5 Dec. 2000
of the North Atlantic Council in Defence Ministers Session held in Brussels
on 5 December 2000
- The North Atlantic Council met in Defence Ministers Session in Brussels
on 5th December 2000. We reviewed the situation in the Balkans and the
principal items on the Alliance's defence and security agenda.
- In the context of recent wide-ranging political developments in the
Balkans, we reaffirm NATO's commitment to the promotion of security,
stability and democracy in the region. We reiterate our support for
the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries in the region.
We particularly welcome the democratic changes in the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia (FRY), which offer long awaited prospects for the further
development of good neighbourly relations in South-East Europe and for
the reinforcement of regional stability. We welcome the FRY's admission
to the United Nations, the OSCE, the Stability Pact for South-East Europe,
and other international fora, as well as the normalization of its relationships
with Allies. We look forward to further positive measures from Belgrade.
We encourage the FRY's authorities to improve their contribution to
the implementation of UNSCR 1244 and the Dayton Peace Agreement. We
stand ready to cooperate with the new federal government in Belgrade
in taking forward these positive developments.
- We remain grateful for the significant contribution that NATO's Partners,
including Russia and Ukraine, and other contributing nations are making
towards security, stabilisation, and economic reconstruction. We value
the continuing co-operation between NATO and Russian forces in Bosnia
and Herzegovina and in Kosovo and remain committed to further close
consultations with Russia with regard to the Balkans in accordance with
the NATO-Russia Founding Act. We reaffirm our commitment to maintaining
security in the region, including through the contribution provided
by NATO-led operations. At present our forces will remain at their current
- We commend the men and women of SFOR and KFOR for their continuing
dedication and unswerving efforts in support of peace and reconstruction,
in difficult and often dangerous circumstances. We express deep sympathy
to the families of those who have lost their lives and to those who
have been injured in support of peace in the Balkans.
- We remain determined to play a full part in supporting the aims of
the international community in Kosovo as mandated in UNSCR 1244. We
are working towards a peaceful, democratic Kosovo where all its people,
regardless of ethnic origin or religion, can live in security and enjoy
universal human rights and freedoms on an equal basis, including through
full participation in democratic institutions. We are pleased with the
excellent cooperation between UNMIK and KFOR and commend the UN Secretary
General's Special Representative for his continued unstinting efforts
to promote a fully functioning civil administration. We congratulate
KFOR and the UNMIK Police on having ensured that the October 28th municipal
elections in Kosovo, held under OSCE supervision, with UNMIK support,
took place in a secure environment. We remain very grateful for the
practical and political support which neighbouring nations, in particular
Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia , continue to
provide to KFOR.
- We reviewed the status of the NATO-led operations in the region.
KFOR continues its efforts to provide a safe and secure environment
in Kosovo, but incidents of violence continue to occur, and potential
security flashpoints and other possibilities for confrontation remain.
We deplore the continuing ethnic and politically motivated attacks and
intimidation. We condemn the recent bombing of the FRY liaison office
in Pristina and the assassination of Mr. Xhemajl Mustafa, a close advisor
to Mr. Rugova. KFOR will continue to deal with all acts which jeopardise
a secure environment, in a fair but firm manner in close cooperation
with the UNMIK Police. We remain very concerned about the activity of
insurgent elements in southern Serbia, and commend the efforts of KFOR
to prohibit support from Kosovo for these elements, including by stepping
up its control of the internal boundary with southern Serbia. We note
that FRY forces remain generally compliant with the terms of the Military
Technical Agreement (MTA), and that the Joint Implementation Council
(JIC) has delivered tangible results within this framework. We welcome
the participation of Russian officers in the JIC. We remain committed
to the success of the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) and will continue
to support efforts to ensure that it is properly supervised and that
it is adequately funded and equipped for its civilian role.
- KFOR's support for public security is significant and remains essential.
We welcome the increase in numbers of UNMIK Police, who are now performing
their functions throughout the province, as well as the steadily increasing
contribution of the Kosovo Police Service. Organised crime continues
to pose a serious challenge to the people of Kosovo, exacerbated by
fragile judicial and penal systems, which create a climate of impunity
and undermine KFOR's efforts in this area. KFOR's main border and boundary
control activities are focussed on support of UNMIK in countering smuggling
so as to improve public security in Kosovo and build confidence in the
region. A continuing commitment to border and boundary control is essential.
