Updated: 06-May-2002 NATO Press Releases

2 (2000)124
15 Dec. 2000

Final Communiqué

Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council
held at NATO Headquarters, Brussels
on 14 and 15 December 2000

  1. At our meeting, we took stock of the progress made in NATO's ongoing efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to South-East Europe, and gave guidance for further implementation of the Washington Summit decisions.
  2. We reaffirm NATO's strong commitment to the achievement of security, stability, peace, democracy and respect for human rights in South-East Europe and will continue to pursue this objective vigorously, primarily through the NATO-led peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo. We welcome the progress achieved in our relations with Croatia and the significant changes which have taken place in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). These encouraging changes offer new prospects of lasting stability in the region and further progress towards regional integration. They also bring closer the day when all countries in the region take their place in the Euro-Atlantic structures.
  3. We pay tribute to the men and women of all nations serving in SFOR and KFOR for their professionalism and dedication to the cause of peace and stability. We express our deep sympathy to the families of those who have lost their lives or been injured in the course of their mission. We are grateful to NATO's Partners and other nations for the substantial contributions they are making to this effort. We reiterate our appreciation for the ongoing efforts of Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) in supporting KFOR.
  4. We reiterate our support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries in the region. We emphasise our determination to promote long-term stability based on regional reconciliation, goodneighbourliness, confidence-building measures, regional co-operation, a lasting resolution to the problem of refugees and displaced persons, and co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
  5. 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 24 November 2000. This meeting was an important step on the way towards reconciliation, increased regional co-operation and long-term stabilisation. We also welcome in this regard the informal Summit of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process organised in Skopje on 25 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.
  6. We welcome the democratic changes that have taken place in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia after September's parliamentary and presidential elections. We warmly welcome the admission of the FRY to the United Nations, the OSCE and other international fora. We also welcome the FRY's admission to the Stability Pact for South-East Europe, as well as the normalisation of its diplomatic relationships with Allies. We support the democratic aspirations of the people of the FRY and the efforts of President Kostunica to lead his country towards the development of democracy, respect for human rights, the rule of law and full international participation. We look forward to the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Serbia and hope that they will consolidate the democratic process.
  7. The democratic changes in the FRY will pave the way for increased stability across the region and offer new opportunities for regional co-operation. We welcome the FRY's willingness to improve its relations with its neighbours, and to co-operate towards the full implementation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. We note the FRY's more co-operative stance towards the ICTY and look forward to further steps in this direction. We welcome the lessening of tension between Serbia and Montenegro and the ongoing discussions on their future constitutional relationship within the FRY.
  8. Recent acts of violence by insurgent elements in the Presevo Valley and the Ground Safety Zone (GSZ) adjacent to the internal boundary between Kosovo and Serbia, are of concern to NATO and KFOR. We commend the efforts of KFOR to prohibit support from Kosovo for these elements. We condemn the violence caused by extremists and call on the perpetrators to cease their illegal activity forthwith. Any extremist activity and the possibility of an escalation of violence present a continuing threat to stability in the region, especially for neighbouring countries. We note the commitment by the present FRY authorities to abide by the Military-Technical Agreement (MTA), and to use the Joint Implementation Commission to address this sensitive area, and recognise their current policy of restraint. We express our strong support for the steps taken by COMKFOR to increase control and enhance security, and welcome the recent positive correspondence between President Kostunica and the Secretary General.
  9. We reaffirm our commitment to the full implementation of UNSCR 1244. We are determined to continue working towards a peaceful, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and democratic Kosovo where all its people, irrespective of ethnic origin or religion, can live in peace and security and enjoy universal human rights and freedoms on an equal basis, including through participation in democratic institutions. We express our strong support for the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), and commend the excellent co-operation between KFOR and UNMIK in implementing UNSCR 1244. We thank Dr. Bernard Kouchner for his efforts as SRSG, and welcome the appointment of Mr. Hans Hækkerup, the Minister of Defence of Denmark, to take up the position in January.
