Updated: 31-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus

2 (95)118

Meeting of
the North
Atlantic Council
held at NATO
5 Dec 1995

Final Communiqué

  1. Today we are pleased to appoint Mr. Javier Solana as the new Secretary General of the Alliance and Chairman of the North Atlantic Council. We express our deep appreciation for the outstanding contribution and service rendered to our Alliance in this challenging time by Secretary General Willy Claes.

  2. We meet as the Alliance is preparing itself for the implementation of the military aspects of the peace agreement for Bosnia-Herzegovina under NATO command and with the participation of other countries. This confirms the key role of the Alliance in ensuring security and stability in Europe, in line with the Alliance's New Strategic Concept. The ongoing transformation and restructuring of our Alliance, which we are determined to carry forward in 1996, has prepared us better to meet this new challenge.

    The Alliance's cohesion and solidarity, together with a strong transatlantic link and partnership, are essential to our ability to perform NATO's core functions as well as to undertake an operation of this kind. We reiterate our firm commitment to this partnership, strengthened through a developing European pillar reflecting the emerging European Security and Defence Identity. We welcome the decisions announced by the French Foreign Minister at our meeting expressing France's strong commitment to engage more fully in a changing Alliance and its further transformation, as well as in the development of its European pillar. We also welcome the Transatlantic Initiative of the EU and the US to broaden the foundations of the partnership.

    In 1996, the Alliance will continue the steady, measured and transparent progress leading to eventual enlargement.

  1. Today, there is genuine hope that a lasting peace can be established in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Decisive action by the Alliance in support of the United Nations in the Former Yugoslavia, together with a determined diplomatic effort, broke the siege of Sarajevo and made a negotiated solution possible. We pay tribute to the men and women involved in Operations SHARP GUARD, DENY FLIGHT and DELIBERATE FORCE. We welcome the agreement initialled in Dayton for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are looking forward to the conferences in London, Paris and Bonn. We underline the importance of the civil-military interface in the implementation of the peace agreement. Quick and effective implementation of the peace agreement will be crucial for creating the conditions for the restoration of normal life in this war-torn country. We expect the parties to honour their commitments. The basic agreement on Eastern Slavonia and its rapid implementation are vital contributions to stability in the region.

    Later today, we will be meeting with our Defence Ministers for a detailed discussion of arrangements for the implementation of the military aspects of a peace plan in Bosnia-Herzegovina and will issue a separate statement.

  2. We are pleased that Russia will contribute to the multinational force established to implement the military aspects of the peace agreement for Bosnia-Herzegovina. We attach great importance to this cooperation between NATO and Russia, which will not only help to ensure the successful implementation of the peace settlement but will also assist in building lasting cooperative security structures in Europe. We remain convinced that the construction of such a cooperative European security architecture, with the active participation of Russia, is in the interest of both NATO and Russia, as well as of all other states in the OSCE area. We welcome the agreement in principle reached between Secretary Perry and Minister Grachev on a political consultative mechanism on IFOR operations. We look forward to its being confirmed in a formal agreement between Russia and the Alliance.

    We reaffirm our commitment to close, cooperative and far-reaching relations between NATO and Russia, including mutual political consultations and practical security co-operation building on Partnership for Peace and our enhanced dialogue beyond PfP. We have initiated with Russia a dialogue on the future direction our relationship should take. To that end we put forward proposals in September on a political framework document elaborating basic principles for security cooperation as well as for development of permanent mechanisms for consultation. We look forward to a Russian response to our suggestions in carrying forward our fruitful dialogue on these subjects. Relations should be transparent, reflect common objectives, and be rooted in strict compliance with international commitments and obligations.

    We are pleased that important consultations have taken place in a 16+1 format. In the course of recent months, we discussed a range of issues related to the situation in the Former Yugoslavia, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the safe and secure dismantlement of nuclear weapons, the CFE Treaty, and the enhancement of our relationship. We are committed to making full use of the potential of existing NATO-Russia agreements and invite Russia to do likewise. In this context, we would especially welcome strengthened and increased Russian participation in NACC and PfP activities.

    We affirm our strong support for the ongoing political and economic reforms in Russia. We will improve our information activities in order to promote better understanding of the Alliance, in particular its role in strengthening stability and security in Europe.

  1. Democracy, independence, economic development and territorial integrity in all newly independent states are of direct concern to us. They constitute essential factors for stability and security in Europe. We will therefore continue to support actively the endeavours of these states and to develop further our cooperative relationships with them bilaterally as well as through the Alliance's initiatives.

