Updated: 31-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


of the North


11 June 1993


to the Ministers by the NACC Ad Hoc Group
on Cooperation in Peacekeeping

In accordance with the decision taken at the North Atlantic Co-operation Council meeting on 18th December 1992, an Ad Hoc Group on Co-operation in Peacekeeping was established with the aim of developing a common understanding on the political principles of and the tools for peacekeeping, and to share experience and thereby develop common practical approaches and co-operation in support of peacekeeping under the responsibility of the UN or the CSCE.

Part I : Conceptual Approaches

  1. Definitions
  2. There is no single, generally accepted definition of peacekeeping. There is a need to develop a common understanding of peacekeeping, proceeding from the definitions and concepts of peacekeeping contained in the relevant UN and CSCE documents, including the UN Secretary General's Agenda for Peace. Traditionally, peacekeeping has been used to describe operations based on Chapter VI of the UN Charter. Operations similar to those conducted under Chapter VI may be carried out under the authority of the CSCE on the basis of the 1992 Helsinki Document. Operations based on recent extensions of the concept of peacekeeping, aimed at the protection or establishment of peace and based on Chapter VII of the UN Charter, have been carried out under the authority of the UN Security Council.

    In considering NACC co-operation in peacekeeping, the following definitions may be useful:

    Conflict Prevention

    Includes different activities, in particular, under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, ranging from diplomatic initiatives to preventive deployment of troops, intended to prevent disputes from escalating into armed conflicts or from spreading.Conflict prevention can include fact-finding missions, consultation, warnings, inspections and monitoring.Preventive deployments normally consist of civilians and/or military forces being deployed to avert a crisis.


    Diplomatic actions conducted after the commencement of conflict, with the aim of establishing a peaceful settlement. They can include the provision of good offices, mediation, conciliation and such actions as diplomatic isolation and sanctions.


    Peacekeeping, narrowly defined, is the containment, moderation and/or termination of hostilities between or within States, through the medium of an impartial third party intervention, organised and directed internationally; using military forces, and civilians to complement the political process of conflict resolution and to restore and maintain peace.

    Peacekeeping operations based on Chapter VI of the UN Charter have traditionally involved the deployment of a peacekeeping force in the field, with the consent of the parties, including supervising demarcation lines, monitoring ceasefires and controlling buffer zones, disarming and demobilising warring factions and supervising borders.Over the past few years, the UN has significantly expanded the type of military operations carried out under "peacekeeping", to include for example protection of humanitarian relief and refugee operations. Peacekeeping operations may also contain substantial civilian elements, usually under the command of a civilian head of mission, such as civilian police, electoral or human rights monitors.


    Action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter using military means to restore peace in an area of conflict.This can include dealing with an inter-State conflict or with internal conflict to meet a humanitarian need or where state institutions have largely collapsed.


    Post-conflict action to identify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify a political settlement in order to avoid a return to conflict.It includes mechanisms to identify and support structures which will tend to consolidate peace, advance a sense of confidence and well-being and support economic reconstruction, and may require military as well as civilian involvement.

  3. General Principles (1)
  4. The following general principles served as guidelines for the preparation of the more detailed criteria and operational principles outlined further in Section 3.

    • Peacekeeping can be carried out only under the authority of the UN Security Council, or of the CSCE in accordance with the CSCE Document agreed in Helsinki in July 1992 and other relevant CSCE documents.

    • Peacekeeping will be carried out on a case-by-case basis and at all times in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

    • Decisions of concerned States or organisations on participation in peacekeeping activities are taken in each specific case in response to a request by the UN or the CSCE.

    • It is for the UN or CSCE, through consultations with contributing States and organisations, to define in each case the arrangements for the conduct of a peacekeeping operation, including command relationships. (2)

    • Peacekeeping is undertaken in cases of conflict within or among States in support of ongoing efforts to restore peace and stability by a political solution. (3)

    • Peacekeeping is intended to complement the political process of dispute resolution and is not a substitute for a negotiated settlement.