  10. The municipal elections in late October were a milestone for democratic development in Kosovo. We applaud the conduct of these elections and the close co-operation between KFOR and UNMIK in supporting the OSCE's leading role in the process. These elections provide an important foundation for the further development of provisional, democratic self-governing institutions, in accordance with UNSCR 1244.
  11. We fully support the efforts of the SRSG to establish local democratic, self-governing institutions in Kosovo. We call upon the new representatives on the Kosovo municipal councils to carry out their duties responsibly, in close co-operation with the international community. We encourage all the people of Kosovo to participate fully in this process.
  12. The protection and security of all the people of Kosovo remain a priority. KFOR will continue to play a key role in ensuring public security in Kosovo and to carry out its duties in a robust and even-handed manner. In this connection, we strongly commend KFOR's continued efforts regarding the seizure and destruction of illegal arms. We note that substantial progress has been made in reducing violence in Kosovo. Violence from any quarter, whether ethnically, politically or criminally motivated, is unacceptable. In particular, we condemn the recent bombing of the FRY liaison office in Pristina and the politically motivated assassination of Mr. Xhemajl Mustafa, Mr. Ibrahim Rugova's adviser. We remain concerned about the high level of organised crime which is a continuing threat to the people of Kosovo and neighbouring countries. We call upon all Kosovo inhabitants to support the significant efforts being made by KFOR and UNMIK to strengthen the rule of law. We welcome the increase in numbers of UNMIK police, who are now deployed throughout the province, and stress the importance of maintaining a high level of support to UNMIK in this area. We also commend the efforts of the OSCE in training and establishing the Kosovo Police Service (KPS). We support the efforts of the international community to establish a functioning judicial system in Kosovo, but acknowledge that much work remains to be done in this respect.
  13. The release of all Kosovar Albanians detained in Serbia without proper grounds is a matter of urgency, as is accurate accounting for all missing persons, including in Kosovo. We are pleased to note that UNMIK and the FRY have initiated constructive talks to help resolve these issues. In this respect, we welcome especially the release of human rights campaigner Flora Brovina as a step in the right direction. We also underscore the right of all displaced persons and refugees, including Kosovo Serb and other ethnic minorities, to return to their homes, under secure and safe conditions. We call upon all communities in Kosovo to work towards this goal in co-operation with KFOR and UNMIK.
  14. We note the progress that has been made in establishing the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), and the reduced number of non-compliance cases. We are aware that improvements are still needed, especially with regard to full compliance, and will support efforts to ensure that the KPC has the means and proper tasking to fulfil its designated civilian role. KFOR will continue to exercise close supervision over the KPC.
  15. We welcome the decision of our Defence Ministers to maintain KFOR's overall force levels at present and that the Council in Permanent Session should conduct a further review of KFOR's role and missions.
  16. We remain firmly committed to the full implementation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We fully support the objectives of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) as set out in its Ministerial Meeting held in Brussels in May 2000, and its determination to integrate Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single, multi-ethnic, democratic state into Euro-Atlantic structures. Following the recent elections, we hope to see the incoming executive and legislative authorities, at state as well as entity level, in place and functioning effectively as soon as possible. We will continue to work closely, in particular through SFOR, with the High Representative and with other organisations, such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Police Task Force (IPTF) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
  17. Five years after the conclusion of the Dayton Peace Agreement and despite the sustained efforts and resources of the international community, it is clear to us that greater and more rapid progress needs to be made in Bosnia and Herzegovina towards a self-sustaining, multi-ethnic democracy. The responsibility for achieving this lies with the leaders of communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who have too often been unwilling to look beyond their ethnic allegiances.
  18. We welcome the successful conduct of the general elections in November under the supervision of the OSCE. We are encouraged by the increased support for moderate parties, while the continuing appeal of hard-line nationalist parties remains a cause for concern. We call on the newly elected leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to commit themselves to the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords, taking on greater responsibility for and ownership of the process. In particular, we encourage them to redouble their efforts to improve the functioning of state level institutions.
