US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright
at the North Atlantic Council
-- Secretary of State Albright says the NATO-Russia Founding
Act means that Russia "has rejected self-isolation"
and shows it "has recognized that Europe should not
be divided into opposing blocs that must be kept apart by buffer
zones of excluded states."
the North Atlantic Council Ministerial Meeting in Sintra, Portugal
May 29, Albright said that thanks to NATO enlargement and the
Founding Act, the alliance "will soon have new allies
and stronger partners" and "the Russian people
will have something they have not had for centuries: a genuine,
sustainable peace with the nations to their west."
said NATO should make clear that the first candidates selected
for new membership in the alliance will not be the last and
that "no European democracy will be excluded because
of where it sits on the map."
other matters, Albright urged a greater effort to negotiate
a Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty before the NATO
summit in Madrid, and warned factions in Bosnia that those which
resist full compliance with the Dayton Accords "will not
receive our help".
only aid we will provide or support for Bosnia," she
said, "is aid that helps to build a unified country,
that helps people who are helping Dayton to succeed."
is the text of Albright's remarks as prepared for delivery.
Secretary Madeleine Albright
at the North Atlantic Council, Ministerial Meeting
in Sintra, Portugal - 29 May 1997
Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. President d'Honneur, fellow foreign
ministers, distinguished colleagues. I am honored to represent
the United States at this session of the North Atlantic Council.
During the last several months -- and especially during the
last two weeks, we have been engaged in an intensive period
of hard work that has produced historic results.
In January, I joined you for the first time in Brussels and
pledged that the United States would make every possible effort
to realize our shared vision of a new NATO. Today, all the elements
of that vision are falling into place. We are ready for Madrid
and NATO is ready for the challenges of a new century.
We have forged a new relationship with a democratic Russia.
Here in Sintra, we will initial a charter between NATO and Ukraine.
We will further strengthen the Partnership for Peace. We will
launch the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. We will prepare
for an historic summit, where we will invite new partners to
join the Alliance.
For the next 40 days, we will be focused on the details of
process, protocol and planning for the summit. But we should
not lose sight of our purpose.
It is to build, for the very first time, a peaceful, free and
undivided transatlantic community. It is to extend eastward
the peace and prosperity that western Europe has enjoyed for
the last 50 years. In this way, we will secure freedom's victories
across Europe's old divide. We will gain strong new partners
in security and trade. And we will make it less likely that
our armed forces will ever be called to fight on the soil of
As we look to the future, I hope we can also take a moment
to remember the history that Europe and America are now celebrating.
It was exactly 50 years ago next week that George Marshall proposed
the post-war reconstruction of this continent. That endeavor
marked the birth of the modern transatlantic partnership. As
Prime Minister Kok and President Clinton reminded us so eloquently
in their speeches yesterday in the Hague, it inspires our vision
of Europe today.
What we need to recall today is that the Marshall Plan was
much more than an effort to fix the physical damage caused by
World War II. Its most enduring legacy is visible today not
so much in the steel mills and railways and farmlands of our
richly endowed community, but in the institutions that ended
centuries of European conflict, transcended old ways of thinking,
and formed the basis for western European and transatlantic
With its vision of a continent whole and free, the point of
the Marshall Plan was not to rebuild the old Europe. It was
to build an entirely new Europe.
That is the unfinished business that we are taking steps to
Unfinished because for 50 years, the eastern limits of European
integration were determined not by the choice of free peoples,
or by the interests of free nations, but by the western limits
of the Red Army's advance in 1945.
Two days ago in Paris, we took an historic step across that
unnatural divide when our leaders joined President Yeltsin to
sign the Founding Act of NATO's new relationship with Russia.
NATO and Russia would not have reached this point had it not
been in our shared interest to do so. But just as clearly, there
would be no Founding Act were it not for the skill of Secretary-General
Solana. Mr. Secretary-General, I salute you for a remarkable
achievement. You have served this alliance and our common future
Now the challenge for us -- and for Russia -- is to turn the
promise of partnership into a day-to day reality, by bringing
to life the agenda and mechanisms captured in the Founding Act.
Let us pause to consider what this will mean.