We reaffirm our support for orderly returns of Kosovo Serb and other
ethnic minorities to Kosovo and urge the earliest possible progress
in rebuilding confidence, especially through the release of Kosovar
Albanian prisoners in Serbia and continuing efforts to trace those on
all sides who are missing.
- We welcome KFOR's continuing support, within means and capabilities,
to humanitarian work with a particular focus on the evaluation of civilian
needs and the on-going winterization programme. Key successes in this
respect have been the transportation of 105,000 tons of humanitarian
aid, mainly construction material and foodstuffs, and the transportation
of fuel for the two Kosovo power plants. We also welcome the progress
made by KFOR as well as non-governmental organisations, coordinated
by the UN Mine Action Centre, in clearing Kosovo of land mines and unexploded
ordnance; and KFOR's success through weapons finds and its commercial
destruction programme in removing from circulation over 15,000 weapons
and five million rounds of ammunition. We strongly endorse KFOR's continued
efforts to seize illegal arms.
- We reviewed KFOR's overall force levels which at present will be
maintained. We directed our Permanent Representatives to conduct a further
review of KFOR's role and missions in time for our spring meeting next
- We note the outcome of the recent general elections in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, organised and supervised by the OSCE. We call upon all
authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to strengthen their efforts towards
the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and the achievement
of the goals set out by the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), including
the enhancement of confidence and security measures as set forth in
Annex 1B of the Agreement. We encourage the Presidency to give priority,
through the Standing Committee on Military Matters (SCMM), to the relevant
military issues addressed by the Peace Implementation Council in May
2000. The PIC Declaration emphasised there must be fundamental changes.
Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to have armed forces with a unified command
and control capable of joint deployment and joint action under international
and regional security organisations. We call for rapid progress in restructuring
the Entities' armed forces. We commend the role played by SFOR in this
context and will continue to support all efforts to strengthen the SCMM.
We note the offer of the World Bank to provide funds for the retraining
of soldiers made redundant by this restructuring, on the presentation
of a sound plan by the region's leaders. We reaffirm our commitment
to further contribute to enhancing stability and confidence in Bosnia
and Herzegovina and to strengthen cooperation between the Entities'
armed forces through the NATO-Bosnia and Herzegovina Security Cooperation
Programme for 2001. We call upon the countries neighbouring Bosnia and
Herzegovina to support the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement.
- We note the further progress in implementing the civil aspects of
the Dayton Peace Agreement. While we welcome the steps which have been
taken towards strengthening Bosnia and Herzegovina's central institutions,
including the inauguration of the State Border Service, we believe that
much more progress is needed in this respect. We commend the High Representative
for his measured but firm approach to the introduction of key legislation,
including property laws which have helped to accelerate returns of displaced
persons and refugees. We congratulate SFOR on having maintained the
secure environment which gives refugees confidence to re-establish lives
disrupted by conflict.
- We endorse SFOR's continuing close working relationship with the
civil agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including its support of the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and
in particular its actions to detain persons indicted for war crimes.
We reaffirm our full support to the ICTY. We will continue our efforts
to bring war criminals to justice.
- We reviewed SFOR's force levels and structure and concluded that
they should be maintained for the present. We directed our Permanent
Representatives to provide advice on a medium-term strategy, including
a full range of options for the future size and structure of SFOR, for
consideration at our next meeting.
- We noted with satisfaction the contribution made by NATO's South-East
Europe Initiative (SEEI) to regional dialogue and cooperation with a
view to enhancing long-term security and stability in the Balkans. NATO's
efforts are aimed at enabling the countries of the region to work together
to ensure their own security and thus support and complement the objectives
of the Stability Pact for South-East Europe, including through its security
working table. The South East Europe Security Cooperation Steering Group
has been established and is promoting practical regional cooperation
in the area of security and defence, including harmonisation of security
assistance. We welcome the efforts of countries in the region to negotiate
a Common Assessment Paper on Regional Security Challenges and Opportunities,
which is designed to help regional countries agree upon common security
perceptions. Cooperation between NATO and the World Bank to assist Bulgaria,
Romania and Croatia to retrain former military officers for civilian
employment also offers significant scope to reinforce the goals of the
Stability Pact. We tasked our Permanent Representatives to monitor and
support the further development of the SEEI and its contribution to
the Stability Pact, and report to us at our next regular meeting in
- We welcome the results of the Summit meeting between the European
Union and the countries of the Stabilization and Association Process
held in Zagreb on 24th November 2000. This meeting was an important
step on the way towards reconciliation, increased regional cooperation
and long-term stabilization. We also welcome in this regard the informal
Summit of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process organised in Skopje
on 25th October with the participation of all South-East Europe countries,
which was also the first meeting attended at summit level by the new
FRY democratic authorities.
