25 Apr. 1999
of the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
at Summit Level, Washington D.C
- Heads of State and Government, or their representatives, of the member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), met today in Washington. The Secretary-General of the Western European Union also attended the meeting. This was the second gathering of EAPC Heads of State and Government.
- Discussion at the meeting focused on the theme of Euro-Atlantic Partnership in the twenty-first century. Heads of State and Government concentrated on the key security challenges that face the EAPC area today, in particular the situation in Kosovo; enhancements to the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme to make it more operational and capable; and ways in which the EAPC can best help to deal with security challenges in the EAPC area.
- The discussion underlined the importance of the EAPC as a forum for consultation on political and security-related issues and on practical cooperation measures to address those.
- EAPC Heads of State and Government discussed the situation in Kosovo and expressed support for the demands of the international community. They underlined their sympathy for the refugees and their support for humanitarian relief efforts and for unhindered access by humanitarian aid organizations. They emphasized their abhorrence of the policies of violence, repression and ethnic cleansing being carried out by the FRY authorities in Kosovo.
- EAPC Heads of State and Government welcomed the work that has been carried out on the further enhancement of the Partnership for Peace since the 1997 Madrid Summit. They noted that these initiatives will serve to increase EAPC capacity to contribute to crisis management endeavours. They endorsed the document on a "Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PfP Operations" and emphasized its importance to the growing operational role of the Partnership. The Political-Military Framework sets out the principles, modalities and other necessary guidance for Partner involvement in political consultations and decision-making, in operational planning, and in command arrangements for future NATO-led operations in which they participate. It is a fundamental document for the future Partnership.
- Heads of State and Government also welcomed and endorsed the report "Towards a Partnership for the 21st Century - The Enhanced and more Operational Partnership". This report sets out the main elements of the more operational PfP, including the Political-Military Framework, the expanded and adapted Planning and Review Process, and enhanced defence-related and military cooperation. In endorsing the overall report, EAPC members also endorsed an Operational Capabilities Concept for NATO-led PfP Operations, which will be further developed to reinforce PfP's operational capabilities, thereby improving the ability of the Alliance and Partner forces to operate together in the future. Furthermore, in recognition of the key role of training and education, EAPC members endorsed a strategy to develop a comprehensive enhancement programme in this area, with the aim of making best use of the human capital invested in PfP. Heads of State and Government agreed that this package of measures will considerably improve the effectiveness of the Partnership. They also took note of a compendium of views and experiences on humanitarian aspects of peacekeeping.
- EAPC Heads of State and Government welcomed the contribution that both EAPC and PfP have made towards enhancing security for all, based on shared values. They discussed how the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council can further increase its effectiveness in enhancing transparency, confidence and cooperation throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. They took note of the various initiatives that have been undertaken by the EAPC in this field. They welcomed work already begun on global humanitarian mine action aimed at complementing and adding value to other international and national efforts in this field. They welcomed the creation of an open-ended ad hoc working group to examine how EAPC might contribute to controlling the transfer of small arms, recognizing the high number of innocent civilian casualties caused by the use of mines and small arms. They also expressed their strong support for efforts to promote greater regional cooperation for security within the wider EAPC context, notably through seminars to this end held and planned in a number of Partner countries. They took note of the Alliance's initiative to promote further regional cooperation in South-East Europe.
- Heads of State and Government reaffirmed their commitment to a vigorous and dynamic Euro-Atlantic Partnership into the 21st century and looked forward to continuing to strengthen multi-faceted cooperation within the EAPC and Partnership for Peace.