Updated: 06-Dec-2001 NATO Press Releases

2 (2001)158
6 Dec. 2001

Final Communiqué

Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council
Held at NATO Headquarters, Brussels,
on 6 December 2001

  1. The terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001 resulted in the invocation of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty for the first time in the history of the Alliance. We deplore the loss of life which affected so many NATO members and partner countries. Today, we have issued a separate statement addressing NATO's response to terrorism and contribution to the campaign against this scourge. Against this background, we have taken stock of NATO's broad agenda, and given further guidance on its implementation in the run-up to the meeting of our Heads of State and Government in Prague next November.
  2. Today we commit ourselves to forge a new relationship with Russia, enhancing our ability to work together in areas of common interest. We reaffirm that a confident and cooperative partnership between the Allies and Russia, based on shared democratic values and the shared commitment to a stable, peaceful and undivided Europe, as enshrined in the NATO-Russia Founding Act, is essential for stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area. We have decided to give new impetus and substance to our partnership, with the goal of creating, with Russia, a new NATO-Russia Council, to identify and pursue opportunities for joint action at 20. To that end, we have tasked the North Atlantic Council in Permanent Session to explore and develop, in the coming months, building on the Founding Act, new, effective mechanisms for consultation, cooperation, joint decision, and coordinated/joint action. We intend that such cooperative mechanisms will be in place for, or prior to, our next meeting in Reykjavik in May 2002. NATO's fundamental objectives remain as set out in the Washington Treaty, under which provisions NATO will maintain its prerogative of independent decision and action at 19 on all issues consistent with its obligations and responsibilities.
  3. We are pleased that Russia stands with us in the struggle against terrorism, and believe this will contribute significantly to our common goal of a strong, stable and enduring NATO-Russia partnership. We are intensifying our cooperation in this and other areas, including non-proliferation, export control and arms control matters, arms transparency and confidence building measures, missile defence, search and rescue at sea, and military-to-military cooperation, which represents a major step towards a qualitatively new relationship. We support Russia's right to protect her territorial integrity, and recognise her right to protect all citizens against terrorism and criminality. We welcome the initial steps Russia has taken towards establishing a political dialogue over the conflict in Chechnya. We urge Russia to build on these steps to find a prompt and lasting political and peaceful resolution to the conflict and to respect and protect the human and legal rights of the population. 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.
  4. At their Prague Summit in November next year, our Heads of State and Government will launch the next round of NATO enlargement. We encourage the nine aspirant countries to continue focused efforts to prepare for possible future membership, making full use of the opportunities offered through our Membership Action Plan (MAP). We look forward to receiving a Consolidated Progress Report on activities under the MAP in 2001-2002 at our meeting next Spring. We will continue the MAP process beyond the current cycle. While aspirants continue their preparations, NATO is undertaking its own internal preparations for the admission of new members. We direct the Council in Permanent Session to report at our next meeting on the issues that need to be examined in order to prepare comprehensive recommendations for decisions by our Heads of State and Government at the Prague Summit.
  5. We reaffirm our commitment to a peaceful, stable and democratic South-East Europe, and our determination to oppose all violence, whether ethnically, politically or criminally motivated. We reiterate our support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all the countries in South-East Europe. Working together with our Partners in SFOR and KFOR and with other international institutions, we will continue to promote regional reconciliation and cooperation, goodneighbourliness, stable and secure borders, protection of rights of members of all ethnic groups and minorities, confidence-building measures, a lasting solution to the problem of refugees and displaced persons, and full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). All persons indicted for war crimes by the ICTY must be brought to justice in The Hague.
  6. Later this month, our Defence colleagues will review the status of NATO's operations in the Balkans and possibilities for rationalisation and an enhanced regional approach, recognising the need for continued close consultation with other international organisations involved. Our overall efforts have the ultimate aim of providing the foundation for self-sustaining peace and democracy in the region that no longer require the presence of international military forces.
  7. Over the past year, the Alliance has played a particularly active role in promoting stability and security in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in close cooperation with the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In this context, we commend the neighbouring states, especially Albania, for their constructive approach. We welcome the voluntary disarmament and disbanding of the so-called NLA, the Parliament's adoption of changes to the country's constitution, and the amnesty declared by President Trajkovski. We reaffirm our condemnation of the use of violence for political ends. We urge all parties involved to implement the Framework Agreement in full, and to continue to cooperate with the international community. We reiterate our support for the territorial integrity of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1). The Alliance stands ready to continue to contribute to security by providing support for the EU and OSCE monitors for a further three-month period, as part of its contribution to peace and stability in the country.