- We reviewed the progress made so far in implementing the Defence
Capabilities Initiative (DCI), as agreed by the Heads of State and Government
at the Washington Summit, which aims at improving the defence capabilities
of the Alliance to ensure the effectiveness of future multinational
operations across the full spectrum of Alliance missions. DCI's purpose
is to facilitate the Alliance's movement towards forces that are more
interoperable, more mobile, readily deployable and highly capable. The
Initiative was launched to ensure that the Alliance's forces can deploy
quickly, can be supplied, reinforced and sustained for an extended period
away from their home bases, and can operate more effectively, with better
protection, in the most demanding environments, under effective command
and control arrangements. Achieving the goals of the Initiative continues
to require a sustained effort by all Allies - both in NATO and in capitals
- in the identified shortfall areas. Such an effort would also strengthen
the European pillar of the Alliance, taking into account that the objectives
arising from DCI and the EU's Headline Goal are mutually reinforcing.
- We are encouraged by recent announcements concerning the provision
of strategic air and sealift, plans to develop a more robust aerial
refuelling capability, plans to cooperate in the procurement and stockpiling
of precision guided munitions, and steps being taken to accelerate progress
in the provision of improved consultation, command and control capabilities.
It is essential that this momentum is maintained. We believe that we
have reached an important stage in implementing the DCI. We remain committed
to providing sufficient resources to ensure its implementation. We are
also committed to making the most effective use of resources and to
finding innovative approaches to overcoming shortfalls in capabilities,
taking advantage of national contributions and possible cooperative
and collective arrangements and mechanisms, including multinational,
joint and common funding. Therefore, the recent initiatives by a number
of Allies to convene meetings to assess the scope of enhanced cooperation
in key project areas, including strategic air and sealift, air-to-air
refuelling, cooperative acquisition and management of logistics stocks,
procurement and stockpiling of precision guided munitions, and tactical
communications systems, are encouraging and should, in coordination
with the efforts of the relevant NATO committees, provide new impetus
in these areas. We are ready to lend our personal support to such cooperation
efforts. We also welcome the effort to put greater momentum into work
on an Alliance Ground Surveillance System. Ultimately, however, the
implementation of DCI will depend on the adequacy of national defence
budgets. In order to maintain the necessary high level engagement in
DCI implementation, we agreed to extend until 2002 the mandate of the
High Level Steering Group which is charged with overseeing the implementation
of the DCI.
- We took stock of the progress that has been made on the European
Security and Defence Identity, on the development of principles and
modalities for consultation, cooperation and transparency between NATO
and the European Union, and related matters.
- The European Allies are committed to further strengthening their
military capabilities and to reinforcing the Alliance's European pillar.
This will enhance their ability to contribute both to the Alliance's
missions and to EU-led operations. Recalling the decisions taken at
Washington and at subsequent Ministerial meetings, we welcome these
efforts and in particular the progress achieved at the EU Capabilities
Commitment Conference towards meeting the EU's Headline Goal by 2003,
noting the EU's appreciation of the significant additional contributions
offered by non-EU European Allies to the pool of forces available for
EU-led operations. Such contributions, as expressed on 21st November
2000 at a meeting between the EU and the non-EU European Allies, are
important and will enhance the range of capabilities potentially available
to the EU. We note the EU's recognition of the need for further capability
- We welcome the intensified dialogue between NATO and the EU. NATO-EU
ad hoc working groups have met to discuss security issues; permanent
arrangements for consultation and cooperation; modalities for EU access
to NATO assets and capabilities; and capability goals - taking into
account all relevant matters, including those related to participation.
