Updated: 07-May-2002 NATO Press Releases

29 May 2001

Final Communiqué

Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council
Held in Budapest

  1. At our meeting today, we took stock of the progress made in promoting the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area and gave guidance for further implementation of the Washington Summit decisions. In particular, we have:
    • reaffirmed our commitment to a peaceful, stable and democratic South-East Europe, and our determination to oppose all violence, whether ethnically, politically or criminally motivated;
    • continued our efforts to develop close and effective NATO-EU relations, in order to strengthen the transatlantic partnership; and
    • decided to intensify our discussions on security challenges of the 21st century, including the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their means of delivery, and how best to address them.

  2. We reaffirm NATO's strong commitment to security, stability, peace, democracy and respect for human rights in South-East Europe. The Alliance will continue to pursue this objective vigorously, primarily through the NATO-led peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo and through security cooperation with the countries of the region.
  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 our common effort.
  4. We reiterate our support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all the countries in South-East Europe. We emphasise our determination to promote long- term stability through regional reconciliation and cooperation, goodneighbourliness, stable and secure borders, protection of the rights of members of ethnic groups and minorities, confidence-building measures, a lasting resolution to the problem of refugees and displaced persons, and full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
  5. We welcome the steady improvement in our relations with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and look forward to their further development. We are encouraged by the positive steps taken by the democratically elected government and believe that its constructive attitude will contribute to long-term stability across the region and offer new opportunities for regional cooperation and integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. We welcome the progress made by the FRY in improving its relations with its neighbours, and cooperating towards the full implementation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1244. We welcome the FRY's more cooperative stance towards the ICTY and the positive measures already taken, and expect it to continue on the path towards full cooperation with the Tribunal in its work in The Hague, including through the adoption of an appropriate legal framework. All indictees must be held accountable for their acts in full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 827 on the establishment of the ICTY. In this regard, we welcome the arrest of former President Milosevic.
  6. We call on Belgrade and Podgorica to resume a constructive dialogue on their constitutional relationship and to seek solutions acceptable to both. We strongly discourage any unilateral steps that may threaten the political stability of not only the FRY, but also the region as a whole. We reiterate our support for a democratic Montenegro within a democratic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
  7. We support the ongoing efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the problems in Southern Serbia, taking into account the peace plan of the FRY/Serbian authorities which seeks to address the legitimate grievances of the ethnic Albanian community. We are pleased that the efforts by the Secretary General's Personal Representative, and the close cooperation with the European Union, have been instrumental in this regard. NATO will continue to stay engaged in this process and we look forward to continued cooperation with the FRY/Serbian authorities in this respect. We are encouraged by recent positive developments following the decision by NATO to allow, as a further step to ultimately abolish the Ground Safety Zone, the controlled return of FRY forces into Sector B under COMKFOR's authority. In particular, we welcome the restraint shown by the FRY forces re-entering the Zone and the absence of major confrontations with armed groups. We also welcome the fact that many ethnic Albanians who previously belonged to armed groups have, under KFOR's supervision, relinquished their weapons and ceased their activities.
  8. The successful completion of the process now under way in Southern Serbia and the longer term stability of the region require the early implementation of tangible and verifiable confidence-building measures. We applaud the first steps towards implementing the OSCE-sponsored multi-ethnic police training concept, the amnesty as announced by the Serb authorities, the demilitarisation statement signed by leaders of armed groups and their voluntary disarmament and dissolution. The strict political control over FRY forces in the region and the integration of ethnic Albanians into local administrative and political structures are also important. For their part, ethnic Albanians must commit themselves fully to the political process aimed at reconciliation, to voluntary disarmament, to the dissolution of armed groups, and to the renunciation of violence. KFOR, in conjunction with UNMIK police, will continue its robust action to interdict the movement of arms and armed groups between Kosovo, Southern Serbia and other parts of the region, including the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1).
  9. We reaffirm our commitment to the full implementation of UNSCR 1244. We commend the excellent working relationship between KFOR and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in working towards establishing 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 welcome the issuing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (SRSG) of the regulation concerning the constitutional framework for provisional self-government in Kosovo, which is an important step in the implementation of UNSCR 1244. This framework will provide the basis for Kosovo-wide elections to be held on 17 November. Kosovo's leaders should assume their responsibilities and make every effort to ensure that the elections take place peacefully in a secure environment. We urge all communities to participate in these elections and to take full part in the new political structures in Kosovo. All displaced persons should have the possibility to participate in these general elections.
  10. We reaffirm the importance of creating conditions in which refugees and displaced persons, including Kosovo Serb and other ethnic minorities, can return to their homes in safety and security. We urge the political leaders of Kosovo to pursue this goal more actively in cooperation with KFOR and UNMIK.