  19. We welcome the progress made so far in increased levels of refugee returns, civil reconstruction, reductions in Entity military manpower and defence expenditures, the inauguration of the State Border Service and the continued compliance with the establishment of the Brcko district and its demilitarisation. Nonetheless, important challenges remain. In particular, further progress must be achieved in market reform, economic re-construction and the creation of a self-sustaining economy and a single economic space; the adjudication of property claims enabling the return of refugees and displaced persons especially to areas in which their ethnic groups are in the minority; improving the effectiveness of all state level institutions and co-operation between Entities; transferring to the ICTY persons indicted for war crimes; the fight against corruption, organised crime and illegal secret services; judicial and police reform; and the full functioning of the State Border Service. We support the High Representative in his use of the authority accorded to him to advance this agenda.
  20. We urge the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the objectives of Annex I B of the Dayton Peace Agreement concerning confidence-building and security measures. 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. Bosnia and Herzegovina needs armed forces with a unified command and control capable of joint deployment and joint action under international and regional security organisations. We welcome the additional 15% reduction in Entity military manpower and defence expenditures which will be accomplished by the end of this year and call for rapid progress in further reducing and restructuring the Entities' armed forces, pursuant to development and implementation of a common defence policy. We support SFOR's efforts in this regard and its efforts to strengthen the SCMM. We reaffirm our commitment to further contribute to enhancing stability and confidence in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to strengthen co-operation between the Entities' armed forces. We call upon the countries neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina to support the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, in particular those countries which are signatories of this Agreement.
  21. We endorse SFOR's continuing close working relationship with the civilian agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We reaffirm that SFOR will continue to support the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, while stressing that the Entities continue to carry primary responsibility for bringing to justice persons indicted for war crimes.
  22. We welcome the conclusions of our Defence Ministers who reviewed SFOR's force levels and structure and concluded that they should be maintained for the present. They 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 their next meeting. We note, inter alia, the need to fully resource the Multinational Specialised Units to agreed levels.
  23. We received the Consolidated Progress Report on the Implementation of the Alliance's South-East Europe Initiative (SEEI). We noted with satisfaction the achievements to date of the SEEI, launched at the Washington Summit, which supports and encourages regional co-operation and helps individual countries in their efforts to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic institutions. 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. We welcome the progress achieved by the countries of the region in implementing the specific activities in the framework of NATO's SEEI, including the South East Europe Security Cooperation Steering Group (SEEGROUP) and the Regional Common Assessment Paper on Regional Security Challenges (SEECAP). Through such initiatives, the SEEI has also been making a significant contribution to the Stability Pact, particularly to its Working Table on security issues.
  24. We applaud the co-operation between the Alliance, the World Bank, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania, facilitated through the Stability Pact, to retrain and reintegrate former military officers into the civilian economy. The Alliance is ready to assist in drawing up a similar programme for Albania. We look forward to contributing to the Stability Pact effort to develop a South-East Europe regional civil-military emergency response capability through its Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Initiative.
  25. We look forward to a further progress report from the Council in Permanent Session on implementation of the SEEI and its contribution to the Stability Pact at our next regular meeting in Spring 2001.
  26. We reviewed progress achieved to date in implementing the Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI), and endorse the statement by our Defence Ministers on this subject. DCI will provide the forces and capabilities the Alliance urgently requires to meet the security challenges of the 21st century by ensuring 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. Furthering the objectives of DCI continues to require sustained commitment - both at NATO and in capitals. 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 co-operative and collective arrangements and mechanisms, including multinational, joint and common funding. Ultimately, however, the implementation of DCI will depend on the adequacy of national defence budgets. We endorse the decision of our Defence Ministers to extend until 2002 the mandate of the High Level Steering Group, which is charged with overseeing the implementation of the DCI, in order to maintain the necessary high level engagement by nations in the initiative.
  27. The DCI will also promote greater interoperability among Alliance forces and, where applicable, between Allied and Partner forces. The efforts of the Alliance and Allied nations to implement DCI and the efforts of the EU to enhance European capabilities are mutually reinforcing. Therefore, implementation of DCI will also strengthen the European pillar of the Alliance and improve the capability of European Allies to undertake EU-led operations where the Alliance as a whole is not engaged. Because Partners have an important part to play in future NATO-led operations, we welcome their current engagement in elements of the DCI.
