Updated: 31-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


15 Dec. 1994

Final Communiqué

  1. The Defence Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation met in Ministerial sessions in Brussels on 14th and 15th December.

  2. Our meeting came at the end of a series of high-level meetings over the last two weeks, including the Summit meetings of the CSCE and the EU, and the Ministerial sessions of the NAC and NACC. We underscored the central role of NATO and the determination of our Alliance to maintain its unity and cohesion, as well as to enhance stability throughout the transatlantic area in a manner that strengthens the security of all. We attach particular importance to the transatlantic relationship, which is fundamental to the stability of Europe. The Alliance remains the indispensable foundation for all our nations' security. We agreed that its value must not be taken for granted. Our security continues to depend on an integrated military structure and collective defence arrangements which enable the Alliance to act in the common defence as well as to fulfil its new missions, including peacekeeping.

  3. We considered important issues in the future development of the Alliance, including the progress of work on implementing decisions taken by the NATO Heads of State and Government at the Brussels Summit last January. We also reviewed developments in the former Yugoslavia. We conducted our Annual Review of the Alliance's conventional and nuclear forces, in particular national defence plans for 1995 to 1999 and beyond.

  4. We examined the defence-related work on the Summit initiatives against the background of the fundamental transformation that the Alliance has already undergone to take account of the new security environment. We support the development of the emerging European Security and Defence Identity and the role of the Western European Union. We are building ever closer and more co-operative relations with our Partners. In this regard, we welcomed the rapid progress in implementing the Partnership for Peace, which now has 23 Partners. Three major partnership exercises as well as many other activities have already been conducted with broad participation by both Allied and Partner nations.

  5. At the Summit last January, our Heads of State and Government reaffirmed that the Alliance, as provided for in Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, remains open to membership of other European states in a position to further the principles of the Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area. We recalled the Summit agreement that enlargement will be part of an evolutionary process, taking into account political and security developments in the whole of Europe and contributing to the security of all. In this way, enlargement will be an integral part of the more general development of co-operative security relationships in the entire Euro-Atlantic area. We therefore welcomed the decision taken at the recent meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers to initiate a process of examination inside the Alliance to determine how NATO will enlarge, the principles to guide this process and the implications of membership. As Ministers of Defence we will contribute fully to this process which will have implications for our collective defence arrangements, particularly the defence planning process and the Integrated Military Structure. Therefore, we have invited our Permanent Representatives, with the advice of NATO's Military Authorities, to ensure that these implications are addressed as a contribution to the work of the North Atlantic Council on this subject.

  6. The Partnership for Peace is essential for the development of co-operation between NATO and its Partners. It develops valuable patterns of co-operation in defence fields which will further enhance stability. It is an effective mechanism to develop the essential military capabilities required to operate effectively with NATO and to encourage interoperability between NATO and Partners which is of value to Partner countries whether they aspire to NATO membership or not. We confirmed that active participation in the Partnership for Peace will also play an important role in the evolutionary process of the expansion of NATO.

  1. We attached particular importance to the defence planning and review process offered to Partners. It draws on NATO's long experience in this field, recognises the need for a tailored approach consistent with the specific circumstances of individual Partners, and will be broadened and deepened over time. This tailored approach needs to direct each Partner nation toward specific objectives designed to enhance interoperability. It will allow both concrete planning for the forces identified for PfP activities and a more general exchange of information among the Allies and Partners on overall defence and financial plans. In this way, the planning and review process will serve two of the central purposes of PfP: closer co-operation and transparency in national defence planning and budgeting.

  2. The foundations for PfP are now firmly in place, and we are determined to maintain the momentum of the progress achieved since the Summit. We reviewed with satisfaction the work done since January in establishing the structural framework and procedures for the Partnership. With the demonstrated interest of our Partners in associating more closely with NATO and their increasing presence at NATO Headquarters and in the Partnership Co-ordination Cell, PfP has moved briskly toward fulfilling its purpose of working with Partners to build lasting stability. We noted the specific activities drawn up for 1995, including a full and ambitious range of exercises. These are supplemented by extensive and valuable bilateral co-operation programmes between NATO and Partner countries. We also noted with satisfaction proposals to expand practical co-operation with PfP Partners in the fields of air defence, communications, defence procurement and standardisation. PfP activities must continue to be adequately funded. We remain committed to providing the resources necessary for the success of this initiative, while recognising and welcoming the contributions that the Partners have to make in order to fund their participation.