These discussions, together with two meetings of the North Atlantic
Council and the European Union's interim Political and Security Committee,
have increased the understanding of the two organisations and their
members on how they might most effectively cooperate. We welcome the
establishment of an interim security agreement between the two organisations,
noting that work is underway on a permanent security agreement.
- Alliance experts, on the basis of a Council decision following an
EU request, have contributed military and technical advice to the work
of EU experts on the production of a catalogue of forces and capabilities
for the EU's Headline Goal. We note the EU's acknowledgement of the
value of this NATO input. We stand ready to consider any further EU
requests for expert advice.
- Taking into account the evolution of relevant arrangements in the
EU, work on ESDI is continuing within the Alliance as directed at the
Washington Summit and agreed at subsequent Ministerial meetings. It
has proceeded on the principle that nothing will be agreed until everything
is agreed - the participation issue is also relevant in this context.
On this basis, and consistent with the decisions taken at Washington
and subsequent Ministerial meetings, work has progressed on the various
aspects of the Washington agenda. Subject to this, we intend to put
in place arrangements for: assured EU access to NATO planning capabilities
able to contribute to military planning for EU-led operations; the presumption
of availability to the EU of pre-identified NATO capabilities and common
assets for use in EU-led operations; the identification of a range of
European command options for EU-led operations, further developing the
role of DSACEUR in order for him to assume fully and effectively his
European responsibilities; and the further adaptation of the Alliance's
defence planning system, taking account of relevant activities in and
proposals from the European Union. Allies will be consulted on the EU's
proposed use of assets and capabilities, prior to the decision to release
these assets and capabilities, and kept informed during the operation.
- Important work remains to be done which we will pursue intensively.
We look forward to considering the decisions to be taken by the European
Council in Nice on proposals for NATO-EU permanent arrangements for
consultation and cooperation, and on offers for the participation of
the non-EU Allies. In this context, in accordance with the Washington
Treaty, we stress the importance we attach to respecting the security
interests of all Allies and the obligations which they have to each
other as Allies.
- We direct the Council in Permanent Session to continue work on the
implementation of the ESDI decisions as set out at Washington as a matter
of priority, taking into account the development of relevant arrangements
in the EU, including through continued consultations with the EU.
- We noted the decisions taken at the recent Ministerial meeting of
the WEU in Marseille. We have valued the close cooperation between NATO
and the WEU. We welcomed the crucial role played by the WEU and appreciate
its important contribution to the development of the European security
and defence architecture. We look forward to the Joint NATO-WEU Exercise
Study next year.
- The Alliance continues to refine its internal structures and procedures.
The introduction of NATO's new command structure, which will improve
the Alliance's ability to command the full range of its missions, is
well under way; recent progress has included the transfer of command
authority to all the headquarters involved. In this context, the implementation
of the CJTF concept is proceeding. The Alliance's force structure is
undergoing a wide-ranging review. This is one of the most important
elements of Alliance restructuring in response to the challenges identified
in NATO's Strategic Concept. The review places particular emphasis on
the requirements for multi-nationality, deployability, sustainability
and readiness. It will be necessary to take into account in the further
adaptation of the Alliance's structure the close interrelationship between
the CJTF concept, the implementation of NATO's new command structure
and this force structure review. We directed our Permanent Representatives,
based on the advice of NATO Military Authorities, to report to us at
our spring meeting, with conclusions and recommendations on the force
- We reviewed, and endorsed, progress on implementing lessons learned
from our experiences during the Kosovo conflict. We reiterated the importance
of such lessons in ensuring that the Alliance can respond effectively
to similar contingencies in the future. We also attach importance to
streamlining and improving the Alliance's defence planning disciplines,
including the development of Consolidated Alliance Capability Goals.
- We acknowledge the work carried out on the important topic of improving
the resource management of the Alliance's military common-funded budgets,
with the aim of establishing an output-based, integrated and transparent
resource management system. We look forward to further reporting on
the status of this review at our next meeting, to include an indication
of likely short-term results.
- We reaffirm the Alliance's commitment to its Open Door Policy as
set out at Washington. The Alliance expects to extend further invitations
in coming years to nations willing and able to assume the responsibilities
and obligations of membership, and as NATO determines that the inclusion
of these nations would serve the overall political and strategic interests
of the Alliance and that the inclusion would enhance overall European
security and stability. We are pleased with the implementation of the
Membership Action Plan (MAP), particularly the efforts being made to
assist the aspirants to develop the preparedness of their defence structures,
including through the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). We look
forward to a consolidated progress report next spring, in order to keep
under review aspirants' preparations for possible future membership.