  11. The establishment of a secure environment for all the people of Kosovo remains a priority. We strongly condemn ethnically, politically or criminally motivated extremist activities by both ethnic Albanians and Serbs, as well as acts of violence perpetrated against the international presence. All such violence is inexcusable, and is contrary to the interests of Kosovo and the region as a whole. We call on all political parties and communities in Kosovo, in particular the Albanian ones, to condemn such activities unambiguously and to support the significant efforts by KFOR and UNMIK to combat extremism and strengthen the rule of law and deny the use of Kosovo as a base for extremist activities in the region. In this context, we also urge the early promulgation of an UNMIK regulation to enable more effective action against proponents of extremism and violence. Ethnic tensions in Mitrovica and the minority areas remain a matter of concern.
  12. We also remain very concerned about the high level of organised crime and its links to extremism and external sources of finance. Organised crime threatens healthy economic development in Kosovo and represents a major source of instability for the region.
  13. The proper functioning of Kosovo's judicial system is a prerequisite for healthy democratic development and economic prosperity. We welcome the recent progress in strengthening the rule of law, but note that more improvements must be made. We commend the continuing work of the OSCE in helping to recruit and train members of the multi-ethnic Kosovo Police Service.
  14. We welcome the recent release of ethnic Albanian political prisoners from Serb jails. We recall the need for Belgrade to release the remaining Kosovo Albanians who are detained in Serbia without proper legal grounds. We call for every effort to be made to account accurately for missing persons, regardless of ethnic origin, and stress KFOR's preparedness to work with the International Commission of Missing Persons.
  15. We recognise that the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) remains generally compliant in fulfilling its civilian role, under the overall responsibility of UNMIK and the day-to-day supervision of KFOR. Nevertheless, there are serious concerns about cases of non-compliance by individual members and about involvement in organised crime, possession of unauthorised weapons and support to extremist activities in Kosovo and surrounding areas. We condemn these activities and recall the need for the KPC leadership to continue to take steps to end them and to clearly and publicly condemn extremist activities in Kosovo and the region. KFOR will continue to exercise close supervision over the KPC in accordance with the policies and priorities established by the SRSG. We attach the utmost importance to the strict enforcement of the KPC Code of Conduct.
  16. We noted a report on KFOR's roles and missions and recommendations on its size and structure. We welcome its conclusions, particularly that, at present, no changes to the size and posture of KFOR are appropriate.
  17. 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) and its determination to integrate Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single, multi-ethnic, democratic state, with strong and effective common institutions, into Euro-Atlantic structures. We will continue to work closely, in particular through SFOR, with the High Representative and with other organisations, including the UNHCR, the OSCE, the European Union, the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH), the International Police Task Force (IPTF) and the ICTY. We strongly endorse the respective efforts of SFOR and the ICTY to detain and bring to trial persons indicted for war crimes. In this context, we reiterate that the Entities carry primary responsibility for bringing to justice persons indicted for war crimes, and urge them to cooperate more effectively with SFOR to this end.
  18. We welcome the participation, following the elections of last autumn, of moderate, non-nationalistic political parties in the new state and entity governments. The international community expects these new governments to make greater and more rapid progress towards a self-sustaining, multi-ethnic democracy. We call on the newly elected leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to take on greater responsibility for and ownership of the process of implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement and of preparing Bosnia and Herzegovina to integrate into Euro-Atlantic structures.
  19. We condemn all forms of separatism and nationalist violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this regard, we are deeply concerned at the recent events in Mostar perpetrated by Croat extremists and in Trebinje and Banja Luka perpetrated by Serb extremists, which directly challenge the Dayton Peace Agreement and the legitimate state and entity institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We call on all political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in other countries of the region, to clearly express their condemnation of these events. We fully support the High Representative and SFOR in their efforts to counter this challenge. We call on all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to resolve their differences through peaceful, legal and democratic means. We also urge them to recognise that the interests of their community are best served within the existing institutional framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina and by cooperating with the High Representative and with the legitimate state and entity authorities. Violence by any group against these authorities, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina or SFOR troops and other representatives of the international community, will not be tolerated.
  20. We urge Bosnian Croats not to pursue narrow, parochial objectives, but to realise that their interests are best achieved by working for the collective interests of the Bosnian community as a whole. We call on those Bosnian Croats who have left the Federation structures to return to them and commend those who have already returned for their commitment to the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We welcome Croatia's policy rejecting the HDZ's attempts to form parallel institutions.
  21. We encourage the Presidency to pursue the programme of defence reform as a matter of priority. 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. In this respect, we welcome the endorsement by the Presidency of a common defence policy for Bosnia and Herzegovina. 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.
  22. We urge the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement fully Annex I B of the Dayton Peace Agreement concerning confidence-building and security measures. We call upon the countries neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina to support in an open and transparent manner the full implementation of the Agreement, in particular those countries that are signatories to this Agreement.
  23. We welcome the contribution of the OSCE to the implementation of the Peace Agreement and to the creation of a framework for peace and stability in South-East Europe. We call upon the States participating in the negotiations on regional stability under the Agreement 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 as soon as possible. NATO stands ready to support the implementation of such an agreement within the framework of the Stability Pact for South-East Europe.