  3. We recognised that Russia can make considerable contributions towards stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area on a wide range of issues. We therefore affirmed the importance of NATO's relations with Russia, including practical co-operation both inside and outside the Partnership for Peace. We also affirmed the importance of an independent, democratic, and stable Ukraine, and our interest in developing further practical co-operation with it.

  4. We assessed the progress made in adapting the Alliance's procedures and structures to enable our forces to respond effectively to the changing requirements of European security. We discussed progress in the development of the Combined Joint Task Forces concept which will have implications for collective defence planning and the Integrated Military Structure. We support this continuing work and encourage the examination of ways of facilitating the further development of the concept, including, as soon as appropriate, through pilot trials. CJTFs will significantly enhance the effectiveness of contingency operations, whether undertaken by the Alliance or by the WEU, and our ability to involve non-NATO countries. We affirmed our view that implementation of the concept should be consistent with the principle of developing separable but not separate military capabilities for use by NATO or the WEU. We also underlined the importance of this work to the further evolution of the European Security and Defence Identity and to closer co-operation between NATO and the Western European Union, based on the principles of transparency and complementarity.

  5. We noted the progress report of the Joint Committee on Proliferation on the work undertaken by the Senior Politico-Military Group on Proliferation and the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation following the Summit's decision to intensify and expand NATO's political and defence efforts against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems. We agreed on the importance of this work as part of NATO's continuing adaptation to the new security environment. Diplomatic efforts to prevent or reverse proliferation remain our top priority. In addition, NATO as a defensive Alliance must address the range of capabilities needed to discourage weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation and use and, if necessary, to counter this risk by improving the protection of NATO populations, territory and forces. Political-military uncertainties and future technological trends related to WMD will affect NATO's collective defence planning. We noted the growing proliferation risks with regard to states on NATO's periphery, including the role of suppliers of WMD- related technology to them, and the continuing risks of illicit transfers of WMD and related materials. The DGP will next determine the range of capabilities needed on the basis of its work to date, and we look forward to receiving a report on its progress at our next meeting.

  6. Collective defence planning remains fundamental to the cohesion and military effectiveness of NATO. On this basis, we reviewed national defence plans for 1995-99 and beyond and adopted a five-year force plan. Substantial progress continues to be made to provide the forces and capabilities necessary to continue to fulfil the Alliance's fundamental security task of deterrence and defence, while enabling these forces to undertake the Alliance's new missions, including peacekeeping. We noted progress in ensuring that the collective planning process takes both requirements into account. However, we noted shortfalls in certain capabilities, especially related to support for reaction forces, ground based air defence and strategic mobility, which could have important implications for the implementation of all aspects of Alliance strategy. We welcomed the announcement of the German Minister of Defence that the operational elements of German land, air, and naval forces in the new Federal Constituent States of Germany will be assigned to NATO on 1st January 1995.

  7. A number of nations face continuing pressure for further savings in overhead, operations and maintenance costs, investment programmes, and force structures and readiness. We therefore reconfirmed our commitment to ensuring that all our forces are properly trained and equipped and noted in this regard that nations should continue efforts to stabilise defence budgets. We will continue to seek the resources necessary to enable our forces to perform the full range of their missions and tasks.

  8. We noted from the first Annual Report submitted by the Senior Resource Board the status of existing funding programmes and the potential demands for common funding in the future. To maintain the necessary financial stability for NATO's common funded resource programmes, we reaffirmed our commitment to provide adequate funds to ensure that the essential requirements of our Alliance's Military Authorities, and new requirements stemming from the January 1994 Summit initiatives, continue to be met. In this regard, we support the decision at the recent meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers to undertake a wide-ranging examination of Alliance budgetary management, structures, and procedures.

  9. Effective transatlantic armaments co-operation remains an essential ingredient of our collective defence, particularly in the new security situation which puts an ever-higher premium on equipment interoperability to sustain multinational operations. We welcomed the recent decision by the Conference of National Armaments Directors to pursue work on an Alliance Ground Surveillance capability. Such a capability would complement our AWACS capability, and would be an invaluable tool for the command of military operations and also for peacekeeping and crisis management. We also noted with interest the extensive work being undertaken by National Armaments Directors with regard to the defence equipment implications of peacekeeping and extended air defence/theatre missile defence. We look forward to receiving the results of this work.