- We welcome the strong commitment to defence reform and the modernisation
of their armed forces expressed by the nine Defence Ministers of the
aspiring countries at their meeting in Sofia on 12th-13th October 2000.
Defence reform is highly important for NATO membership, and we reaffirm
the need for the aspirants to proceed realistically with the implementation
of appropriate and sustainable defence plans. We remain firmly committed
to assisting them in achieving their goals in the defence/military field.
- We continue to place a high priority on the strengthening of our
partnership with all members of the Euro-Atlantic community through
the EAPC and the Partnership for Peace. We believe that Partnership
is pivotal to the role of the Alliance in promoting security and stability
in the Euro-Atlantic region and contributes to the enhancement of the
Alliance's capabilities in crisis management. We therefore welcome discussions
under way in the EAPC on its possible role in conflict prevention and
crisis management, and in developments to promote regional cooperation
in South-East Europe as well as in the Caucasus and Central Asia. We
are also encouraged by progress in developing practical cooperation
to address broader security challenges, such as the proliferation of
small arms and light weapons. We welcome and support fully the recent
establishment of a PfP Trust Fund on Anti-Personnel Landmine Stockpile
Destruction and look forward to periodic reports on its activities.
- Today, we noted reports on the enhanced and more operational Partnership
and on the implementation of the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC).
These reports illustrate how widespread and important our cooperation
with Partners has become across a wide range of Alliance activities.
We remain strongly committed to the full implementation of the Political-Military
Framework for NATO-led PfP operations. We attach great importance to
the development of the OCC as a means to enhance the Alliance's capability
to mount and sustain crisis response operations with the participation
of Partners, including the ongoing operations in Kosovo and in Bosnia
and Herzegovina. We have therefore directed the Council in Permanent
Session to provide a report on the implementation of the OCC, including
a briefing by the NATO Military Authorities, when we meet in spring
- We appreciate the ongoing work on the implementation of the Training
and Education Enhancement Programme, which is becoming increasingly
important as PfP develops into a more robust Partnership with more demanding
training requirements. We welcome the successful completion of the first
Conference of the Training and Education Institutions, including the
PfP Training Centres, held in Oberammergau, Germany in November 2000.
We also welcome the communication of the draft final report on distributed
learning and simulation by the NATO Modelling and Simulation Group,
as a testimony to PfP's potential in training and education.
- We are very pleased with the evolution of the PfP Planning and Review
Process which is making a key contribution to our Partnership by promoting
interoperability between the forces of the Alliance and participating
Partners. In addition, the PARP has become a valuable instrument in
the context of the MAP by helping aspirant countries to adapt their
defence plans and force structures to the demands of membership.
- As Defence Ministers, we place a particular emphasis on defence reform.
We look forward to exploring with our Partners how we can help support
their efforts to reorganise and restructure their defence establishments
and armed forces and will continue to make full use of the existing
clearing house mechanisms to help Partners ensure optimum use of scarce
resources in these reform efforts. NATO-Ukraine cooperation on defence
reform is an example of how PfP tools might be adapted to better support
defence reform requirements. We encourage all Partners to take full
advantage of PfP tools and mechanisms in their defence reform efforts.
- We look forward to the meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint
Council (PJC) in Ministerial Session later today. We reaffirm our goal,
as stated in the NATO-Russia Founding Act, of a genuine, and reliable
partnership with the Russian Federation. We wish to build on the positive
experience of cooperation between NATO and Russia in the Balkans. Our
joint approach involving practical cooperation between our forces in
theatre, while preserving a continuous dialogue at the political level,
can serve as a model for the further development of our cooperation.
- We welcome the progressive resumption of Russian participation in
the EAPC and in PfP. There is considerable scope for enhancing NATO-Russia
partnership in the defence and military field. We are ready to contribute
to a programme of activities in this area based on the principles of
transparency and reciprocity, which would be of mutual advantage. We
welcome the Russian proposal to engage in discussions on cooperation
in search and rescue at sea. We look forward to endorsing a status report
and agreeing a programme of work later today in the PJC. We hope that
such cooperation will encourage Russia to resume a broader range of
contacts and activities.