  24. We noted a report on SFOR's roles and missions and recommendations on its size and structure. We welcome its conclusions, notably that it is not advisable at this time to consider major restructuring or reductions of SFOR, particularly in light of the current developments, but that, under certain circumstances as set out by the NATO Military Authorities, a moderate reduction in overall troop levels could be undertaken within the current force structure. We reiterate the recommendation from the report on the need to fully resource the Multinational Specialised Units to agreed levels.
  25. We reiterate our full commitment to the security, stability and territorial integrity of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1). We strongly condemn the recent acts of violence by extremist Albanian groups, which have not only threatened the stability of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1), but also undermined the efforts of those ethnic Albanians who are working together with the international community to bring peace, democracy and stability to the troubled Balkan region. We urge the leaders of ethnic Albanian communities in the region to condemn unambiguously these acts of violence. The extremists must immediately cease their violent activities.
  26. We are encouraged by the refusal of the overwhelming majority of the population in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) to support those who believe their goals and objectives should be reached through violence. We support the authorities in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) in their efforts to isolate the extremist elements in a manner which promotes a peaceful solution. We look to the authorities to avoid the excessive use of force and expect them to take every precaution to avoid civilian casualties.
  27. We welcome the creation of a broad coalition government. We urge the parties to take quick, concrete steps in the ongoing inter-ethnic dialogue under President Trajkovski's auspices, with the participation of political parties of all ethnic groups, with a view to meeting legitimate concerns, consolidating inter-ethnic relations and ensuring a better future for all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origin. In this regard, we note the steps by the government to establish Albanian language higher-level education, an Albanian-language television channel and enhanced local self-government.
  28. Cooperation between international organisations has resulted in a coordinated response and an unambiguous signal of the international community's determination to support stability in the region. We particularly welcome the close cooperation between NATO and the EU, as exemplified by the joint missions to Skopje by the NATO Secretary General and the EU High Representative.
  29. We welcome the fact that increased patrolling and enhanced KFOR force levels on the Kosovo side of the border have improved KFOR's ability to detect, disrupt and deter any transfer of men and materiel from Kosovo to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1). KFOR is determined to continue these activities vigorously. The Alliance has recently appointed a Senior Civilian Representative to foster communications and coordination with the authorities in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) and other political leaders in the country.
  30. We welcome the improved military coordination and the exchange of military information with the Ministries of Defence and Interior in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1), as well as the establishment of a NATO Cooperation and Coordination Centre led by NATO's Senior Military Representative to facilitate the exchange of information and act as a clearing house for assistance efforts. We also note with appreciation the efforts by Allies to step up bilateral assistance to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1). The Alliance will continue to look for practical ways to enhance assistance in all these areas.
  31. We reiterate our great appreciation for the ongoing efforts of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) in supporting KFOR and welcome the recent agreement defining the legal status of KFOR personnel whilst on the territory of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1).
  32. The development by the countries in South-East Europe of self-sufficient national capabilities to guarantee the control and the security of their borders is critical for the security and the stability of the region. The Alliance has taken concrete steps to assist the governments of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1) and Albania in this regard, and is using the existing frameworks of the EAPC and the South-East Europe Initiative (SEEI) to engage with Partners in a dialogue on this issue.
  33. We received the Consolidated Progress Report on the Development of the SEEI and Contributions of the Alliance to the Objectives of the Stability Pact. We noted with satisfaction that many of the activities begun under the SEEI have matured and are producing valuable results in support of regional cooperation, as well as the efforts by individual countries to further integrate into the Euro-Atlantic Community, and thus support and complement the objectives of the Stability Pact.
  34. We welcome the adoption later today of the Common Assessment Paper on Regional Security Challenges and Opportunities (SEECAP) which is designed to develop realistic security policies and the reform of security establishments by countries of the region. We also welcome the continued efforts of the South-East Europe Security Cooperation Steering Group (SEEGROUP) as a valuable regional initiative in support of NATO's SEEI and the Stability Pact for South-East Europe. We are encouraged by the progress made by South-East European countries in developing their own regional peacekeeping force and note the declaration of operational readiness of the Multinational Peace Force South-East Europe on 1 May.
  35. We are pleased that, in addition to Bulgaria and Romania, Croatia now also benefits from the successful programme launched by the Alliance and the World Bank, and facilitated through the Stability Pact, to retrain and reintegrate former military personnel into the civilian economy.
  36. We direct the Council in Permanent Session to continue to pursue the efforts under the SEEI and the Alliance's contributions to the Stability Pact, in particular in the area of defence reform, and look forward to further progress by the time of our next meeting.
  37. The Alliance has taken very seriously the public concerns about reports of possible effects of depleted uranium on the health of military and civilian personnel involved in NATO operations, and that of civilian populations. An extensive exchange of information, involving the Allies, the countries of the region, all contributors to SFOR and KFOR, and relevant international organisations, has indicated no evidence of such a link. Allies will continue to share information, and to cooperate with United Nations agencies, in particular the United Nations Environment Programme, and other relevant international institutions on this matter.