    • Peacekeeping requires a clear political objective and a precise mandate, as decided by the UN or the CSCE.

  5. Criteria and Operational Principles
  6. The following are intended to apply equally to preventive deployment, peacekeeping and peace-enforcement, unless otherwise indicated.

    1. Criteria

      Clear and precise mandate
      The basis for any mission is a clear and precise mandate of the UN or the CSCE, developed through consultations with contributing States and organisations and/or interested parties, covering all of the essential elements of the operation to be performed.

      Consent of the parties to the conflict
      Consent and co-operation of the parties to the conflict are essential prerequisites for a UN peacekeeping operation based on Chapter VI of the UN Charter or for a CSCE peacekeeping operation.Exceptions are possible only if an operation has been based on Chapter VII of the Charter by the UN Security Council.

      The goals and means of implementation of an operation and the relationship between them need to be as transparent as possible, compatible with operational requirements.

      An active information policy should be conducted to improve the awareness and understanding of international public opinion.

      All aspects of an operation need to be conducted impartially, in a manner compatible with the nature of the operation, as defined by its mandate.

      The contributors to the mission should have, and be seen to have, the political will and capability to accomplish the objectives of the mandate.

      Credibility is essential for the success of an operation, and depends, inter alia, on the political determination demonstrated by the international organisations and States concerned and on clear and achievable military and/or other aims, on the availability of sufficient material resources and on the quality and training of the personnel involved.

      The planning and execution of a mission need to be at all times consistent with the aims and objectives to be achieved.

      It will ultimately be up to the mandating body (UN or the CSCE), together with those implementing the operation, to assess respect for the two latter criteria.

    2. Operational Principles

      Command and coordination
      Unity of command of military forces is essential.

      In its organisation, the command structure of a peacekeeping operation should take account of the specificity of each operation and of the assets, including command structures, which are made available to carry it out by the contributing States or organisations, keeping in mind the key requirement for military efficiency.

      To be fully effective and efficient, there should be close coordination of all aspects of an operation, including political, civilian, administrative, legal, humanitarian and military.

      Use of force
      In all types of operations, the extent to which force can be used needs to be clearly defined either in the mandate or in the terms of reference.

      If authorised, use of force must be carefully controlled, flexible and, at the lowest level consistent with the execution of the mandate.

      Forces involved in any operation retain the inherent right of self-defence at all times.

      Safety of Personnel
      A commitment to the protection of personnel involved in an operation should be inherent in the decision to conduct an operation.

      All member states of the mandating body (UN or CSCE) are eligible to volunteer.

      The mandating body (UN or CSCE) may invite states or organisations to provide forces or resources.

      The mandating body (UN or CSCE) is not obliged to accept all offers but may choose which offers to accept.

      The choice of contributors should take account of cultural, historical and political sensitivities and provide for multinationality of an operation.

      When States or organisations have been invited to provide forces or resources, the nature or composition of them should be determined in consultation with the mandating body (UN or CSCE).

      Financial Considerations
      Missions should have adequate financing.In general, costs are the collective responsibility of the member States of the mandating body (UN or CSCE) and will be shared on the basis of the rules applied by that body.

Part II: Guidelines For NACC Co-Operation In Peacekeeping

  1. Principles of Co-operation
    • NACC cooperation in peacekeeping, as defined in the annual NACC Work Plans, may include recent extensions of this concept.
    • Conceptual and practical aspects of NACC co-operation in peacekeeping are based primarily on the relevant documents and practices of the UN and the CSCE.
    • Participation of NACC members in co-operation activities is voluntary.All NACC members are eligible to take part in all co-operation activities.
    • As a general rule, participation in activities on cooperation in peacekeeping should be open to interested non-NACC CSCE members who could, on the basis of specific experience and expertise in this area, make important contributions in:
      1. meetings of the Ad Hoc Group as observers; and
      2. information sessions of the Group and in cooperative activities decided by it.

  2. NACC Co-operation with Other International Institutions and Fora, in particular the UN and the CSCE
  3. The following guidelines apply to programmes and activities of the Ad Hoc Group.

