Updated: 07-Jun-2001 NATO Press Releases

7 June 2001

Final Communiqu

Ministerial Meeting of the Defence Planning Committee
and the Nuclear Planning Group

  1. The Defence Planning Committee and Nuclear Planning Group of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization met in Ministerial Session in Brussels on 7 June 2001.
  2. Collective defence planning lies at the core of the Alliance's work. It enables the Alliance to ensure that it has the military capabilities needed to prepare for and carry out the full range of its missions, from collective defence to crisis response and peace support operations. This common effort also underpins the Alliance's political cohesion and the transatlantic link. Through our collective defence planning process we are also pursuing the achievement of the key capability improvements that were agreed in the Defence Capabilities Initiative.
  3. Ensuring that NATO planning work is precisely focussed on the results we need to achieve is an essential part of our work as Alliance Defence Ministers. Therefore, today, we took stock of the work in progress to implement the Ministerial Guidance we agreed at our last meeting. We concentrated, in particular, on how this guidance is being translated by the NATO Military Authorities into detailed planning targets for our nations, which we will be invited to approve as NATO Force Goals at our Spring meeting next year. These Force Goals will need to increase the momentum already achieved in implementing the Defence Capabilities Initiative. This will require our nations to make the best use of resources available for defence, including through multinational, joint and common funding projects and, in many cases, to provide additional funds. The Force Goals will also have to play a major role in implementing the new NATO force structure.
  4. At our Nuclear Planning Group meeting, we reaffirmed the continuing validity of the fundamentally political purpose and the principles underpinning the nuclear forces of the Allies as set out in the Alliance's 1999 Strategic Concept. We emphasize again that nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO continue to provide an essential political and military link between the European and North American members of the Alliance.
  5. Ten years ago, with the 1991 Strategic Concept, the Alliance embarked on a number of decisive strategy and policy changes to adapt to the Post-Cold War security situation. Looking back, we are satisfied that NATO's new strategy of reduced reliance on nuclear weapons, reaffirmed in the 1999 Strategic Concept, has been fully translated into NATO doctrine, and that NATO's drastically reduced nuclear force posture fully complies with Alliance key principles. Nuclear forces are a credible and effective element of the Alliance's strategy of preventing war; they are maintained at the minimum level sufficient to preserve peace and stability, under conditions that continue to meet the highest standards of safety and security.
  6. Reviewing the status of NATO's nuclear forces and related developments, we appreciated information by the United States Secretary of Defense on a range of topical issues. We expressed interest in consulting with the United States on its deliberations to adapt deterrence concepts and forces to meet future security challenges and noted the prospect of associated further reductions in strategic nuclear forces. We received information from the United States Secretary of Defense on the nuclear deterrence and force posture reviews currently in progress in the United States, including missile defence, and appreciate the assurance of continued, substantive consultations in the Alliance on these issues.
  7. NATO has a long-standing commitment to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, which will continue to play a major role in the achievement of Alliance security objectives. 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 reaffirm our commitment to work for further reductions of nuclear weapons, and our determination to contribute to the implementation of the conclusions of the 2000 NPT Review Conference. We recognize the achievements of the START process to date and strongly support the ongoing process towards achieving further reductions of strategic nuclear weapons deployed by the United States and Russia. As long as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has not entered into force, we urge all states to maintain existing moratoria on nuclear testing.
  8. On the basis of President Bush's 1991 Nuclear Initiative, NATO took the decision to reduce the number of nuclear weapons available for its sub-strategic forces in Europe by over 85 percent. These reductions were completed in 1993. Given the need to reduce the uncertainties surrounding non-strategic nuclear weapons in Russia, we believe that a reaffirmation of the 1991/1992 Presidential Initiatives might be a first, but not exhaustive, step in this direction. Therefore, we renew our call on Russia to complete the reductions in its non-strategic nuclear weapons stockpile targeted for implementation by the end of year 2000.
  9. We value exchanges with the Russian Federation on a range of nuclear weapons issues under the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council and look forward to consultations on the nuclear confidence and security building measures proposed by NATO, which seek increased transparency with Russia on nuclear weapons matters on a reciprocal basis. We see these proposals as a basis for enhanced understanding, trust and cooperation. We expressed our expectation that substantial consultations with Russia on these issues will benefit our stated goal of a genuine and reliable partnership with the Russian Federation.

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