  38. We reviewed progress achieved to date in implementing the Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI). The goal of the DCI has remained unchanged: to provide the forces and capabilities the Alliance requires to meet the security challenges of the 21st century, across the full spectrum of Alliance missions. NATO Allies must continue to increase defence capabilities and interoperability through improvements in the deployability and mobility of Alliance forces, their sustainability, survivability and effective engagement capability, and the effectiveness of their command and control. A sustained commitment is required to meet these ambitious goals - both at NATO Headquarters and in capitals. We remain determined to support this work fully, noting in particular that the efforts of the Alliance and Allied nations to implement DCI and the efforts of the EU to enhance European capabilities are mutually reinforcing. Because Partners have an important part to play in future NATO-led operations, we welcome their current engagement in elements of the DCI.
  39. We took stock of the progress made to date on the development of the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) 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 EU's commitment to a genuine strategic partnership in crisis management between NATO and the EU. The Alliance will remain the foundation of 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.
  40. We reaffirm our commitment to a transparent, coherent and cooperative NATO-EU relationship that ensures the Alliance's continued military effectiveness and Allied cohesion. Enhancing European capabilities is central to this process. Both NATO and the EU have a common interest in ensuring the coherent development of the military capabilities of their member states.
  41. We welcome the intensification of the dialogue between the Alliance and the European Union since our last meeting in Brussels. The close consultation and cooperation between the two organisations and the mutually reinforcing steps taken by them in responding to the situation in the Balkans show that NATO and the EU have engaged in successful practical cooperation on questions of common interest relating to security, defence and crisis management. Continuing such practical cooperation between the two organisations will help ensure that crises can be met with the most appropriate military response and effective crisis management ensured. In this context, we welcome the high level of coordination and cooperation between the Secretary General and the EU High Representative, in particular their joint missions and those of their Personal Representatives to the region. We look forward to the first formal meeting of Foreign Ministers of NATO and the European Union on 30 May.
  42. At our December meeting, we inter alia noted and welcomed the proposals made by the European Council at Nice for permanent arrangements to ensure full transparency, consultation and cooperation between NATO and the EU. We agreed that consultations and cooperation would be developed between the two organisations on questions of common interest relating to security, defence and crisis management, so that crises would be met with the most appropriate military response and effective crisis management ensured. We looked forward to the early establishment of such mutually satisfactory arrangements based on the principles enunciated in Washington and at subsequent Ministerial meetings, which would be taken into account in the framework agreement establishing these arrangements. These arrangements would be key to a close, confident and transparent relationship between the two organisations as foreseen in the Washington Summit. Following the results of the NATO Ministerial meetings and the Nice European Council, an exchange of letters took place in January this year between the Secretary General and the EU Presidency. Not less than three meetings between the North Atlantic Council and the EU Political and Security Committee and not less than one Ministerial meeting will be held during each EU Presidency. Either organisation may request additional meetings as necessary. Both organisations are committed to stepping up contacts and meetings in the emergency phase of a crisis.
  43. We welcome the four meetings between the North Atlantic Council and the EU Political and Security Committee that have taken place and we look forward to further such meetings. We also welcome the progress made to date in the NATO-EU Ad Hoc Working Groups. We look forward to their future work, taking into account all relevant matters, including those related to participation.
  44. We note the successful implementation of the NATO-EU interim agreement on the security of information established last year and welcome the progress made in preparing a permanent security agreement between the two organisations, including the productive work in the NATO-EU Ad Hoc Working Group on Security Issues. We reiterate our readiness to conclude a permanent security agreement between NATO and the EU as a matter of priority.
  45. 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.
  46. We welcome the further 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. The significant additional contributions offered by non-EU European Allies to the pool of forces available for EU-led operations are important and will enhance the range of capabilities potentially available to the EU. We welcome the bilateral meetings held between the EU and the non-EU European Allies in order to clarify and evaluate their contributions to European crisis management on the basis of the same criteria as those applying to EU member states and look forward to the further development of this practice. 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. We note with satisfaction that NATO, upon request by the EU Presidency and on the basis of a Council decision, agreed to support for the duration of the Swedish EU Presidency the work of the HTF Plus through a team of experts open to national experts of those Allies who wish to participate in this work. In order to continue this important work during the next EU Presidency, NATO stands ready to provide, subject to an early Council decision, further expert advice upon request by the EU.
  47. We continue to 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. Allies welcome the fact that meetings between the EU and non-EU Allies have started. Allies look forward to further broad and effective practical implementation of the arrangements agreed by the European Council at Nice for dialogue, consultation and cooperation with non-EU European Allies on issues related to security and defence policy and crisis management as well as the modalities for participation in EU-led military operations. We welcome the EU's 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. Consultation and cooperation are particularly important with the EU Political and Security Committee and the 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 continue to stress the importance we attach to respecting the security interests of all Allies and the obligations which they have to each other as Allies.