    • Maximum transparency and co-operation with the UN and CSCE.
    • Coordination of specific activities to avoid duplication of work and to encourage complementarity.
    • Invitation, as appropriate, to a representative of the CSCE Chairman-in-Office to attend meetings of the Ad Hoc Group.
    • Tasking of the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Group or his representative to inform the CSCE regularly and to address relevant CSCE fora, as appropriate.

  4. Financial Considerations
  5. Cooperative activities in peacekeeping cannot be conducted if they are not properly funded.The initial measures set out in Part III below, as far as they concern courses, seminars or workshops organised by member countries of the North Atlantic Co-operation Council, are based on the following pattern:unless otherwise agreed, the organising country bears the cost for the local expenses, including board and lodging, while the travelling expenses will be borne by the participants. The Ad Hoc Group will, as the need arises, develop financial considerations as appropriate.

Part III: Measures For Practical Co-Operation In Peacekeeping

  1. Development of a Common Understanding of Operational Concepts and Requirements for Peacekeeping
    1. Objectives:

      To develop a common understanding of operational concepts and requirements for peacekeeping by exchanging experiences, ideas, and doctrines; to examine concepts and doctrine with a view to the development of common guidelines in support of peacekeeping.

    2. Actions:

      1. To exchange national concepts and doctrine on peacekeeping within the Ad Hoc Group.

      2. To consider jointly conceptual aspects of peacekeeping, to exchange experiences in peacekeeping operations and to compare peacekeeping doctrines at a conference of high level political and military representatives, which is now scheduled for the period 30th June to 2nd July 1993 and will be hosted by the Czech Republic.A detailed report on the seminar will be prepared by the NATO Secretariat and the NATO Military Authorities and will be submitted to the Ad Hoc Group in September 1993.Lessons drawn from this conference and future action will be considered by the Group.

      3. To exchange experiences in peacekeeping, taking into account experiences in operations related to the former Yugoslavia, making use, inter alia, of all available opportunities of meetings of high level military representatives.A first such exchange took place during the meeting of Chiefs of Defence Staff in Co-operation Session, on 28th April 1993.The Ad Hoc Group welcomed the written report provided by the Chairman of the Military Committee in Chiefs of Staff Session with Co-operation Partners.

    3. Elements for further development

      Continuation of an organised exchange of experiences within the Ad Hoc Group building on the results of the Prague seminar, with a view to the further development of common guidelines in support of peacekeeping, set out in paragraphs 1 to 6 of this report.

  2. Co-operation in Planning for Peacekeeping Activities
    1. Objectives:

      To identify and examine principal planning issues, commencing initially with key issues such as command and control; to compare and harmonise planning methods and procedures, so as to facilitate the ability of Partners to co-operate practically in peacekeeping and to develop an understanding of assets required and resources available for contributions both to preparations for peacekeeping and to peacekeeping operations themselves.

    2. Actions:

      To facilitate co-operative peacekeeping planning activity, starting with a discussion in the Ad Hoc Group.Discussions should cover initially:

      1. assets and capabilities required for peacekeeping,

      2. the possibility and utility of developing a data base of available resources (e.g. personnel, equipment, forces, infrastructure, and supplies), perhaps using an appropriate questionnaire,

      3. the requirements for forces, procedures and equipment to facilitate co-operation in peacekeeping.

    3. Elements for further development

      Each of the areas set out at b. above should be the subject of reports to the Ad Hoc Group by the Military Authorities.There were valuable results in this respect at the meeting of the MCCS with Co-operation Partners on 28th April. Further reports should cover:

      1. Identification of capabilities which could be made available to the UN or CSCE, subject to consideration on a case-by-case basis

      2. developing a common understanding on planning areas (command control, communication and information systems, support, logistic military information, rules of engagement, education, etc.) on the basis of the general principles, criteria and guidelines set out in Parts I and II.