    In this context, we reaffirm our support for an independent, democratic and stable Ukraine. We are pleased with the new impetus which was given to NATO-Ukrainian relations during the course of this year. We note with satisfaction Ukraine's active participation in the Partnership for Peace programme and in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Reflecting Ukraine's importance and role in European security and stability, we are developing an enhanced relationship in accordance with the objectives agreed during the visit of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister to Brussels in September 1995. We are looking forward to Ukraine's participation in the implementation of an agreed peace plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina, which will contribute significantly to the deepening of our practical cooperation.

  2. We intend to continue to develop the North Atlantic Cooperation Council and the Partnership for Peace as permanent features of the evolving European security architecture. They will continue to play an important role in forging strong, lasting links between NATO and all its Partners. By deepening interaction and developing common habits of behaviour, both NACC and the Partnership contribute increasingly to security and stability throughout Europe.

    We are pleased that, in less than two years, Partnership for Peace has become firmly established and attracted widespread participation. Building on this momentum, the Alliance should ensure that the Partnership achieves its full potential. With the aim of expanding the scope of the Partnership, we are committed to:

    • working with Partners to strengthen the PfP's political-military dimension and current programmes of military cooperation;

    • further broadening and deepening the PfP planning and review process;

    • providing opportunities for Partners to assume greater responsibilities for shaping their cooperation programmes;

    • encouraging greater Partner participation in exercise planning, including the involvement of Partner Liaison Officers from the Partnership Coordination Cell;

    • increasing information exchange on bilateral programmes which support PfP.

    We welcome steps already taken to develop, broaden and deepen the PfP planning and review process, in particular proposals to individualise and refine the interoperability objectives and opportunities for Partners to bring a greater part of their forces into the planning and review process. We encourage all Partners to take advantage of this process.

    We encourage Partners to develop individual, national plans that cover all aspects of Partnership, including civil-military relations, interoperability, defence policy and planning, etc. These plans would serve to give direction to the reform and restructuring of Partner defence establishments so as to make them more compatible with those of NATO. While these would be national plans, we stand ready to provide advice and assistance to our Partners.

    To ensure that appropriate resources are available to support the evolution of the Partnership, we have tasked the Council in Permanent Session to provide before our Spring Ministerial a report on the resource and staffing requirements for the Partnership, in the context of the overall report on Alliance budgetary management, structures and procedures which we have already requested.

    We are looking forward to tomorrow's meeting with our Partners in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council to discuss the state of our cooperation and to consult on current European security issues. In order to enhance the effectiveness and utility of the NACC, we have instructed the Council in Permanent Session to generate, together with our Partners, a more focused and result-oriented approach to those issues which are central to our cooperation programmes including developing common political objectives where appropriate.

    Within the NACC framework, we attach particular importance to programmes designed to give increased emphasis to the development of civil-military relations and the democratic control of armed forces and to the promotion of good neighbourly relations. Building on the dialogue already underway in PfP, we look forward to working with Partners to develop common objectives to assist them in ongoing reform efforts.

    We welcome the first steps taken to streamline and harmonise NACC and Partnership structures and procedures, in line with our remit of Noordwijk.

  1. We note with satisfaction the progress achieved through NATO's enlargement study, the briefings to our Partners, and Partners' positive responses to our presentations. The study will remain a valuable foundation for the enlargement process.

    We have considered the issues raised by Partners which now need to be addressed in greater detail. Accordingly, we have decided that in 1996 the enlargement process will consist of three elements:

    • with those Partners who so wish, we would pursue, on an individual basis, intensive bilateral and multilateral consultations, building on the foundation of the enlargement study and the presentations made during the first phase. Any interested Partner would be able to pursue an intensified, individual dialogue with the Alliance.

    • through further enhancement of the Partnership for Peace, the Alliance will adopt a programme of practical work that will strengthen ties between the Alliance and all of our Partners. For some Partners these activities will facilitate their ability to assume the responsibilities of membership, while for others they will serve to strengthen their long-term partnership with the Alliance.

    • the Alliance will consider what internal adaptations and other measures are necessary to ensure that enlargement preserves the effectiveness of the Alliance. In particular, we must examine the resource and staffing implications of enlargement.

    These three elements will constitute the next phase of the enlargement process which NATO began in January 1994. Intensified dialogue will work in two directions. Interested Partners will learn more about the specific and practical details of Alliance membership; they can review their efforts in terms of the various precepts and principles included in the enlargement study. NATO, in turn, will learn more about what individual Partners could or could not contribute to the Alliance and could begin to identify areas for additional work. Participation in this next phase would not imply that interested Partners would automatically be invited to begin accession talks with NATO.