  48. We welcome the progress made in developing dialogue, cooperation and consultation between Canada and the EU on the full range of security and defence issues of mutual concern. This includes a joint commitment to intensify consultation in times of crisis, particularly when the EU is considering an operation using NATO assets and capabilities. Canada and the EU have agreed to continue their dialogue to finalise the modalities for consultations with Canada and its participation in operations led by the EU.
  49. 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 is proceeding 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, intensified discussions on the participation issue since our last meeting in December have strengthened the prospects for progress on the various aspects of the Washington agenda and specifically on 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.

    Important work remains to be done which we will pursue intensively, taking account of relevant activities in and proposals from the European Union.

  50. Recalling the decisions taken at the Washington Summit, and looking ahead to the review of the enlargement process which will be undertaken by NATO Heads of State and Government at their Prague Summit in 2002, 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.
  51. 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. The streamlining of this process, which we have undertaken in consultation with aspirants, has improved its efficiency and effectiveness. We are pleased that aspirants have taken full advantage of the opportunities provided by the MAP.
  52. Following meetings of the North Atlantic Council this Spring with senior members of the governments of each of the aspiring countries to examine progress made, we have now completed the second annual cycle of the MAP. We received today a Consolidated Progress Report on the results of the second cycle, as part of our ongoing review of the enlargement process, including the implementation of the Membership Action Plan. The report highlights the progress made by the aspirants in their preparations for possible future membership - and challenges still outstanding - in all areas covered by the MAP, including political and economic issues, defence and military issues, resource, security and legal issues. We welcome the extent to which the aspirants have used the MAP as a tool to promote reform, and the progress they have made in their reforms.
  53. As we move towards the third cycle of the MAP, we encourage all aspirants to continue focused efforts to prepare for possible future membership of the Alliance, building on the progress they have achieved so far and pursuing vigorously the challenging goals they have set themselves. In this regard, we urge all aspirants to continue their efforts to define and implement realistic and affordable goals, including for defence reform. We direct the Council in Permanent Session to consider, in consultation with the aspirants, if any further alterations are needed to make the implementation of the MAP more effective.
  54. We remain firmly committed to strengthening the EAPC and PfP to enhance cooperation, transparency and confidence among all the members of the Euro-Atlantic community. 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. The common commitment of the Alliance and its Partners to cooperative efforts to deal with shared Euro-Atlantic security concerns has been amply demonstrated in the Balkans, where many Partner countries provide valuable contributions to both SFOR and KFOR, and are supporting the efforts by the Alliance and the broader international community to bring about lasting peace in the Balkans. To this end, we look forward to welcoming Foreign Minister Svilanovic of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a guest to address tomorrow's meeting of EAPC Foreign Ministers.
  55. We note with satisfaction the many EAPC/PfP activities to promote practical regional cooperation in South-East Europe, as well as in the Caucasus and Central Asia. We recognise Croatia's commitment to active participation in the EAPC and PfP and its declared interest in possible future NATO membership; and welcome its intention to begin an Intensified Dialogue on membership questions with the Alliance. We welcome Tajikistan's intention to join PfP and look forward to its early signature of the PfP Framework Document. We value the role of the Regional Ad Hoc Working Groups on South-East Europe and the Caucasus in promoting and supporting regional cooperation, and would welcome the use of this mechanism for the promotion of regional cooperation in other areas of the Euro-Atlantic region. 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. We welcome the launch of the first project undertaken through the PfP Trust Fund on Anti-Personnel Landmine Stockpile Destruction, which will destroy Albania's entire stockpile of 1.7 million anti-personnel landmines. We welcome this continued emphasis upon result-oriented, practical activities. We stress the importance of ensuring that the work of the EAPC takes into account and complements efforts undertaken in other Euro-Atlantic security fora, such as the OSCE. In this context, we take note of ongoing initiatives aimed at fulfilling this objective.
  56. We took note today of reports on the Enhanced and More Operational Partnership, and the implementation of the Operational Capabilities Concept. The process of enhancing and making the Partnership for Peace more operational will further strengthen our common ability to manage crises effectively. We look forward to reviewing further progress on these initiatives at our next meeting. We welcome continued progress in providing effective and targeted support to the efforts of Partners to reorganise and restructure their defence establishments and armed forces. We remain strongly committed to the full implementation of the Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PfP operations. Within this Framework, we attach importance to enhancing the role of Partners in the political guidance and oversight, planning, and command arrangements for NATO-led crisis response operations. We received today a report on progress achieved in implementing the Political-Military Framework. The current state of implementation is a significant advance on that 12 months ago. However, it is necessary to continue to refine and practise the procedures of the Framework to reap the maximum benefit for NATO and contributing Partners alike. The full implementation of the Framework is a process that ultimately contributes to making NATO-led operations with Partners more efficient. The next full-fledged review of the implementation of the Framework should be conducted by the end of this year, with a report in time for the 2002 Spring Ministerial meetings.
