consistent with the provisions of the UN Charter, can provide the basis for lasting settlements. We support the efforts of the UN and the CSCE in this respect. In order to contribute more effectively, we are determined to enhance our consultations on political and security issues and on ways towards solving them.

    We are appalled by the crisis in the former Yugoslavia and in particular by the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

    Despite all efforts to reach a peaceful settlement, the conflict and killing continue. We urgently call again on all parties to stop the fighting and to open the way for peace. We condemn the practice of "ethnic cleansing" and other atrocities which continue in Bosnia-Hercegovina and others parts of the former Yugoslavia. We will continue to press for an end to violence and brutal repression and for restoration of and respect for the human rights of all people of former Yugoslavia. War crimes will be brought to the International War Crimes Tribunal established by the UN.

    We call on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and also Croatia to stop any kind of encouragement of any action directed against the fully sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina. Implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions, designed to restore peace in former Yugoslavia, is essential.

    We also welcome the measures set forth in the Joint Action Programme on Bosnia-Hercegovina adopted in Washington D.C. on 22 May 1993. These are temporary measures leading towards the goal of achieving a peaceful and fair resolution to the conflict through implementation of the negotiated settlement based on the principles of the Vance-Owen plan. We wish to see them rapidly implemented. In this connection, we commend NATO's decision yesterday to offer in response to UNSC Resolution 836 and the expanded UNPROFOR mandate related to safe areas its protective airpower in case of attack against UNPROFOR in the performance of its overall mandate, if it so requests. Full respect for safe areas as provided for in UNSCR 824 and 836 and for all humanitarian relief efforts is essential. It continues to be important to put pressure on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and on the Bosnian Serbs, through strict implementation of the UN sanctions and other measures.

    We demand that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) apply rigorously their announced prohibition on all non-humanitarian supplies to the Bosnian Serbs and support international monitoring of this. We also support such monitoring on the Croatia/Bosnia-Hercegovina border.

    We are deeply concerned by the increasing danger of spillover of the conflict, in particular into Kosovo but also into the Sandjak and Vojvodina. We are also concerned about spillover of the conflict into neighbouring countries. It must be understood by all concerned that spillover of the conflict would have grave consequences. We support the enhancement of preventive steps against spillover by the UN and CSCE and, in this connection, support an increase in the number of 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.

    Many of us are co-operating directly in operations to implement Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council in respect of the conflict in former Yugoslavia. We reaffirm the importance of that co-operation and our determination to continue our joint efforts in support of the UN. We discussed the concerns of some of those directly involved that their co-operation in such operations has increased the potential risk to their security. We emphasise that the security of all states in Europe is linked and that, were any country to suffer aggressive action because of its involvement in UN operations in former Yugoslavia, this would be a matter which the international community should consider with the utmost seriousness.

    Deeply regretting the loss of life among the members of UNPROFOR, UNHCR and voluntary relief organizations delivering humanitarian assistance to Bosnia-Hercegovina, we urge all parties to the conflict to take urgent measures in order to guarantee the safety of these personnel.

    The plan for a CSCE Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh in Minsk continues to offer the best chance of finding a lasting solution to that conflict and of establishing good neighbourly relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.We strongly support UNSCR 822 which must be implemented fully and without delay by all countries and parties to the conflict.We call for the immediate cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of all occupying forces from the Kelbadzhar and other recently occupied districts of Azerbaijan, unimpeded access for international humanitarian relief efforts, the creation of the necessary conditions for the return of displaced civilians to their homes and resumption of negotiations.We support the initiative of the Chairman of the CSCE Minsk Group, aimed at the implementation of a peace plan within the framework of the Minsk process, and urge the parties to accept it.

    We appeal to the parties concerned to respect an effective ceasefire in the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic of Georgia and refrain from all actions which could complicate constructive dialogue and achievement of a durable settlement.We call on them to work together with the CSCE and UN Secretary General's representatives to this end.We believe it is also important to pursue a full settlement of Georgian-Ossetian relations in the zone of conflict in Georgia.

    We urge the parties involved in the continuing political and armed confrontation in Tajikistan to settle their differences through dialogue and to work together for the peaceful and democratic development of their country. We support the efforts of the international community in this regard.

    We welcome the stabilisation of the situation in the left bank Dniester area of Moldova following the agreement reached on 21 July 1992. A permanent settlement, however, is essential. We welcome all efforts to reach a lasting solution, in particular through the direct dialogue established between the parties to the conflict, and urge all parties to cooperate with the CSCE mission to Moldova. We support the early and complete withdrawal of foreign troops from Moldova in the context of appropriate bilateral agreements without linkage to other issues.