  3. Development of a Common Technical Basis in Peacekeeping
    1. Objectives:

      To identify technical aspects of peacekeeping in order to develop a common basis and understanding.These might include, interalia, terminology, interoperability issues, and procedural matters.

    2. Actions:

      1. To create an Ad Hoc Technical Sub-Group reporting to the Ad Hoc Group and with the participation of the Military Authorities, under the chairmanship of ASG DPP, to identify issues and methods of co-operation on the basis of national contributions and a report by the NATO Military Authorities building on their own contacts with Co- operation Partners.

      2. One action that has already been completed was a workshop, held in, and organised by, the Netherlands, on 'Communications for Peacekeeping Operations'. A summary of the report of that workshop is attached as Annex A.

      3. As further steps,

        1. To hold a workshop to cover additional technical aspects, such as infrastructure in support of peacekeeping and equipment interoperability, and

        2. to conduct research into technical aspects of peacekeeping, inter alia, peacekeeping terminology, interoperability issues and procedural matters, based on proposals to be developed further by the United States and other delegations.

    3. Elements for further development

      The following are areas on which the group might focus initially in considering interoperability issues

      1. Equipment
        • Communications
        • Transportation
        • Petrol, Oil and Lubricants
        • Ammunition

      2. Organisation and Procedures
        • Command and Control
        • Communications
        • Transportation
        • Materials Handling
        • Medical Support

      Further details on a number of these areas are dealt with in paragraphs 10 and 11.Proposals for development of these elements will be considered by the Ad Hoc Technical Sub-Group.

  4. Peacekeeping Training, Education and Exercises
    1. Objectives:

      To share experiences and to develop practical co-operation in the fields of training, education and exercises, in order to develop common training standards, enhance interoperability and improve operational effectiveness.

    2. Actions:

      1. As a first step, information will be exchanged in the Ad Hoc Technical Sub-Group on national training programmes for peacekeeping.The exchange will include, inter alia, information on the structure of training, training facilities and the subjects covered in the training programmes. On this basis, the Ad Hoc Group will consider the scope for common training programmes and standards for national individuals and forces involved in peacekeeping, and the feasibility of peacekeeping exercises, including objectives, character and financial and other resources implications.

      2. To conduct a pilot course for unit commanders on peacekeeping, with an initial course to be organised by the Czech Republic at Cesky Krumlov from the 17th May until the 11th June.

      3. The seminar on training, scheduled to take place in Bucharest, 18th-21st October 1993, as part of the Military Co-operation Programme, may also focus on Peacekeeping.

      4. To conduct a workshop of civil and military experts to explore the feasibility of joint exercises in peacekeeping, concentrating initially on humanitarian missions, including the management of refugee movements, the distribution of essential supplies, and the organisation of medical assistance.

      5. To conduct a course on peacekeeping at the SHAPE school in Oberammergau, Germany from 8th to 11th November 1993.

      6. To conduct a seminar in Copenhagen, 17th-19th November 1993, on "Peacekeeping Experiences:Generation, Training and Education, and Planning - the Applicability of the Nordic Approach to Co-operation in Peacekeeping".

      7. To make places available to NACC members, whenever practicable, on national specialised peacekeeping courses.

      8. To expand the national logistics peacekeeping training course in Norway to include additional places for officers from NACC members.

    3. Elements for further development

      It is proposed that discussions and exchanges on peacekeeping training use the following framework.For Units, Commanders and Staff Personnel:

      1. Basic Military Training

      2. Specialised Training (specific training for any peacekeeping mission)

      3. Orientation Training/Education (for a particular mission)

      Further detail on (1) to (3) above is attached as Annex B.

      The Ad Hoc Technical Sub-Group should examine these issues further in the light of the seminars and courses which have now been arranged.

    4. Logistics Aspects of Peacekeeping
      1. Objectives:

        To identify specific logistics issues within peacekeeping operations and to consider possibilities for co-operation in the logistics area.

      2. Actions:

        1. The International Secretariat will present proposals for a specific programme in this area to the Ad Hoc Group, taking into account national contributions and the work of the NATO Military Authorities.