  57. Four years after the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act in Paris, the Alliance remains committed to building a strong, stable and enduring partnership with the Russian Federation on the basis of the principles of transparency, reciprocity and mutual trust. We welcome the progress achieved in our consultations and cooperation in the framework of the Permanent Joint Council (PJC).
  58. We attach great importance to the continued and improved dialogue on issues relating to the situation in the Balkans. We note with satisfaction the continued excellent practical cooperation with Russian forces in both SFOR and KFOR.
  59. We value our ongoing consultations and cooperation with Russia in the framework of the PJC on such issues as non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, defence reform, disarmament and arms control related issues, including CFE and Open Skies, scientific and environmental issues, civil emergency preparedness, and the retraining of discharged military personnel. We welcome active cooperation in search and rescue at sea based on the programme of cooperation between NATO and Russia on this issue agreed by PJC Defence Ministers in December 2000. We look forward to further consultations on the Russian proposal regarding missile defence and Allied suggestions regarding nuclear CSBMs. We welcome enhanced Russian participation in the EAPC and encourage Russia to participate more actively in PfP.
  60. We welcome the opening of the NATO Information Office in Moscow as an important step towards improving public understanding of NATO and its partnership with Russia. We look forward to developing NATO's information activities in Russia. We attach great importance to the further development of military-to-military cooperation and, to this end, are pursuing our consultations with Russia to establish a NATO Military Liaison Mission in Moscow, as called for in the Founding Act.
  61. We remain seriously concerned about the ongoing conflict in Chechnya. We recognise Russia's right to preserve its territorial integrity and to protect all citizens against terrorism and criminality, which we condemn in all their forms. We urge all parties to take immediate steps to halt the ongoing fighting and to seek as a matter of urgency a political solution. We are deeply concerned about the continued reports of widespread human rights violations in Chechnya and urge the Russian Government to carry out systematic investigations of these reports and to prosecute all perpetrators. We call upon Russia to respect all its international obligations regarding the protection of human rights. We welcome the Russian Government's preparedness to expedite the OSCE Assistance Group's return to Chechnya and urge Russia to meet its commitments to facilitate the Group's work under its existing mandate. We also urge Russia to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance in order to relieve the suffering of displaced persons. We call on the Chechen side to cooperate in good faith in seeking a political solution to the conflict, to condemn terrorism and to take actions against it.
  62. We remain committed to our distinctive partnership with Ukraine, based on our support for an independent, democratic, stable and market-oriented Ukraine. We encourage Ukraine to take concrete steps to move the reform process forward and, in this context, ensure the full respect of democratic values and freedoms, human rights and the rule of law, consistent with Ukraine's international commitments. We value Ukraine's good relations with its neighbours, including Russia and members of the Alliance, which contribute to stability in Central and Eastern Europe, and also welcome Ukraine's wider contribution to ensuring stability in Europe as a whole.
  63. We reiterate our appreciation for Ukraine's continuing contribution to KFOR, as an expression of Ukraine's commitment to our joint effort to build peace and stability in the Balkans. We note with satisfaction the progress achieved in the implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, signed four years ago in Madrid. We are satisfied with the successful implementation of military and non-military cooperative and consultative activities under the NATO-Ukraine Work Plan for 2001 so far. We note the improved cooperation in the fields of retraining of retired officers, civil emergency planning and in the science for peace programme, and encourage Ukraine to continue the critical work on defence reform, making full use of the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform. Ukraine's decision to participate fully in the Planning and Review Process (PARP) to support its plan for defence reform is a positive development.
  64. We are determined to build on these achievements. In this context, we welcome Ukraine's state programme of cooperation with NATO for 2001-2004, underlining Ukraine's commitment to a strong NATO-Ukraine relationship. We continue to attach particular importance to the role of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv, established to increase public awareness of the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership throughout the country, and to the NATO Liaison Office, facilitating Ukraine's participation in PfP and its efforts to implement defence reform.
  65. We reiterate our firm belief that security in the whole of Europe is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. We underline the importance we attach to our Mediterranean Dialogue, which is part of the Alliance's overall cooperative approach to security and reinforces and complements other international efforts.
  66. We welcome the successful completion - in March 2001 - of the first round of visits by NATO Senior Officials to Mediterranean Dialogue countries. The visits were conducted with the aim of exchanging views on NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue, as well as getting a better appreciation of each Dialogue country's specific objectives and priorities. We encourage interest from Mediterranean Dialogue countries in political consultations and practical cooperation with our Alliance. In this regard, we look forward to establishing appropriate arrangements with all Mediterranean partners on the security of information.
  67. We reaffirm the progressive nature of the Dialogue, and will continue to consider ways to strengthen the political and practical dimensions of our cooperative 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 received today the progress report on the Mediterranean Dialogue and note with satisfaction the growing interaction between the Alliance and its Mediterranean partners.