- We attach great importance to our continued dialogue and cooperation
with Russia in the framework of the PJC on such issues as strategy,
defence policy and military doctrines, infrastructure development programmes,
nuclear weapons, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and
their means of delivery, theatre missile defence, air defence, and other
disarmament and arms control issues, including CFE and Open Skies. We
have entered into a useful dialogue on these issues and see the potential
for a wider exchange of ideas and perspectives on Euro-Atlantic security
matters. We emphasize our wish to open in the near future a NATO Military
Liaison Mission in Moscow, as called for in the Founding Act. We also
look forward to the early opening of the NATO Information Office in
- In connection with the situation in North Caucasus, we reaffirm that
a mutually satisfactory, just and durable political solution to the
conflict in Chechnya is urgent and essential, and that the parties must
take steps to begin a dialogue that can lead to a settlement. We call
upon the Russian Government to support fully the efforts of humanitarian
assistance organisations to relieve the suffering of the displaced.
- Encouraging progress was made over the past six months in furthering
the NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership, especially in the area of
defence reform. We welcome the approval of Ukraine's State Programme
for the Reform of the Armed Forces. We strongly endorse the results
of the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform at
the senior level in October 2000. We encourage and support the steps
being taken to enhance democratic and parliamentary control over the
armed forces. We welcome the action plan that expands cooperation activities
to new areas and takes full advantage of the PfP Planning and Review
Process to support the implementation of Ukraine's plans for its armed
forces. To this end, Ukraine and the Allies will work to strengthen
bilateral cooperation while harmonising efforts to meet Ukraine's defence
reform goals. We fully support mutually-agreed initiatives to further
enhance military cooperation in 2001. We reiterate our appreciation
for Ukraine's contribution to KFOR.
- We continue to attach great importance to work carried out by the
NATO Information and Documentation Center and the NATO Liaison Office
in Kyiv as means to increase public awareness of our distinctive partnership
and to consolidate it. We look forward to the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine
- NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue is an essential part of the Alliance's
cooperative approach to security. We are pleased to note the steps taken
to develop the Mediterranean Dialogue in both political and practical
areas where NATO can bring added value, notably in the field of search
and rescue, maritime safety, medical evacuation and humanitarian relief,
as foreseen at the Washington Summit. We note in this context the importance
of continued discourse among Mediterranean Dialogue nations and hope
that the annual Mediterranean Dialogue Conference, originally scheduled
for November 2000, will take place soon. We reaffirm the progressive
nature of the Dialogue and welcome proposals for developing it in the
framework agreed at the Washington Summit. We note the interest expressed
by some Mediterranean Dialogue countries in specifically tailored military
and defence-related activities and support the ongoing work to implement
them in accordance with the agreed framework of the Mediterranean Dialogue.
- The proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons
and their means of delivery continues to be a matter of serious concern
for the Alliance as it poses risks to international and regional stability
and can pose a direct military threat to Allies' populations, territory
and forces. The principal non-proliferation goal of the Alliance and
its members is to prevent proliferation from occurring, or, should it
occur, to reverse it through diplomatic means.
- The Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation
regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.
We confirm our commitment to contribute to carrying forward the implementation
of the conclusions reached at the NPT Review Conference and urge all
countries to accede to the Treaty, to comply fully with its provisions,
and to support the strengthened safeguards system of the International
Atomic Energy Agency. We continue to emphasise the importance of universal
accession and adherence to, as well as full compliance with, the Chemical
Weapons Convention and are determined to actively promote the conclusion
of the negotiations on an effective protocol to strengthen the implementation
of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention before the fifth review
conference of the BTWC due to be held in November 2001.
- We are pleased that the implementation of the Weapons of Mass Destruction
Initiative is proceeding well. The newly established WMD Centre is contributing
to improved coordination of all WMD-related activities at NATO Headquarters,
as well as strengthening non-proliferation related political consultations.
We support all efforts under way in the Alliance to improve the ability
of NATO and Allied military forces to operate effectively despite the
threat or potential use of NBC weapons, including work to adapt defensive
preparedness and to improve NATO training and exercises. NATO will continue
its consultations on questions related to the possible deployment by
the United States of a limited national missile defence programme.