  28. We took stock of the progress made to date on the development of the European Security and Defence Identity in accordance with the decisions taken at the Washington Summit and subsequent Ministerial meetings. We reaffirmed our determination to reinforce NATO's European pillar and remain committed to a balanced and dynamic transatlantic partnership. We share the goal endorsed by EU Member States at the Nice European Council for a genuine strategic partnership in crisis management between NATO and the EU. The Alliance will remain the foundation for the collective defence of its members and continue actively to play its important role in crisis management as set out in the Strategic Concept. The partnership between NATO and the EU and the development of a capable and effective ESDI, in accordance with the principles set out at the Washington Summit and subsequent Ministerial meetings, will strengthen the Alliance through which we remain ready to pursue common security objectives wherever possible.
  29. We welcome the intensification of the dialogue between the Alliance and the European Union since our last meeting in Florence. In this context, we look forward to the working dinner between Foreign Ministers of NATO and the European Union later today, which is an important step towards establishing a close, confident and mutually beneficial relationship between the two organisations. We have made progress in the NATO-EU ad hoc working groups which have met to discuss security issues, permanent arrangements for consultation and co-operation, modalities for EU access to NATO assets and capabilities, and capability goals - taking into account all relevant matters, including those related to participation. Together with the two meetings of the North Atlantic Council and the EU interim Political and Security Committee in September and November, they have enhanced the understanding of the two organisations and their members on how they might most effectively cooperate in the future. We look forward to their future work as well as to future meetings of the North Atlantic Council and the Political and Security Committee with a view to developing all the elements of the envisaged NATO-EU relations. We also welcome the establishment of an interim security agreement between the two organisations and note NATO's readiness to conclude a permanent security agreement with the European Union as a matter of priority.
  30. 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 for Petersberg tasks where the Alliance as a whole is not engaged. We note that this process does not imply the creation of a European army and that the commitment of national resources for EU-led operations will be based on sovereign decisions. We welcome the efforts made in the EU towards meeting its Headline Goal by 2003 as set out at the Helsinki European Council, thus contributing to the improvement and strengthening of European military capabilities. Alliance experts, on the basis of a Council decision, have contributed military and technical advice to the work of EU experts on a catalogue of forces and capabilities for the EU Headline Goal. We note the EU's acknowledgement of the value of this input. NATO stands ready to provide, subject to the necessary decisions, further expert advice upon request by the EU. We welcome the pledges made at the recent EU Capabilities Commitment Conference, 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 21 November 2000 at the 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 improvements. The Alliance's Defence Capabilities Initiative is also supporting the enhancement of European capabilities. The objectives arising from NATO's DCI and the EU's Headline Goal are mutually reinforcing.
  31. We note and welcome the proposals made by the European Council at Nice for permanent arrangements to ensure full transparency, consultation and co-operation between NATO and the EU. We agree that consultations and co-operation will be developed between the two organisations on questions of common interest relating to security, defence and crisis management, so that crises can be met with the most appropriate military response and effective crisis management ensured.
  32. We look forward to the early establishment of such mutually satisfactory arrangements based on the principles enunciated in Washington and at subsequent Ministerial meetings, which will be taken into account in the framework agreement establishing these arrangements. These arrangements are key to a close, confident and transparent relationship between the two organisations as foreseen at the Washington Summit.

    We welcome the intention of the European Union that this dialogue should be pursued through a regular pattern of meetings at Ministerial, North Atlantic Council/Political and Security Committee, Military Committee and expert level as well as through contacts with Secretariats to ensure consultation, co-operation and transparency. We endorse the view of the EU that in the emergency phase of a crisis contacts and meetings will be stepped up. In the view of the Alliance, meetings between the North Atlantic Council and the Political and Security Committee outside times of crisis should be held not less than three times, and Ministerial meetings once, per EU Presidency; either organisation may request additional meetings as necessary.

