Updated: 05-Dec-2003 NATO Press Releases


5 Dec. 2003

Chairman’s Summary
of the Meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
in Foreign Ministers Session

  1. The Foreign Ministers and Representatives of the member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) met in Brussels today.

  2. They welcomed the participation of the Foreign Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro as observers in the meeting and reaffirmed the commitment of the Euro-Atlantic community to peace, security and stability in the Balkans. Ministers encouraged both countries to continue to make progress that would allow them to become members of the Partnership for Peace and the EAPC.

  3. Ministers discussed the continuing adaptation of Partnership from the Prague Summit of last year through to the Istanbul Summit next year. In particular, they focused on the role that the Partnership could play in responding to the new threats that confronted the international community. They also discussed the continued and increased participation of Partners in NATO's new missions - many Partners are currently contributing to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and continue to provide valuable contributions to NATO missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Ministers agreed to deepen practical cooperation to help Partner forces develop important military capabilities. They also stressed the importance of enhanced political consultations on Afghanistan in the EAPC framework and emphasized the role that Partners, especially those from Central Asia, could play in this regard.

  4. Ministers reaffirmed their resolve to fight terrorism. They underlined their commitment to the implementation of the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism and welcomed activities undertaken. They also welcomed further consultations in the EAPC framework on the protection of the civilian population against WMD incidents and attacks.

  5. They agreed that the Comprehensive Review of EAPC and PfP launched at the Prague Summit constituted the essential framework within which Partnership would continue to evolve. They took note of progress made in several key areas - such as expanded opportunities for cooperation introduced through the Individual Partnership Action Plan mechanism and initiatives undertaken to ensure that the work of the Partnership is conducted as efficiently as possible.

  6. Ministers welcomed the call issued by NATO Foreign Ministers at their meeting the day before for the upcoming Istanbul Summit to build on progress made at the Prague Summit to further re-focus Partnership for Peace to better reflect its post-enlargement dimensions and the Alliance’s focus on new threats. They welcomed the Alliance's objective to promote a special focus on the strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

  7. Ministers reaffirmed that democratic reforms were an important factor in maintaining security and stability. They agreed that the reform of the defence structures and other institutions related to security were important building blocs in undertaking wider democratic transformations. They underlined that the new Partnership mechanisms agreed at the Prague Summit provided a framework for the Euro-Atlantic community to support such endeavours. They reiterated their willingness to consult, and exchange experience, in the EAPC framework, on relevant issues related to democratic reform.

  8. Ministers took note of work underway to develop a NATO policy on combating the trafficking of women and children, which would apply to all personnel taking part in NATO-led operations. They welcomed that, to the maximum extent possible, the development of such a policy and associated measures would be taken forward with EAPC Partners.

  9. Finally, Ministers thanked the outgoing Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of the EAPC for his leadership and pledged their full support to his successor.
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