- The Alliance is enhancing consultations with Russia on proliferation-related
matters under the Permanent Joint Council and with Ukraine in the NATO-Ukraine
Commission. We are continuing to prepare for discussions with Partners
under the EAPC/PfP framework, and with Mediterranean Dialogue countries
within the Mediterranean Dialogue.
- On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the CFE
Treaty we recognise the vital contribution the Treaty makes to the stability
and security of Europe. The overall implementation of the Treaty since
its entry into force in 1992 has brought positive results including
significantly reduced holdings of Treaty-limited equipment, enhanced
transparency and predictability. However, there continue to be both
substantive and technical concerns with specific aspects of CFE implementation,
which must be addressed. As we approach the next CFE review conference
in 2001, we will seek intensified efforts to resolve these issues. Pending
the completion of the process of ratifying the Adapted Treaty, the full
and continued implementation of the Treaty and its associated documents
- Early entry into force of the Adapted CFE Treaty, which was signed
last year by Heads of State and Government at the Istanbul OSCE Summit,
will ensure CFE's continuing viability as a cornerstone of European
security and stability. We are committed to that end and are pleased
that the Adapted Treaty will permit accession by new States Parties.
However, as we have made clear ever since Istanbul, we believe ratification
by our governments can only be envisaged in the context of compliance
by all States Parties with the Treaty's agreed levels of armaments and
equipment and consistent with the commitments contained in the CFE Final
Act. In this regard we welcome President Putin's recent reaffirmation
of Russia's intention to fulfil all CFE Treaty obligations and commitments.
We expect concrete results consistent with that assurance. We remain
particularly concerned about the continued high levels of Russian Treaty-limited
equipment in relation to the Treaty's Article V ("Flank")
limits. We continue to attach special importance to early and complete
fulfilment of Russia's assurances of 1st November 1999, that its current
equipment levels in the North Caucasus are of a temporary nature and
will be reduced to CFE limits as soon as possible, in conditions of
maximum transparency and in a manner consistent with agreed counting
rules and procedures.
- We look for no less timely and effective fulfilment of the CFE Final
Act commitments requiring the reduction and withdrawal of Russian military
forces from Georgia and Moldova in accordance with the timelines agreed
at Istanbul. We welcome progress thus far in Georgia, but note the importance
of full Russian withdrawal of excess Treaty-limited equipment by the
end of this year, and of actual closure of designated Russian military
bases by the middle of next year. However, there has been little tangible
progress in implementation of the unconditional commitment to complete
withdrawal of Russian forces from the territory of Moldova. To meet
the deadlines set at Istanbul the pace of withdrawal should be accelerated.
We applaud and support the efforts of individual Allies and OSCE Partners
to facilitate these activities through financial and other assistance.
- We continue to attach great importance to the ratification of the
Open Skies Treaty and call on Russia and Belarus to ratify the Treaty
to allow it to enter into force as soon as possible. Joint trial observation
flights conducted by Signatories, including Russia, have demonstrated
the potential of the Open Skies Treaty for enhancing security and confidence.
- The Alliance has been conducting a review of the role of civil emergency
planning in NATO. The result will take into account the decisions of
the Washington Summit and experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo,
and will address the role of civil emergency planning in civil support
for Alliance military operations under Article 5; support for non-Article
5 crisis response operations; support for national authorities in civil
emergencies, including disaster response; support for national authorities
in the protection of populations against the effects of WMD; and cooperation
with Partners. We recognise the important part played by the Euro-Atlantic
Disaster Response Coordination Centre as a means of coordinating EAPC
countries' humanitarian assistance in times of disaster, bearing in
mind the leading role of the United Nations. Civil emergency planning
also plays a role in addressing the deployment and mobility recommendations
under the Defence Capabilities Initiative. As agreed at the Washington
Summit, there is scope for the sharing of national information on capabilities
which might be available on request to help stricken nations to cope
with the consequences of a weapons of mass destruction attack. This
exchange will include information volunteered by nations on consequence
management preparedness measures.
- We deplore the recent terrorist attacks against nationals of several
NATO countries and we deeply regret the tragic loss of life. Terrorism
constitutes a serious threat to peace, security and stability that can
threaten the territorial integrity of states. We strongly condemn terrorism,
and, as Defence Ministers, we remain firm in our determination to combat
it in accordance with our international commitments and national legislation.