    We welcome the Nice provisions on invitations for the NATO Secretary General, Chairman of the Military Committee and DSACEUR, in accordance with his terms of reference, to EU meetings. For our part, on the basis of reciprocity, we will invite the EU Presidency and Secretary General/High Representative to NATO meetings. The Chairman of the EU Military Committee or his representative will similarly be invited to meetings of the NATO Military Committee.

    The Alliance agrees that these proposals constitute the basis for the permanent NATO/EU agreement. We stand ready to work to finalise this agreement without delay.

  33. We underline, as we did at the Washington Summit and subsequent Ministerial meetings, the importance of finding solutions satisfactory to all Allies to the issue of participation. We note the provisions agreed by the European Council at Nice for dialogue, consultation and co-operation with non-EU European Allies on issues related to security and defence policy and crisis management and as well as the modalities for participation in EU-led military operations. We welcome the commitment to intensify consultation in times of crisis, which will also enable non-EU European Allies to raise their concerns when they consider their security interests might be involved. It is particularly important in this context that non-EU European Allies can request meetings with the European Union and submit proposals for agenda items.
  34. Allies look forward to the broad and effective practical implementation of these arrangements, in particular for consultation and co-operation with the EU Political and Security Committee and EU Military Committee and, as appropriate, with the EU military staff, so as to ensure that the Allies concerned derive maximum benefit from them and to enable the Allies concerned to contribute effectively. 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 also welcome the EU's decision at Nice on initial proposals to develop dialogue, co-operation and consultation with Canada, including a commitment to intensify consultation in times of crisis, particularly when the EU is considering an operation using NATO assets and capabilities.

  35. 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.
  36. Important work remains to be done which we will pursue intensively. We direct the Council in Permanent Session to continue work on the implementation of the ESDI decisions on the basis of the agenda above, and to report to us at our next meeting.
  37. We note the decisions taken at the Ministerial meeting of the WEU held in Marseille in November, particular that WEU/NATO routine consultations mechanisms will be suspended, except for those that still need to be applied during the transition period, in particular for the joint exercise study next year, JES 2001, to which we look forward. We appreciate the WEU's important contribution to the development of the European security and defence architecture. We have valued the close co-operation between NATO and the WEU and pay tribute to the work of the WEU and NATO staffs in support of it.
  38. Recalling the decisions taken at the Washington Summit, we reaffirm the Alliance's commitment to remain open to new members. 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. No European democratic country whose admission would fulfil the objectives of the Washington Treaty will be excluded from consideration regardless of its geographic location, each being considered on its own merits.
  39. The Membership Action Plan (MAP) process underlines NATO's commitment to its Open Door policy by assisting the nine aspiring countries in their own efforts to prepare for possible future membership. We welcome the streamlining of this process, which we have undertaken in consultation with aspirants, to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. In the second annual cycle of the MAP we continue to provide advice, feedback and assistance to the aspiring countries on their preparations for possible future membership. We noted a report on the implementation of the second annual cycle to date. We welcome the aspirants' continuing strong commitment to reform, including to defence reform and the modernisation of their armed forces as expressed by their Defence Ministers, and encourage them to build on the progress achieved so far. The aspirants should continue to pursue vigorously the challenging goals they have set themselves, ensuring that clear priorities are established and sufficient resources allocated to them.
  40. We look forward to receiving a Consolidated Progress Report on the results of the second annual cycle of the MAP at our next meeting, as part of our ongoing review of the enlargement process, including the implementation of the Membership Action Plan. Heads of State and Government will review this process at the next Summit to be held no later than 2002.
  41. We continue to place 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 welcome the activities within the EAPC/PfP framework to enhance transparency, confidence and co-operation among all members of the Euro-Atlantic Community and we remain firmly committed to the continued development of the EAPC as a key forum for political consultation and practical co-operation on Euro-Atlantic security issues.