  10. We discussed the situation in the former Yugoslavia and endorsed the position taken in this regard by the North Atlantic Council on 1st December. In particular, we continue to deplore the ongoing conflict in Bosnia, which has brought about large- scale suffering, most recently in and around the Safe Area of Bihac. We reiterated the call on the Bosnian Serbs and all those forces which support them to end their offensive in Bihac and on all parties to agree to and honour a ceasefire and allow humanitarian aid to flow to that beleaguered population and throughout Bosnia- Herzegovina. We believe that UNPROFOR should continue its crucial mission of providing humanitarian assistance and saving human life. Our military authorities are, however, undertaking contingency planning to assist UNPROFOR in withdrawing should that become unavoidable.

  11. As Defence Ministers we paid particular tribute to the courage and dedication with which our forces have carried out their demanding tasks both as part of UNPROFOR and in support of the United Nations. Ensuring their security will remain a high priority for us. The Alliance has agreed to undertake certain operations in support of the UN, and we expressed our determination that whatever our forces are asked to do under the existing UN Security Council Resolutions and in accordance with North Atlantic Council decisions should be accomplished promptly and efficiently. In this connection we reaffirmed our commitment to provide close air support for UNPROFOR and to use NATO airpower, in accordance with existing arrangements with the United Nations. We continue to support the efforts of the UN and the Contact Group to alleviate the suffering of the people in the region and to find a just and peaceful solution in Bosnia and elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia. In doing so we shall maintain the unity and cohesion of the Alliance.

  12. We recalled the importance attached by the NATO Summit to security in the Mediterranean area and expressed our full support for efforts by the Alliance to strengthen regional stability.

  13. We reviewed the status of the Alliance nuclear forces and reaffirmed their fundamental contribution to preserving stability and security. We received a presentation by the United States on the results of its Nuclear Posture Review, which was conducted in consultation with the Alliance, and expressed our deep satisfaction for the reaffirmation of the United States' nuclear commitment to NATO. In this context, we reiterate the essential value of maintaining widespread deployment of NATO's sub-strategic nuclear forces by the United States and European Allies. These forces, which are an integral part of NATO's nuclear posture, represent an essential element of the trans-atlantic link and are visible evidence of NATO's cohesion, solidarity and burden-sharing.

  14. We expressed our continued support for the role of the ABM Treaty in ensuring strategic stability. We discussed the latest developments in U.S.-Russian negotiations on the demarcation between strategic defences against intercontinental missiles, which are limited by the Treaty, and the permitted theatre defences against shorter-range threats. We were also informed about and welcomed the work done by U.S. and Russian bilateral working groups to reduce the danger of nuclear miscalculation and to promote stability and understanding.

  15. We reiterated our full support to efforts aimed at achieving the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1995. We will continue to support ongoing efforts to strengthen the international non-proliferation regimes. We will also work to enhance the verification regime for the NPT. We welcome Ukraine's recent accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state. In conjunction with the earlier action by Belarus and Kazakhstan, this meets an important obligation under the Lisbon Protocol of May 1992 and has permitted the recent exchange of instruments of ratification for the START I Treaty, allowing it to enter into force, and opening the way for early ratification of START II. We are convinced that implementation of these Treaties and the complete withdrawal of all nuclear weapons from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, will contribute to enhancing international security and stability.

  16. We attach great importance to the consultations and cooperation between a number of NATO nations and the four newly independent states concerned, to provide practical technical assistance in nuclear safety and security, including dismantling of nuclear arms. We are pleased with the progress made in this regard. We believe this should continue to be an area for fruitful dialogue and cooperation.

  17. We welcome the Agreed Framework between the United States and the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK) as an important step towards bringing the DPRK into full compliance with its obligations under both the NPT and its Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency and to ensure that the Korean peninsula is free of nuclear weapons.

  18. The end of East-West confrontation brought a dramatic improvement in the security of the Alliance's members. Nevertheless, as events in the former Yugoslavia all too painfully demonstrate, security and stability are not certain. We are convinced that the Alliance is essential to our nations' security and to the prospects for security in the wider Euro-Atlantic area. We accordingly reaffirmed our determination to ensure that its foundations - in the form of shared political values, solidarity, and a commitment to sound collective defence - remain firm.

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