        2. To organise a seminar on logistics in Norway.This seminar has been scheduled for 1st-5th November 1993 and a detailed programme has been presented to the Ad Hoc Group.

      3. Elements for Further Development:

        1. Canada is considering organising a workshop on logistics support for peacekeeping which would be conducted after completion of its current work on a new UN Logistics Peacekeeping Manual.The Ad Hoc Group may consider the follow-on requirement for a training course for logisticians incorporating elements of this and other similar endeavours.

        2. Logistics experts will contribute actively to all endeavours under paragraphs 7 to 10, which have logistical implications.

        3. Possible approaches to increased effectiveness of logistic support in co- operative peacekeeping to be discussed by Ad Hoc Group building on common logistic planning principles:

          • UN field service
          • National responsibility
          • Multinational pools
          • Mutual assistance, role specialisation
          • Lead nation
          • Host nation

        The International Staff will submit detailed proposals to the Ad Hoc Group for taking these issues further, on the basis of contributions by NACC member states and NATO's military authorities, taking into account the results of the logistics seminar to be held in Norway.In this context consideration might be given to the need to establish an Ad Hoc Logistics Sub-Group.


Summary of Report by Netherlands Delegation on the Workshop on Communications for Peacekeeping Operations

The workshop on communications for peacekeeping operations was held from 10th to 14th May 1993 at the Netherlands Defence College near the Hague.The aim of this workshop was to formulate recommendations for the installation and the use of effective communications in peacekeeping operations, as a contribution to practical co-operation in peacekeeping between North Atlantic Co-operation Council (NACC) partners.Experts from 20 nations and NATO Headquarters participated in the workshop.

On the first day, after the workshop was opened by the Netherlands Minister of Defence A.L. Ter Beek, representatives of NATO, Canada, Poland and the Netherlands made presentations on the following topics:the political background, aims and work of the NACC and the NACC Ad Hoc Group on Co-operation in peacekeeping; practical experience gained in crisis management operations; command and control for peacekeeping operations; and communications systems required for such operations.

The second and third day were devoted to practical work.Four working groups were set up to formulate recommendations for resolving practical problems, in particular the communication requirements for peacekeeping operations and interoperability issues.

These working groups recommended that Satellite Communications (SATCOM), backed up by high frequency (HF) radio systems, should be used as the main communications system.There would also be requirements for messengers and secure communications devices.In addition, civil telephone systems (PTT) would be extremely useful if available.

As to interoperability, the working groups identified three major problem areas:language; procedures; and techniques.

In their view, the use of relatively simple and robust communications systems, standardisation of equipment, role specialisation and common agreed procedures would enhance interoperability.

Furthermore, it was recommended that a database containing transmission characteristics of all communications equipment should be developed in order to reduce the risk of incompatibility.It would also be preferable to use, to the extent possible, commercial equipment based on the same technical standards.The variety in the types of equipment should be kept within strict limits.the exchange of liaison officers with their own equipment would also help ensure communications between the various contingents.

Finally, it was recommended that a NACC communications staff be established to address the communications planning and interoperability issues associated with peacekeeping operations.

At the end of this successful workshop, participants concluded that the discussions had been extremely useful and that follow-up work should be considered.

Peacekeeping Training And Education

  1. Basic Military Training
  2. Including, inter alia, personal weapon handling, driving, map reading, first aid, communications skills.

  3. Specialised Training (specific training for any peacekeeping mission)
  4. Including, inter alia, specialised driving techniques or equipment, training of mine awareness and clearing, medical, patrolling, surveillance techniques, check point duties, vehicle/personnel searching, interview techniques, negotiations, staff and command procedures.

  5. Orientation Training/Education (for a particular mission)
  6. Including, inter alia, basic geographic, historical, cultural, political, economic and religious information; background and current details on the conflict situation; the mandate; military tasks; rules of engagement; public relations; fundamental linguistic expressions; other (military, information on other participants involved in the operation (military and civil).

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