  8. We remain firmly committed to the full implementation of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and call on all political leaders in this country to continue to renounce separatism and violence, to support democratic institutions and to take on greater responsibility for and ownership of the process of implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement. 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.
  9. We welcome the Kosovo-wide elections of 17 November, in which all communities participated in significant numbers, as an important step 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 encourage the newly elected leaders to exercise their new functions in strict compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and the constitutional framework for provisional self-government and in full cooperation with UNMIK and KFOR. We also call on them to establish effective cooperation with the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY).
  10. We welcome Belgrade's constructive support for the participation of the Kosovo Serb community in the recent Kosovo elections. We note with satisfaction the continuing progress towards reconciliation between the parties in Southern Serbia and will continue to pay close attention to the situation in that region. We welcome the steady improvement of our relations with the FRY and look forward to their further development. We reiterate our support for a democratic Montenegro within a democratic FRY.
  11. In celebrating the tenth anniversary of NATO's policy of Partnership and Cooperation, we recognise the crucial contribution NATO's Partner countries are making to the Alliance's efforts to foster peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region. We value, in particular, their contributions to our peacekeeping operations in the Balkans. We also appreciate the solidarity and support which our Partners, and in particular those in Central Asia and the Caucasus, have demonstrated in the international campaign against terrorism. We want to further broaden and strengthen cooperation in the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and the Partnership for Peace (PfP). We encourage all our Partners to seek a more active relationship with the Alliance. We also want to broaden and strengthen cooperation with our Mediterranean partners, and invite them to intensify their dialogue with us on security matters of common concern.
  12. We continue to attach great importance to further developing and enhancing the NATO-Ukraine Distinctive Partnership. In this context, we encourage Ukraine to continue to take concrete steps to take its reform process forward and stand ready to assist it in this regard. We also wish to emphasise the importance of meeting our joint commitments and fulfilling our shared responsibilities in the Balkans.
  13. We reaffirm our commitment to achieving a close, transparent and coherent NATO-EU relationship. Our joint efforts in the Balkans have furthered the achievement of peace and stability in that region and shown that close cooperation brings considerable benefits. The events of 11 September have underlined the importance of enhanced cooperation 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. Important work remains to be done on the arrangements for NATO support to EU-led operations, in accordance with the decisions taken at the 1999 NATO Washington Summit and subsequent Ministerial meetings. We remain determined to make progress on all the various aspects of our relationship, noting the need to find solutions satisfactory to all Allies on the issue of participation by non-EU European Allies. We note the commitment of the EU to finalise the modalities for consultation with Canada and for its participation in EU-led operations.
  14. Events on and since 11 September show that our security is challenged in a variety of different, sometimes unpredictable, ways. Through our Defence Capabilities Initiative, we want to ensure that Alliance forces have the best possible capabilities to meet these challenges and are able to work together seamlessly. Enhancing European capabilities is central to this process.
  15. We reaffirm that the Alliance must have the capability to defend appropriately and effectively against the threats that the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction 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, the Alliance's policy of support for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation will continue to play a major role in the achievement of the Alliance's security objectives. The Alliance stresses the importance of abiding by and strengthening existing multilateral non-proliferation and export control regimes and international arms control and disarmament accords. We will continue to actively contribute to the development of agreements and measures in this field and pursue further arms reductions, transparency and confidence-building. We reaffirm our determination to contribute to the implementation of the conclusions of the 2000 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and will work towards a successful outcome of the upcoming review. We also support ongoing efforts to achieve an International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation before the end of 2002. Non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament along with deterrence and defence play an essential role in enhancing security against these new threats and challenges. In this context, the role that missile defence could play is being actively considered as we continue our consultations with the United States on this issue. In this regard, we welcome continued work at NATO on theatre missile defence.
  16. Recalling the results of the second CFE Review Conference, Allies welcome Russia's planned reductions of its excess equipment in the North Caucasus to agreed levels, which must be transparent and verifiable, and progress in the reduction and withdrawal of Russian equipment from Moldova. We call for swift resolution of remaining issues between Russia and Georgia. Allies can envisage ratification of the adapted CFE Treaty only in the context of full compliance by all States Parties with agreed Treaty limits and consistent with the commitments in the CFE Final Act. We look forward to the entry into force of the Open Skies Treaty on 1 January 2002.
  1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

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