Updated: 31-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


and Nuclear

9 Dec. 1993

Final Communiqu

  1. The Defence Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation met in Ministerial sessions in Brussels on 8 and 9 December.

  2. We continue to adapt Alliance defence capabilities to meet the new risks and challenges that face us.Our aim is to achieve a force structure, capable of undertaking not only the collective defence of the Alliance but also new tasks including support to UN and CSCE peacekeeping.Against this background we reviewed national defence plans for 1994-98 and beyond as part of our annual defence review.As in previous years, the review has served as a forum for collective consultation at a time when both national and Alliance plans are undergoing unprecedented changes and face sustained budgetary pressures.Our collective defence planning arrangements continue to ensure the coherence and consistency of national and Alliance force planning.

  3. The involvement in peacekeeping activities presents us with new challenges.Last year the Alliance agreed to support UN and CSCE peacekeeping activities by making available Alliance resources and expertise on a case by case basis and recognising that national participation will be subject to national decisions.Members of the Alliance are already making significant contributions to peacekeeping missions in Europe and elsewhere, both individually and collectively.We have reviewed the implications for defence planning of current and possible future peacekeeping tasks and are determined to make the best possible use of the Alliance's potential by developing further our collective capacity to respond to requests for support from the United Nations and CSCE.

  4. We value the contributions that could be made by all Allies to this and we are committed to improving our ability to participate in a range of peacekeeping operations and to facilitate closer co-operation between NATO and the WEU in this field, including the possibility of making Alliance assets available for use in European-led operations following consultations within the Alliance. An aim of the concept of Combined Joint Task Forces is to give further impetus towards achieving this.

  5. We express our full support for the emerging European Security and Defence Identity and for the further development, on the basis of transparency and complementarity, of close co- operation between NATO and the WEU. This will help to strengthen the European pillar of the Alliance and hence the Alliance itself.It will result in a strengthened and a more equal transatlantic partnership.

  6. We noted that with the onset of winter in the former Yugoslavia the extent of suffering will grow and expressed our full support for continuing efforts, including those based on the action plan of the European Union, to find a negotiated settlement.Both individually and collectively, Allies are supporting the UN's humanitarian and other activities; and we confirmed that we remained ready to consider positively any further requests for assistance from the UN.

  7. Collective defence remains a core Alliance function, but the changed strategic environment requires new responses. The Alliance's Strategic Concept adopted in Rome therefore called for more mobile, flexible and multinational forces able to be built up when necessary. Substantial progress has been made to provide these capabilities. As part of the process of transformation, we continue to examine our force structures and force levels to ensure that they reflect the significant changes in the political and strategic environment. The Alliance's military authorities are developing detailed force proposals based on political guidance, the Major NATO Commanders' reviews of force structures and levels, and on the need to develop the capabilities to fulfil all the roles and missions of the Alliance.

  8. Since the end of the Cold War, we have been able to make significant reductions in forces and readiness levels. In general, greater reliance has been placed on mobilisable reserves.Major savings in expenditure have consequently been possible.However, the viability of NATO's new strategy depends critically on equipment modernisation and continued improvements in mobility, command and control and sustainability, in particular for forces deployed outside national borders.With our increased dependence on mobilizable forces, we must also ensure that all our forces are properly trained and equipped for the full range of missions and tasks they may be called upon to fulfil.The new force structure therefore requires continued investment in order to meet its future roles.

  9. Alliance commitments continue to diversify and most Allies face pressure to make further reductions in defence spending.If NATO is to continue to respond successfully to its new challenges, defence plans must be given a firm and adequate financial underpinning.The Allies must also make more effective use of collective and national resources.We noted that the Senior Resource Board, which we agreed earlier this year to establish, has commenced work on the integrated resource management of NATO's common-funded Infrastructure, Military Budget and Manpower Programmes.We underlined the need to provide adequate resources to NATO's common-funded programmes to support NATO's collective defence arrangements and to ensure the continued implementation of the Strategic Concept.We welcomed an initiative by Spain to negotiate its participation in the NATO Infrastructure Programme.

  10. Improvements in armaments co-operation remain an important objective within NATO.We support the reform conducted by the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD), including a streamlining of its structure, to match the new challenges.We welcome its activities in key areas such as on armaments-related aspects of airborne ground surveillance, extended air defence and computer-aided acquisition and logistics support as well as information programmes under NACC auspices. We also support the intention of expanding the dialogue between the nations of the Western European Armaments Group and the North American Allies.

  11. Dialogue and co-operation are integral elements of our broad approach to security.We shall contribute to implementing the NACC Work Plan for Dialogue, Partnership and Co-operation 1994 agreed last week by the North Atlantic Co-operation Council. It contains an extensive list of topics and activities and provides a sound basis for moving towards more effective co- operation with our partners, including in the vital area of peacekeeping.

  12. We are ready to play our part in further new initiatives aimed at strengthening links between the Alliance and partner countries in the defence-related area.We expressed our strong support for the Partnership for Peace and noted with satisfaction the discussions which have also taken place among Foreign Ministers last week regarding this major initiative under consideration by the Alliance.Partnership for Peace aims at enhancing the mutual transparency of the military structures and increasing interoperability between the forces of NATO and its new partners.It will thus provide an opportunity to reach out to the East and for the further evolution of the Alliance.

  13. Ministers considered the informal discussions held in Travemnde last October to have been very useful.They welcomed the offer to hold the next meetings of this kind in Autumn 1994 in Spain and in the United States in 1995.

  14. We received with appreciation briefings by the United States and United Kingdom on the status of their nuclear forces, as well as an update from the United States on its Nuclear Posture Review.We also reviewed the process of adapting NATO's nuclear posture to the new security environment.With the reduction and restructuring of NATO's sub-strategic nuclear forces in Europe and the updating and adjustment of consultation and planning procedures, we are satisfied that the necessary elements are in place to support the nuclear posture required by the Alliance's Strategic Concept.

  15. We expressed our concern at the growing risks to Alliance security interests posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery means and related technologies.Intensified efforts are essential to prevent such proliferation and to address and counter if necessary the associated risks to Alliance security.We underlined the importance of the existing system of nuclear non-proliferation based upon the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).We shall strive to strengthen the regime of the NPT over the coming years, to expand its membership, and to achieve, in 1995, the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty. We expressed serious concern at the actions taken by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the possible consequences for regional security and stability, as well as the potential repercussions in other parts of the world.We call again on that country to abide by the provisions of the NPT.

  16. We recognize that the nuclear arsenal of the former Soviet Union is one potential source of proliferation.We support efforts by Allies and other countries to assist in the safe and secure dismantlement of the nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union and disposal of the resulting nuclear materials.We welcome the accession of Belarus to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state and the assurances of Kazakhstan that it will do so before the end of 1993.We call onUkraine to fulfil unconditionally the commitments it has undertaken in the Lisbon Protocol, to ratify START I fully, and to accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state in the shortest possible time. Implementation of START I will also provide the basis to implement START II which will create a more stable strategic relationship and substantially reduce remaining U.S. and Russian nuclear inventories.

  17. Our discussions took place with the expectation that next month's NATO Summit will herald a further major evolution of the Alliance.We shall ensure that the integrated defence structure and our collective defence planning arrangements continue to make a full contribution to the process of adapting the Alliance to its future tasks.

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