to the North Atlantic Council on the occasion of German Unification
by Secretary General, Manfred Wörner
Today, the 3rd of October 1990, is a decisive landmark in the history of
our Alliance. This is a day of undiminished rejoicing, not only for the
Germans, but for the whole of our Alliance. We have reached one of the most
important and longstanding objectives of our Alliance.
The German people have exercised at long last their right of self-determination.
Germany has overcome its painful, unnatural division. Thus a vital step
has been taken to overcome the division of Europe. Without our Alliance
this would not have been possible. Over twenty years ago our Harmel Report
stated that German unity could never be for this Alliance a purely national
question. No permanent peace, no new European order of freedom, democracy
and prosperity could be built around a divided Germany, or in opposition
to the wishes of the Germans themselves to live within a single nation.
Today we put nearly half a century of confrontation and frustration behind
us. Our policy of secure defence and the active pursuit of detente has
proved the recipe for peaceful change. With German unity finally realised,
the way is clear for this Alliance to achieve its ultimate objective:
a lasting order of peace, freedom and justice in Europe.
Less than a year has passed since that night of celebration when the Berlin
Wall came down. In that time we have all been witnesses of the historic
process of a divided nation growing together again. This unique task of
merging two incompatible political and social systems has demanded an
unparalleled effort. Yet by their imagination, courage and determination,
the German authorities, loyally supported by their partners in the
Alliance and in the European Community, have created the climate of confidence
needed for success.
And there have been the external aspects of German unification. This process
again was a unique task in history. It had to lay the groundwork in the
centre of Europe for the new European order we are building in the CSCE
process, based on the supporting pillars of the European Community and
the Atlantic Alliance.
The same imagination and boldness displayed by the Federal German authorities
in working out the internal modalities of German unity were displayed
also by the US, UK and French Authorities in close consultation with all
other Allies. And again our Alliance stood the test of solidarity and
cohesion. Strong reservations and even opposition in the Soviet Union
based on decades of fear and distrust had to be overcome. Our Alliance
has met this challenge, standing firmly together. Our London Summit showed
that the new Germany would be part of a new, transformed Alliance; an
Alliance that desired cooperation not confrontation, and which extended
the hand of friendship to the Soviet Union and to all the other nations
of Central and Eastern Europe. Thus again our Alliance contributed decisively
to the final lifting of Soviet objections to the full NATO membership
of a united Germany. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution and consent
of the Soviet leadership and people.
We now include the whole of Germany in our Alliance as we reassess our
strategy and our force posture. I do not doubt that we will rapidly succeed
in this endeavour.
The unification of Germany in conditions of peace, freedom and prosperity
is a vindication of our perseverance; and also of our values which have
proved infinitely more powerful than military force, ideology and repression.
Those universal values are the forces that drive history and move human
progress. In the decades since its foundation, our Alliance has been a
decisive factor in the resurrection of a democratic Germany after the
war up to the final achievement of regaining its unity. The Alliance has
provided the framework of security in which the ruined, impoverished Federal
Republic of the immediate post-war years could rebuild its democracy and
anchor itself irrevocably in the West.
On behalf of our Atlantic Alliance, I congratulate the German nation on
the achievement of its unity. I salute and welcome the united Germany
as a loyal member of our Alliance and an active partner in the building
of a Europe whole and free.
All our best wishes accompany you.