  42. We note with satisfaction the many EAPC/PfP activities to promote practical regional co-operation in South-East Europe, as well as in the Caucasus and Central Asia. We value the role of the Regional Ad Hoc Working Groups on South-East Europe and the Caucasus in promoting and supporting regional co-operation. We welcome continued efforts in the EAPC/PfP framework to support broader efforts underway to address the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and in support of global humanitarian mine action and the promotion of International Humanitarian Law, among other EAPC priority areas. In particular, we welcome the recent establishment of a PfP Trust Fund on Anti-Personnel Landmine Stockpile Destruction and look forward to periodic reports on its activities. We support steps to strengthen the EAPC/PfP co-operation in promoting conflict prevention and crisis management, which will complement the work of other relevant institutions. We also support initiatives for further developing co-operation on information and outreach opportunities and welcome Partners' continuing interest in co-operation in civil emergency preparedness.
  43. We noted reports on the Enhanced and More Operational Partnership, and the implementation of the Operational Capabilities Concept. We value highly the continuing progress in making the Partnership for Peace more operational and look forward to reviewing progress on these initiatives at our next meeting. 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. We remain strongly committed to the full implementation of the Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PfP operations. Within this Framework, we attach great importance to enhancing Partners' roles in the political guidance and oversight, planning, and command arrangements for NATO-led crisis response operations. We look forward to receiving at our next meeting a report by the Council in Permanent Session on progress achieved in implementing the Political-Military Framework.
  44. We remain committed to building a strong, stable and enduring partnership with the Russian Federation in accordance with the NATO-Russia Founding Act, on the basis of the principles of transparency and reciprocity. We welcome the progress made in resuming consultations and co-operation on a broad range of issues in the framework of the Permanent Joint Council (PJC).
  45. We attach great importance to the continued dialogue and co-operation in the framework of the PJC on issues relating to the operations in Bosnia and Kosovo, building on the valuable experience of practical co-operation with Russian forces in both SFOR and KFOR.
  46. We value our ongoing consultations and co-operation 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, scientific and environmental issues, civil emergency preparedness, and the retraining of discharged military personnel. In particular, we look forward to implementing the programme of co-operation between NATO and Russia on search and rescue at sea agreed by PJC Defence Ministers on 5 December 2000 and to the early signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with Russia on environmental protection. We welcome the progressive resumption of Russian participation in the EAPC and would welcome active Russian participation in PfP.
  47. We welcome the exchange of letters on the establishment of a NATO Information Office in Moscow and look forward to developing NATO's information activities in Russia. We attach great importance to the further development of military-to-military co-operation and are pursuing our negotiations with Russia with a view to opening a NATO Military Liaison Mission in Moscow in the near future, as called for in the Founding Act.
  48. In connection with the situation in North Caucasus, we reaffirm that a mutually satisfactory, just and durable 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. While acknowledging the right of Russia to preserve its territorial integrity and its right and responsibility to protect all its citizens against criminality and terrorism which we condemn in all its forms, we urge Russia to respect its international obligations as a member of the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, as well as the relevant principles enshrined in the Founding Act. We call on the Chechen side to co-operate in good faith in seeking a solution to the conflict, to condemn terrorism and to take action against it.
  49. We urge the Russian government to expedite the OSCE Assistance Group's return to Chechnya under its existing mandate. We deplore the continued loss of life and material damage inflicted upon the civilian population; this calls for prompt and independent investigation of violations of human rights and breaches of international law. We recall the importance we attach to the efforts of humanitarian assistance organisations to relieve the suffering of the displaced and call on Russia to support them fully.
  50. We value our relationship with an independent, democratic and stable Ukraine and Ukraine's contribution to ensuring stability in Central and Eastern Europe and the continent as a whole. We are satisfied with the successful implementation of co-operative and consultative activities under the NATO-Ukraine Work Plan, which has contributed to a steady deepening of the distinctive partnership. We are determined to build on these achievements in 2001 and to ensure further implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Charter.