  4. Reaffirming our commitment to full implementation of the provisions of paragraph 15 of the concluding Declaration of the 1992 Helsinki CSCE Summit, and of the NACC Statement of 18 December 1992, we stress that the expeditious completion of the withdrawal of foreign troops from the Baltic states is important for regional and European stability. Noting the troop withdrawals which have already taken place, we emphasize the need to conclude, without delay, the appropriate bilateral agreements in each case.While recognizing that practical difficulties should not be allowed to delay the overall process, we acknowledge that continued, constructive efforts by all the parties involved are necessary to resolve remaining problems, including those of social, material and environmental nature. We welcome any practical assistance and international cooperation to facilitate this process.

  5. We welcome all practical steps leading to solution of the existing differences between Russia and Ukraine including those related to the Black Sea Fleet and nuclear issues (in connection with which reference is made to paragraph 8). Solutions to these problems should be found in compliance with the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and with international law and in a spirit of good neighbourly relations. We hope that the high-level contacts due soon will bear positive results.

  6. We welcome the decisions taken by the CSCE to strengthen its operational capabilities through structural reforms and the appointment of a Secretary General.We support the development of the CSCE capacity for early warning and conflict prevention, and we will work to establish closer working contacts between the NACC and the CSCE.Therefore, we have associated Sweden as Chairman-in-Office of the CSCE with the work of the NACC Ad Hoc Group on Cooperation in Peacekeeping.

    We are committed to early, concrete progress in the work of the CSCE Forum for Security Co-operation with the goal of achieving timely results in all the areas specified for immediate action in the FSC's mandate.We will work towards agreement on issues such as transfer of conventional arms, information exchange on defence planning, military contacts and cooperation and stabilizing measures in crisis situations by the time of the CSCE Ministerial Council in Rome next November.We hope for agreement on the CSCE code of conduct in the field of security and on the harmonization of existing arms control obligations by the time of the fifth CSCE Review Conference in Budapest next year. We stress the need for all CSCE States to be adequately represented in the meetings of the Forum.

  7. We attach the utmost importance to full implementation of existing arms control and disarmament commitments, in particular all provisions of the CFE Treaty and of the CFE 1A Concluding Act.In this context, we recall the commitment undertaken at the Extraordinary Conference of the States Parties to the CFE Treaty held in Oslo in June 1992 to meet the CFE obligations for equipment reductions.We emphasize the necessity that the CFE successor states to the former Soviet Union provide, as soon as possible, reduction liability data that fully account for the reduction liability of the former Soviet Union consistent with the Oslo Final Document.

  8. We reaffirm the importance of global endeavours to prevent the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and of related technologies. We attach the utmost importance to the early entry into force and implementation of the START I and II agreements.In this context, we welcome the recent ratification by Belarus of START I. We call on Ukraine to ratify START I and implement it. We reiterate our support for the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and for its unconditional and indefinite extension in 1995.We shall be working for a strengthened verification regime. We urge all countries that have not yet adhered to the NPT to become parties to it as non-nuclear weapon states. Recognizing the security concerns and financial implications for new non- nuclear weapon states, we call on them to accede promptly to the NPT in accordance with their existing commitments to do so. We note in this latter connection that the relevant security assurances given by nuclear weapon states parties will apply to new non-nuclear weapon states parties.We welcome Belarus' decision to adhere to the Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state. We strongly urge the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to rescind its stated intention to withdraw from the NPT, and to comply with its IAEA obligations.

  9. We emphasize the paramount importance of early ratification and strict compliance with the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention signed in Paris on 13 January 1993. We urge all states which have not yet done so to sign without delay.

  10. We welcome the fact that a considerable number of the signatories of the Treaty on Open Skies have already ratified the Treaty.Those of us who have not yet done so remain committed to early ratification and we urge all other signatories to make a similar commitment. 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.

  11. The UN Register of Conventional Arms is an essential instrument to advance the principles of transparency, responsibility and restraint in the field of the transfer of conventional weapons.We remain fully committed to these principles and call on all countries that have not done so, to submit relevant data to the Register.

  12. We underline the importance of encouraging fuller participation by all member states at NACC meetings and activities.

  13. Finland attended the meeting as an observer.

  14. We look forward to the next meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in Brussels in December 1993.

  15. We express our deep appreciation for the gracious hospitality extended to us by Greece.

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