  68. We welcome the significant role played by the OSCE in the Euro-Atlantic area, notably in South-East Europe. We also welcome the progress made on implementation of the commitments undertaken and the initiatives launched at the 1999 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 cooperation between NATO and the OSCE on matters of common interest. In that regard, we appreciate the close and fruitful cooperation between NATO and the OSCE in promoting stability in Southern Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
  69. As we meet in Budapest, the States Parties of the CFE Treaty are conducting the second CFE Review Conference in Vienna. This is a significant occasion to reaffirm the vital importance of the CFE Treaty as a cornerstone of European security and stability. The Conference is reviewing the operation of the Treaty and the elements mentioned in the Final Act of the Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of 19 November 1999. We hope it will be possible to record important progress on issues relevant to achieving entry into force of the Adapted Treaty. Confidence in the full and timely implementation of all CFE obligations and related commitments is essential to the continued viability of this Treaty.
  70. We note with satisfaction that the Russian Federation has met its East-of-the-Urals commitments to destroy agreed amounts of equipment, while continuing to destroy battle tanks as required. We remain particularly concerned that Russia continues to exceed equipment levels in relation to the Treaty's Article V ("Flank") limits. We note that Russia has notified withdrawals from the North Caucasus. However, Russia has not provided "maximum transparency" including detailed information on equipment withdrawn and remaining in the region and additional inspection opportunities to monitor equipment withdrawals. This is most regrettable. We continue to emphasise the importance we attach to fulfilment of the November 1999 commitment by the Government of the Russian Federation that Russian equipment levels in the North Caucasus would be reduced to the Treaty's agreed levels of armaments and equipment as soon as possible, in conditions of maximum transparency and in a manner consistent with agreed counting rules and procedures. Those conditions currently do not exist sufficient to enable other States Parties to verify with confidence Russian TLE withdrawals from the region and resulting equipment levels.
  71. We welcome the Russian Federation's completion of the first phase of its Istanbul commitment to reduce and withdraw forces from Georgia. An important deadline of 1 July 2001 is approaching as by then the Russian military bases at Gudauta and Vaziani will have to be disbanded and the forces withdrawn, as was agreed at the Istanbul Summit. We look for early completion of the negotiations regarding the duration and modalities of the remaining Russian military bases consistent with the Host States rights under Article IV Paragraph 5 of the current CFE Treaty. We underline the need for substantive and early progress on Russia's Istanbul commitment to withdraw its military forces and equipment from Moldova. The deadline will approach at the end of this year for completion of the first phase of this commitment, the withdrawal and/or destruction of Russian TLE, which has not yet begun to be implemented.
  72. The full implementation and verification of the CFE Treaty is essential for ensuring the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area. The early entry into force of the Adapted CFE Treaty will ensure the continuing viability of the CFE Treaty in this role and will permit accession by other states. We are committed to that end. However, we have consistently stated that for us ratification of the Adapted CFE Treaty 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.
  73. We welcome the positive steps towards ratification of the Treaty on Open Skies by Russia and Belarus. This Treaty is one of the widest ranging international arms control efforts to date to promote openness and transparency regarding military forces and activities. We are pleased that the Treaty is closer to entry into force and encourage both Russia and Belarus to complete the ratification process.
  74. The preparation of the first United Nations International Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects in July 2001 is the focal point of all international efforts this year to come to grips with the uncontrolled spread and destabilising accumulation of small arms and light weapons. Allies agree that the conference should aim for a programme of action that will best facilitate bilateral and international assistance to the most affected parts of the world. The approach within the Alliance is that these problems must be addressed as part of a long term process with a particular focus on stockpile management and support for the destruction of surplus weapons and associated munitions. The PfP Trust Fund on Anti-Personnel Landmine Stockpile Destruction has been expanded to cover the destruction of surplus munitions and small arms and light weapons. This will further facilitate the programme of activities under the Partnership for Peace work programme chapter on small arms and light weapons.
  75. We welcome the regional initiatives of the European Union and the OSCE on this issue particularly the OSCE's milestone Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons which focuses on the development of norms, principles and measures covering all aspects of the issue. We support the implementation of measures included in the OSCE Document by all member states of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.
  76. 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 remains 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 and export control regimes, international arms control and disarmament as means to prevent proliferation. Accordingly, the Alliance will continue to enhance its efforts to reduce dangers arising from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
  77. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. We confirm our full support for the NPT, including agreement on the importance of universal adherence to and compliance with the Treaty, and on the commitment of all States Parties to disarmament, strengthened IAEA safeguards, and peaceful nuclear cooperation under effective non-proliferation conditions and safeguards. Alliance nations have dramatically reduced nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and reaffirm their commitment to work for the further reduction of nuclear weapons globally. More broadly, we reaffirm our determination to contribute to the implementation of the conclusions of the 2000 NPT Review Conference.
  78. We remain strongly committed to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group and the Zangger and Nuclear Suppliers Groups as important elements in our efforts to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means for their delivery. We encourage all countries to adhere to and implement unilaterally the MTCR Guidelines and Annex and to the corresponding guidelines and control lists of the other regimes. We also welcome and support ongoing efforts to achieve an International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation that we hope will be a universally subscribed mechanism to promote missile non-proliferation.