  51. We are pleased with Ukraine's enhanced participation in PfP, both in its military and non-military aspects. We will continue to support the implementation of Ukraine's defence reform and welcome the enhanced role and new initiatives of the Joint Working Group on Defence Reform. We encourage Ukraine to pursue these efforts, and in that regard we welcome the approval of Ukraine's state programme for the reform of the armed forces, and the recent Presidential Decree on its implementation. We reiterate our appreciation for Ukraine's continuing contribution to KFOR, which is an expression of Ukraine's commitment to our joint effort to build peace and stability in the region. Our co-operation in KFOR also contributes to improving interoperability between Ukraine's forces and those of the Allies. We welcome the ratification by the Verkhovna Rada of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
  52. We continue to attach particular importance to the NATO Liaison Office, which plays a key role in enhancing Ukraine's participation in PfP. We also value the important role of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv, as a means to increase public awareness of our distinctive partnership and to consolidate it.
  53. NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue is an essential part of the Alliance's co-operative approach to security, since security in the whole of Europe is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. We are pleased with the progress achieved so far with respect to the implementation of decisions on enhancing the Mediterranean Dialogue taken at the Washington Summit, and look forward to co-operation in the field of search and rescue, maritime safety, medical evacuation and humanitarian relief. We reaffirm the progressive nature of the Dialogue, and will continue to consider ways to strengthen the political and practical dimensions of our co-operative relations with all the Mediterranean partners in accordance with the Washington Summit decisions, in areas where NATO can bring an added value and where partners have expressed interest. We direct the Council in Permanent Session to report at our next meeting on the political and practical co-operation in the Dialogue. We hope that the Mediterranean Dialogue conference originally planned to take place in November will be rescheduled as soon as possible.
  54. Although the Alliance is not involved in the Middle East Peace Process, we strongly support it and urge all participants to remain firmly committed to it.
  55. We applaud the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act. We welcome the significant role played by the OSCE in the Euro-Atlantic area, notably in South-East Europe. We encourage the speedy implementation of the commitments undertaken and the initiatives launched at the Istanbul Summit for strengthening the OSCE's operational capability, thus improving its crisis management capacity. We recall NATO's support for the Platform for Cooperative Security, in which the OSCE declared its intention to work with other institutions. We welcome the substantial progress made in the implementation of the Platform, particularly the enhanced contacts and co-operation between NATO and the OSCE on matters of common interest.
  56. We welcome the work of the OSCE in assisting in the implementation of the Dayton/Paris Peace Accords and its contribution to the creation of a framework for peace and stability in South Eastern Europe. We call upon the States participating in the negotiations on regional stability under the Accords to make use of the fresh impetus generated by the participation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the OSCE, with the aim of concluding their work by the agreed deadline. NATO stands ready to support the implementation of such an agreement within the framework of the Stability Pact for South-East Europe.
  57. Recalling the Alliance's longstanding commitment to the goals of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, we welcome the comprehensive report on options for confidence and security building measures (CSBMs), verification, non-proliferation and arms control and disarmament called for by our Heads of State and Government in Washington. We task the Council in Permanent Session to pursue vigorously implementation of the recommendations contained in this report, including with Russia through the PJC. A public report has been released as a NATO document.
  58. 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 remains crucial.
  59. 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 fulfill 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 fulfillment of Russia's assurances of 1 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.
  60. We look for no less timely and effective fulfillment 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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 security 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 unchanged: to prevent proliferation from occurring, or, should it occur, to reverse it through diplomatic means. In this context we continue to place great importance on non-proliferation regimes, international arms control and disarmament, and export control regimes as means to prevent proliferation.
  63. Our response to the NBC threat should be consistent with the indivisibility of Allied security. We reaffirm that the Alliance's defence posture must have the capability to address appropriately and effectively the risks associated with the proliferation of NBC weapons and their means of delivery. We note continued work in NATO inter alia on Theatre Missile Defence for point and area defence, in particular on the feasibility study on a possible system for the defence of deployed NATO forces. We will continue consultations in the Alliance on TMD issues.
  64. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. Alliance nations have dramatically reduced nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and reaffirm their commitment to work for the further reduction of nuclear weapons globally. We confirm our full support and commitment to the implementation of the conclusions of the NPT Review Conference which agreed on the importance of universal adherence to and compliance with the NPT, and reaffirmed the commitment of all States Parties to disarmament, safeguards and peaceful nuclear co-operation.
