Updated: 06-May-2002 NATO Press Releases

5 Dec. 2000

Final Communiqué

Ministerial Meeting of the Defence Planning Committee
and the Nuclear Planning Group on 5 December 2000

  1. The Defence Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation met in Ministerial Session in Brussels on 5th December 2000.
  2. Collective defence planning remains the cornerstone of the Alliance's ability to provide for the defence and security of its members. Today we reviewed the national defence plans of Allies for the period 2001-2005 and beyond and have adopted a five-year force plan which addresses the requirements of the future security environment.
  3. In reviewing Allies' plans, we paid particular attention to the progress of implementation of the Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI), launched by Alliance Heads of State and Government at Washington last year. We concluded that the DCI has significantly influenced the future force plans of Allies and we welcomed the efforts underway to improve Alliance capabilities in key capability areas such as provision of strategic sea and airlift, precision guided munitions and further progress in consultation, command and control capabilities. We recognised, however, that it will be some time before Allies have fully developed many of the capabilities highlighted in the DCI, partly reflecting resource constraints. In this context, we also took stock of Allies' defence expenditure plans. We noted that, this year, more Allies project real increases in defence expenditure than was the case last year and that greater emphasis is being put on improvements in the management of defence resources and the potential benefits of multinational, joint and common funding projects as ways to ensure greater cost-effectiveness in providing the military capabilities the Alliance needs. On the other hand, we realise that, in many cases, additional funds appear necessary to achieve the required capability improvements set out in the DCI.
  4. We agreed on the need to continue to pursue greater efficiency in defence spending and to ensure that defence spending priorities match identified Alliance requirements. We also agreed to continue to seek the necessary resources to ensure that our forces are properly equipped, manned, trained and supported for the full range of Alliance missions. We will continue to review the success of our efforts, based on a number of important indicators, as part of our regular force planning work.
  5. As part of this year's annual defence review we also noted the planned contributions by many Allies to support the European Union Headline Goal, which were announced at the Capabilities Commitment Conference. We expect that the objectives of the Headline Goal and DCI will be mutually reinforcing and will give further impetus to the development of the military capabilities of the countries concerned. Such enhanced capabilities would also strengthen the ability of the Alliance to contribute to ensuring security and stability. For each nation, there is only one set of forces and resources. The possible overlapping of NATO and EU requirements should be addressed and coordinated by the two organisations in a coherent, transparent and consistent way, in order to harmonise those requirements and to review progress in meeting them. In any event the autonomy of NATO and EU institutional decision-making should be fully respected. We will, therefore, continue to take account of commitments made by Allies concerned to other organisations, to the extent that they have consequences for NATO force planning.
  6. Against this background, we approved new Ministerial Guidance to provide the framework for NATO and national defence planning in the period until 2008 and beyond. The actions the Alliance had to undertake last year to end the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo, and the instability that still exists in this and other regions, provide a stark reminder of the need for the Alliance to have substantial and robust forces able to react rapidly to emerging crises. The ability and determination of the Alliance to respond to non-Article 5 crises which threaten Euro-Atlantic security are closely linked to its ability and resolve to continue to deter and defend against aggression directed at Allies. The new Ministerial Guidance, therefore, emphasises the importance of having sufficient forces with the required capabilities for all likely missions, able to deploy quickly and to sustain themselves for as long as required, able to carry out their tasks and protect themselves effectively, and able to operate together effectively with the forces of other nations engaged in the same operations.
  7. At our Nuclear Planning Group meeting, we reviewed the status of NATO's nuclear forces and other related issues and activities. We received with appreciation presentations by the United States Secretary of Defense which included further information on U.S.-Russian efforts to establish a Joint Data Exchange Center in Moscow to share information from early warning systems regarding missile launches.
  8. We affirmed the continuing validity of the fundamentally political purpose and the principles underpinning the nuclear forces of the Allies as set out in the Alliance's 1999 Strategic Concept. NATO's nuclear forces are a credible and effective element of the Alliance's strategy of preventing war, and they are maintained at the minimum level of sufficiency to preserve peace and stability, and under conditions that meet the highest standards of safety and security. Nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO continue to provide an essential political and military link between the European and North American members of the Alliance.
  9. We reaffirmed the continued importance attached by Allies to full implementation of and compliance with international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regimes. We confirmed our commitments made at this year's Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and will contribute to carrying forward the conclusions reached there. NATO Allies continue to support the ratification, early entry into force, and full implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and remain committed to the immediate commencement and rapid conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable and universal Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT).
  10. We expressed our full support to the United States and the Russian Federation for an early implementation of START II and for future negotiations on the basis of an agreed START III framework to reduce significantly the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads of both countries. We also recalled the drastic reductions of NATO's nuclear forces in the new security environment, and renewed our call on Russia to complete the reductions in its non-strategic nuclear weapons stockpile, as pledged in 1991 and 1992 for implementation by the end of the year 2000.
  11. We welcomed the resumption of exchanges with the Russian Federation on a range of nuclear weapons issues, under the auspices of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, and we look forward to further exchanges in the spirit of improved transparency and full reciprocity.
  12. At the 1999 Washington Summit, the Alliance agreed to consider options for confidence and security building measures, verification, non-proliferation and arms control and disarmament in the light of overall strategic developments and the reduced salience of nuclear weapons. We received a comprehensive final report on the nuclear elements of this work and endorsed its conclusions, in particular proposals made in the area of confidence and security building measures and increased transparency as a basis for enhanced understanding, trust and cooperation. We commend the High Level Group for this valuable contribution to the overall Alliance work in fulfilling the Summit remit.

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