6 Dec. 2001
Response to Terrorism
issued at the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council
held at NATO Headquarters, Brussels,
on 6 December 2001
- The terrorist attacks of 11 September were an outrage against the
entire world. We are responding to bring to justice those responsible
for these crimes, and to prevent them from taking innocent lives in
- Terrorism threatens the lives of our citizens, and their human rights
and civil liberties. It also poses a threat to the development and functioning
of democratic institutions, the territorial integrity of states, and
peaceful relations between them, and to international peace and security.
There is no justification whatsoever for terrorist actions. We categorically
reject and resolutely condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
We, the 19 NATO Allies, are determined to combat this scourge. Our security
requires no less.
- We consider the events of 11 September to be an armed attack not
just on one ally, but on us all, and have therefore invoked Article
5 of the Washington Treaty. Accordingly, we have decided to support,
individually and collectively, the ongoing US-led military operations
against the terrorists who perpetrated the 11 September outrages and
those who provide them sanctuary. NATO surveillance aircraft are patrolling
US airspace, for the first time ever. Alliance naval forces have deployed
to the eastern Mediterranean to demonstrate NATO's solidarity and resolve.
Our peacekeeping forces in the Balkans, with the support of countries
of the region, have been acting to prevent terrorist groups from operating
within and from the Balkans. Individual Allies have offered forces and
other assets to the campaign against terrorism and for use in humanitarian
relief. We will continue our support to the United States for the US-led
operation against these terrorists until it has reached its objectives.
We will provide this support in accordance with our decisions and in
full compliance with all our commitments under international law and
relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter.
- Our fight is not against Islam or the innocent people of Afghanistan.
Our countries are helping to provide humanitarian assistance to the
Afghan people, who have suffered under the cruelty of the Taliban regime.
Our fight, the fight of the international community, is against the
terrorists, their networks and those who harbour them, as stated in
Resolution 1368 of the UN Security Council.
- We reiterate our determination to combat the threat of terrorism
for as long as necessary. In keeping with our obligations under the
Washington Treaty we will continue to strengthen our national and collective
capacities to protect our populations, territory and forces from any
armed attack, including terrorist attack, directed from abroad. We recognised
this challenge in the Strategic Concept adopted at the Washington Summit,
where we made clear that any armed attack on the territory of the Allies,
from whatever direction, would be covered by Article 5 of the Washington
Treaty and where we singled out terrorism as a risk to the security
interests of the Alliance. Meeting this challenge is fundamental to
- To accomplish this crucial task of protecting our populations, territory
and forces, we will examine ways to adapt and enhance Alliance military
capabilities. We will deepen our relations with other states and international
organisations so that information is shared, and appropriate cooperative
action is taken more effectively. Our countries are also working together
closely to meet the threat posed by possible terrorist use of Weapons
of Mass Destruction. Disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation
can make an essential contribution to the fight against terrorism. We
will enhance our ability to provide support, when requested, to national
authorities for the protection of civilian populations against the effects
of any terrorist attack. We will also enhance cooperation with our Partners
in this field taking into account the various proposals and initiatives
- The support of the member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership
Council, the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council and the NATO-Ukraine
Commission, and their condemnation of the 11 September attacks, have
been crucial to building the international coalition. We commend the
countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus for their courageous support
to the campaign. We applaud the unambiguous stand taken by our Mediterranean
Dialogue partners, which have unreservedly condemned these attacks.
We reaffirm our willingness to provide assistance, individually or collectively,
as appropriate and according to our capabilities, to Allies and other
states which are or may be subject to increased terrorist threats as
a result of their support for the campaign against terrorism.
- Following the 11 September attacks, Russia has offered the Allies
substantial and significant cooperation in the campaign against terrorism.
This cooperation illustrates the new quality in NATO-Russia relations.
We look forward to building on this cooperation and deepening NATO-Russia
relations to meet the new challenges faced by the entire Euro-Atlantic
- We stress that military tools alone are not sufficient to combat
terrorism effectively. The response must be multi-faceted and comprehensive.
In that regard, we support the efforts of the United Nations and its
central role in this field, and undertake to fully implement UN Security
Council Resolution 1373. We also support the efforts of the EU, the
OSCE, the G-8 and international financial institutions to combat terrorism.
We believe it will be essential to continue to develop cooperation between
international organisations in this multi-faceted campaign, taking into
account their respective responsibilities. In this context, NATO and
the European Union are exploring ways to enhance cooperation to combat
terrorism. Today's meeting of NATO and EU Foreign Ministers will underline
the important relationship between the two organisations.
- We will develop for the Prague Summit a package of Alliance measures
to strengthen our capacities as well as the engagement with our partners
in meeting this challenge.