  65. Last May we welcomed Russian ratification of the START II Treaty. We continue to attach greatest importance to an early entry into force of that Treaty and of an early conclusion of a START III agreement, while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons. Given the need to reduce the uncertainties surrounding substrategic nuclear weapons in Russia, we believe that a reaffirmation - and perhaps codification - of the 1991/92 Presidential Initiatives might be a first, but not exhaustive, step in this direction. We remain committed to an early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and, in the meanwhile, urge all states to refrain from any acts which would defeat its object and purpose. Similarly, we remain committed to the immediate commencement, in the Conference on Disarmament, of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in accordance with the Mandate of the Special Coordinator.
  66. We continue to emphasise the importance of universal accession and adherence to, as well as full compliance with, the Chemical Weapons Convention. We continue to regard as a matter of priority the conclusion of negotiations on appropriate measures, including possible verification measures and proposals to strengthen the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), to be included as appropriate in a legally binding instrument. We reiterate our commitment to efforts to achieve such an instrument as soon as possible before the 5th Review Conference of the BTWC in 2001. We remain strongly committed to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as an important element in our efforts to counter the proliferation of means for delivering weapons of mass destruction. During the past year, the MTCR partners have focused increasingly on new ideas for addressing the ongoing global missile threat and responses to face the challenge posed by indigenous missile programmes and exports. We will encourage countries that are not part of the MTCR to subscribe to and adopt its principles, commitments, confidence-building measures and incentives. We support ongoing efforts to achieve a code of conduct against ballistic missile proliferation on the basis of these ideas.
  67. We have continued consultations on the United States consideration of a limited National Missile Defence system. We took note of President Clinton's decision not to take steps now to begin deployment of such a system. As the President noted, the view of NATO Allies was a critical consideration in that decision. NATO will continue its consultations on this issue.
  68. We are pleased that the implementation of the WMD Initiative is proceeding well and that the newly established WMD Centre is already contributing to improve co-ordination of all WMD-related activities at NATO Headquarters, including the strengthening of our commitments to arms control and non-proliferation.
  69. The Alliance is currently engaged in very productive consultations with Russia under the Permanent Joint Council on proliferation-related matters, and we are continuing to prepare for discussions with Ukraine in the NATO-Ukraine Commission, with Partners under the EAPC/PfP framework and with Mediterranean Dialogue countries.
  70. We deplore the recent terrorist attacks against nationals of several NATO countries and deeply regret the tragic loss of life. Terrorism constitutes a threat to internal and international security, to peaceful relations between States and to their territorial integrity, to the development and functioning of democratic institutions throughout the world and to the enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties. We strongly condemn this scourge in all its manifestations, and reiterate our strong determination to combat it in full compliance with all our international commitments and national legislation.
  71. The Alliance has completed the review of the role of civil emergency planning in NATO and agreed the political direction for the future. It is currently translating that direction into structures and procedures. The direction identified five roles for civil emergency planning, taking into account the results of the Washington Summit, particularly the Alliance's new Strategic Concept, experience in Bosnia and Kosovo and the advice of the NATO Military Authorities. These are: civil support for Alliance military operations under Article 5; civil support for non-Article 5 crisis response operations; support to national authorities in civil emergencies, including disaster response; support for national authorities in the protection of populations against the effects of weapons of mass destruction; and co-operation 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. Especially with a view to ensuring the effective conduct of non-Article 5 crisis response operations, NATO civil emergency planning will need increasingly to be coordinated with the work of the United Nations, which has the primary responsibility for humanitarian relief, and with other international organisations. Partners will be actively involved in this work and will have a valuable contribution to make to its success.
  72. We endorse the welcome of our Defence Ministers for the continuing work and progress made to improve the resource management of the Alliance's military common funded budgets.
  73. A separate review with the objective of securing greater transparency and efficiency is also required for the NATO Civil Budget. We task the Council in Permanent Session to make recommendations for further consideration at our next meeting.
  74. We decided to hold the next NATO Summit in Prague and tasked the Council in Permanent Session to identify an appropriate date.


  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

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