  79. We reaffirm that the Alliance's defence posture must have the capability to address appropriately and effectively the threats that the proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery can pose. Our response should be consistent with the indivisibility of Allied security. We will continue to work together to adapt the Alliance's comprehensive strategy to meet these challenges, adopting an appropriate mix of political and defence efforts. In this context multilateral non-proliferation and export control regimes, as well as international arms control and disarmament, are important.
  80. We welcome the consultations initiated by President Bush on the US strategic review, including missile defence, with Allies and with other interested parties, and will continue substantive consultations in the Alliance on these issues. The consultations with Allies will include appropriate assessment of threats and address the full range of strategic issues affecting our common security, and the means to address them, including deterrence and offensive and defensive means, and enhancing the effectiveness of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as diplomatic and counter-proliferation measures. We intend to pursue these consultations vigorously, and welcome the United States' assurance that the views of Allies will be taken into account as it considers its plans further.

    We also welcome continued work in NATO 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.

  81. Recognising the achievements of the START process so far, we strongly support the ongoing process of achieving further reductions of the number of strategic nuclear weapons deployed by the United States and Russia. Allies concerned will continue working for even lower levels of nuclear forces while maintaining the minimum sufficient to preserve peace and stability. Given the need to reduce the uncertainties surrounding substrategic nuclear weapons in Russia, we believe that a reaffirmation of the 1991/92 Presidential Initiatives might be a first, but not exhaustive, step in this direction. The Alliance welcomes the US commitment to achieve a credible deterrent with the lowest possible number of nuclear weapons consistent with US and Allied security needs. 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. As long as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has not entered into force, we urge all states to maintain existing moratoria on nuclear testing.
  82. We continue to emphasise the importance of universal accession and adherence to, as well as full compliance with and implementation of, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). While the Russian Federation is responsible for the destruction of its chemical weapons, we confirm our support to Russia in the area of chemical weapons destruction. We welcome the efforts in the Ad Hoc Group of the BTWC to agree on measures, including possible enforcement and compliance measures, to strengthen the Convention. We remain fully committed to pursue efforts to ensure that the BTWC is an effective instrument to counter the growing threat of biological weapons.
  83. Also, we appeal to all states to participate constructively in the Conference on Disarmament and in its different activities.

  84. The December 2000 Report on options for confidence and security building measures (CSBMs), verification, non-proliferation and arms control and disarmament demonstrates the long-standing commitment of the Alliance to the goals of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. The Council in Permanent Session is following up on the recommendations contained in this report and particularly those for confidence and security-building measures related to nuclear issues with Russia through the PJC.
  85. We are pleased that NATO's WMD Centre continues to contribute to improving co-ordination of all WMD-related activities at NATO Headquarters, including the strengthening of our commitments to arms control and non-proliferation. After its first year of work, we note with appreciation the contribution of the WMD Centre in supporting the tasks of the NATO Senior Groups on Proliferation. The WMD Centre also provides information to Partner countries on proliferation issues; of particular note are ongoing consultations with Russia on the proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery.
  86. We strongly condemn terrorism in all its manifestations. 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 reiterate our strong determination to combat terrorism, in full compliance with all our international commitments and national legislation. In this context, we appreciate and support the work in the United Nations designed to overcome this menace.
  87. We have agreed on new Ministerial Guidance for Civil Emergency Planning, which provides concrete recommendations to nations and the relevant NATO bodies on how to move forward with the continuing adaptation process. We will take concrete steps, including in terms of structures and procedures, to implement this new political direction and look forward to involving our Partners in this process.
  88. We welcome the valuable role played by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) in supporting Partners and Allies. We are pleased with the good progress made by the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Initiative (DPPI) under the Working Table on Security Issues of the Stability Pact, which has been supported by the EADRCC. We applaud the cooperation across institutions and nations that DPPI has fostered and stand ready to further contribute NATO expertise and support to this important regional project.
  89. In line with NATO's ongoing adaptation to the changing international environment, and its expanded agenda, the Secretary General has launched an initiative ("NATO+") to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Organization. We received today a first report by the Secretary General on this initiative and strongly support his efforts to make a good organization even better. We place great importance on the continuing modernisation of NATO and accordingly will follow the progress of this initiative through the Council in Permanent Session.
  90. We welcome the fact that, further to the Ministerial tasking from December 2000, work has progressed to improve the transparency and efficiency of NATO's Civil Budget, notably by adapting the budget to an output or objectives-based format to reflect Alliance priorities. We task the Council in Permanent Session to report to us on this issue at our next meeting.
  91. We underline the importance of maintaining progress on the project to provide the Organization with a modern and efficient headquarters for the 21st century.

  92. We express our deep appreciation to the Government of Hungary for hosting this meeting.
  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

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