    We have tasked the Council in Permanent Session, with the advice of the NATO Military Authorities, to develop and implement each element of this next phase starting early in 1996, taking into account the conclusions of the study and an assessment of the briefing process. This phase will continue through 1996; we will assess progress at our December 1996 Ministerial and consider the way forward.

  1. We affirm the need to continue the efforts initiated by our Heads of State and Government to adapt the political and military structures of the Alliance to take account of the full range of Alliance missions, the admission of new members into the Alliance and the emerging European Security and Defence Identity.

    We welcome the progress made, while recognising that much remains to be done to complete this important task. Key to these efforts is the finalisation of the CJTF concept, which is a means to provide separable, but not separate military capabilities that could be employed by NATO or the WEU, including in operations with participating nations outside the Alliance. We are very encouraged by the significant progress that has been made recently within the Alliance and consider that we now have a good basis on which to proceed to final agreement in the near term. We have tasked the Council in Permanent Session to complete, as a matter of urgency, the detailed work necessary to finalise the concept to the full satisfaction of all Allies. We welcome the WEU's continuing readiness to intensify cooperation with NATO on these matters and look forward to further close consultations between the two organisations.

  2. We note with satisfaction the increasing ties between NATO and the WEU and are determined to strengthen further our relations and cooperation on the basis of agreed principles of complementarity and transparency. We support the improvement of WEU's operational capabilities, which would strengthen the European pillar of our Alliance and enable the European Allies to take greater responsibility for shouldering their share of the common security and defence. We therefore direct the Council in Permanent Session to expedite implementation of the decisions taken in this regard at the Brussels Summit.

    We attach importance to the dialogue that has been established between the two organisations, including in Joint Council meetings, on subjects of common concern and are determined to develop them further. In this connection, we have tasked the Council in Permanent Session to identify, in consultation with the WEU, additional areas of our respective activities on which exchanges of information, consultations and cooperation would be of mutual benefit. We also expect a deepening of mutually beneficial NATO-WEU cooperation in the areas of intelligence, strategic mobility and logistics, which would help in developing the WEU's operational capability.

    We noted the establishment of EUROFOR and EUROMARFOR by Italy, Portugal, Spain and France and of the Franco-British Euro-Air Group. We welcome the prospect of all of these multinational capabilities becoming available to NATO as well as to the WEU, in keeping with the existing NATO commitments of participating nations, and we look forward to the early definition of the relationship of EUROFOR and EUROMARFOR to NATO. We note Luxembourg's decision to participate in the EUROCORPS and the new operational status, as of 30th November 1995, of the EUROCORPS, which will contribute to the greater operational capability of the European pillar of the Alliance.

    We further welcome the "Common Concept of the 27 WEU Countries on European Security", adopted at the WEU Council in Madrid, which represents an important contribution by the WEU to the process of developing the new European security architecture. We note with particular attention the "WEU Contribution to the 1996 European Union Inter-Governmental Conference", which is an important contribution for the development of a European Security and Defence Identity and therefore of great relevance to the Alliance. We reiterate our support for the development of this identity, which will strengthen the European pillar of the Alliance and thus the Alliance itself. We expect that further NATO-WEU discussion of these matters will be helpful in attaining this goal.

  1. The OSCE has an essential role in European security and in promoting stability on the Continent. We continue to be committed to furthering its comprehensive approach to security and to strengthening its effectiveness, particularly in conflict prevention, management and resolution. From an Alliance perspective, widening the process of democratic development throughout Europe is essential to maintaining security for all of its members. Arms control and confidence-building measures are central elements for further developing cooperative security in Europe, as are the development of norms and standards for democratic control and use of armed forces.

    The OSCE will be a valuable partner of the Alliance in the implementation of a peace settlement in Bosnia. We look forward to working together with the OSCE in this endeavour. Its role in the elections process, in monitoring human rights, and in establishing confidence- and security-building measures and arms control in the Former Yugoslavia is central to the peace process. The implementation of the peace settlement will be one promising test ground for cooperation in many areas between our two organisations. We note the proposal to consider the convening of a regional table, in the context of the OSCE "Pact on Stability".

    We support the continued efforts of the Minsk Group to achieve a political settlement of the conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, which would, along with other conditions, allow the deployment of an OSCE multinational peacepkeeping force, as agreed at the Budapest Summit.

    We welcome the ongoing efforts of the OSCE assistance group for Chechnya, which is assisting the civilian population, monitoring the human rights situation, and supporting a political settlement of the conflict under OSCE auspices. We urge the parties to pursue meaningful negotiations seeking an end to hostilities and to the continued suffering among the civilian population.

    We warmly welcome the recent meeting of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office with the North Atlantic Council and will continue our efforts to improve the pattern of contacts between NATO and the OSCE, including through senior representation at Ministerial meetings and, on a more routine basis, through the International Staff. We will continue to coordinate our contributions to the development of an OSCE Security Model for the 21st Century, which aims at the coherent development of a European security architecture including all participating states.

  1. We attach great importance to the full implementation and continued integrity and effectiveness of the CFE Treaty. The Treaty is a cornerstone of European security. The reduction period, completed on 17th November, has resulted in the remarkable, unprecedented destruction of about 50,000 pieces of military equipment in Europe. Transparency and enhanced cooperation between armed forces have been important features of this process, to which NATO has made a major contribution.

    However, we note with concern all cases of failure by States Parties to fulfil their Treaty obligations, among them the problem of Russia's flank obligations. We stress that compliance with legally binding obligations is a necessary foundation for good overall relations.

    We welcome the 17th November Decision by the Joint Consultative Group, in which the 30 CFE States reconfirm their commitment to the Treaty and agree to find a cooperative solution to the flank problem, which does not diminish the security of any State. In this context, we specially urge all States Parties who have failed to comply with their obligations, to intensify their efforts to reach as quickly as possible such a cooperative solution acceptable to all. These problems should be addressed through an open-minded and constructive dialogue. This will provide a firm basis for the successful outcome of the Review Conference next year and the continued integrity and viability of the Treaty.

  2. We reiterate our conviction that security in Europe is greatly affected by security and stability in the Mediterranean. We are satisfied with the talks held this year with a number of Mediterranean non-NATO countries (Egypt, Israel, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) in order to explore the possibilities for a permanent dialogue with countries in the region. In light of the interest shown, we have decided to pursue further the dialogue, with the aim of fostering transparency and achieving a better mutual understanding with the countries to our South, and with a view to contributing to strengthening stability in the Mediterranean region. We welcome the extension of the dialogue to Jordan. Our initiative complements without duplicating other international efforts aimed at fostering stability in this region, in particular the Euro-Mediterranean Conference held in Barcelona in November 1995.

  1. The Alliance's continuing success in addressing the political and defence aspects of proliferation, furthered by the work of the Senior Politico-Military Group on Proliferation and Senior Defence Group on Proliferation, demonstrates NATO's resolve to work together on common security concerns and is an important aspect of the Alliance's ongoing adaptation. We welcome and endorse this work as a contribution to enhancing NATO's ability to safeguard the security of its member states in the face of direct risks posed by NBC proliferation. We also welcome the consultations with Cooperation Partners on proliferation issues.

    We reiterate our conviction that the indefinite extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons constitutes a decisive step towards the strengthening of the international non-proliferation regime and of international security. We appeal to all states not yet party to the Treaty to accede to it at the earliest date.

    We fully support the ongoing efforts in the Conference on Disarmament towards achievement as the highest priority in 1996 of a global ban on all nuclear testing. We believe that the conclusion of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) are important elements in strengthening the international non-proliferation regime, of which the cornerstone is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In this respect, we welcome the decision taken by France, the United Kingdom and United States in favour of a treaty prohibiting all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions, which will facilitate the adoption of a total and complete test ban.

    We welcome the ongoing implementation of the START I Treaty. We note the importance of an early entry into force of the Start II Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Open Skies Treaty. We support the ongoing work to strengthen confidence in compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention. We are pleased that the Review Conference of the UN Weaponry Convention in Vienna was able to agree on a new protocol on control of blinding laser weapons, and look forward to it reaching agreement on a substantially strengthened protocol on landmines as the Conference reconvenes in Geneva.

  2. International terrorist crimes cannot be justified under any circumstances. They constitute a serious threat to peace, security and stability which can threaten the territorial integrity of states. We reiterate our strong commitment to combat this scourge. We condemn all acts, methods and practices of international terrorism regardless of their origins, causes and purposes.

  3. We reaffirm our commitment to the Alliance's common-funded programmes. We consider these programmes vital elements in underpinning our military structures, providing essential operating capability and strengthening Alliance cohesion. We need to ensure that resources are targetted at those programmes which will have the highest priority. We note that work is continuing on the examination of Alliance budgetary management, structures and procedures, and look forward to reports on progress by the time we next meet.

  4. The Spring 1996 meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Ministerial Session will be held in Berlin, Germany, on 3rd June.

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