It will mean we can advance our goal of working with Russia
without altering NATO's core function of collective defense
or any of the qualities that have made this the most successful
alliance in history. It means the practical cooperation that
the Russian armed forces have forged with NATO troops in Bosnia
and with NATO planners in Brussels and at SHAPE will be seen
as a matter of course. It means we will be able to act together
with Russia whenever our interests coincide, and talk openly
and constructively should we disagree.
But there is something even more profound.
By signing the Founding Act, President Yeltsin and Russia have
made a choice as fundamental as the choice for democracy and
free markets that the Russian people made in 1991.
Russia has rejected self-isolation. It has chosen to participate
in and to benefit from European security cooperation even as
it engages its economy and society with that of Europe and the
world. The Founding Act is the surest sign yet that Russia will
define its strength, its security, and its relationship with
its neighbors in a new way. Russia has recognized that Europe
should not be divided into opposing blocs that must be kept
apart by buffer zones of excluded states.
The Founding Act does not mean that Russia has somehow endorsed
NATO enlargement -- and that is not what we sought. We know
that it will still take time for the progress of trust in our
relationship to catch up fully with the process of change.
But already, we have demonstrated that the quest for security
in Europe, as President Clinton put it in Paris, "is not
a zero sum game, where NATO's gain is Russia's loss and Russia's
strength is our alliance's weakness." NATO will soon have
new allies and stronger partners. And the Russian people will
have something they have not had in centuries: a genuine, sustainable
peace with the nations to their west.
All of this has happened because three years ago, NATO made
a choice of its own. We framed that choice by asking a simple
question. Would our alliance be known forever as an organization
of countries that were once arrayed against a threatening empire
that no longer exists? Or would it be known as an organization
of capable democracies united to meet the challenges of the
We decided that if the second answer was right, then NATO's
Cold War missions and Cold War membership would not do. NATO
had to adapt its internal structures and it had to be open to
new members who were capable of making a first class contribution.
We have made great progress on internal adaptation. We are
creating the means to build ESDI within NATO, rather than separate
from it. We are implementing the Combined Joint Task Force concept.
We will be ready to approve the major elements of a new command
structure at Madrid. Our European allies now have a chance to
take advantage of these possibilities. We hope they will.
The Partnership for Peace also continues to grow in importance.
We have been working hard at this for three years. We have held
dozens of exercises, hundreds of exchanges. And our Partners
have responded magnificently. The enhancements we are approving
today mean that they will be able to do more than just train
and participate in NATO-led operations. They will be able to
play an active role in planning the missions we undertake together.
We are also meeting our commitment to strengthen our partnership
with Ukraine. The Charter we are initialing today, which our
leaders will sign in Madrid, recognizes the vital role Ukraine
will play in Europe's future. It reflects our commitment to
support the sovereignty and independence of a democratic Ukraine,
and Ukraine's commitment to integration with Europe.
Tomorrow, all our Partners will join us for the first meeting
of the new Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. The EAPC gives
both Allies and Partners something we now lack. It gives our
Partners a place at the table when we shape the future of our
cooperation. And it gives us a formal political dialogue with
a group of nations that are going to cooperate ever more closely
with NATO -- on precisely the challenges we are most likely
to face in the future.
These steps will help ensure that NATO's area of concern will
always remain wider than its area of membership. Together with
the steps our Partners are taking to overcome their own disputes,
they can ensure that Europe's regions will never again be color
coded red, blue -- or gray.
But needless to say, many challenges still lie ahead.
Between now and the Madrid summit, if at all possible, we should
move forward in Vienna to negotiate a framework agreement that
sets out the basic elements of an adapted CFE treaty. The principles
that will guide us are clear. First, we must not take any step
in CFE that would undermine NATO's ability to fulfill its future
commitments, prejudice its political evolution, or relegate
any future members to second class status. Second, any CFE agreement
must take into account the interests not just of NATO's 16 allies
or any individual country, but of all 30 CFE states.
Of course, at the summit itself, our leaders will invite some
of our Partners to begin accession talks. NATO enlargement will
serve many purposes. But there are two fundamental ones we must
keep in mind as we make our decisions about the size and composition
of the first round between now and Madrid.
First, we want to make NATO stronger and more cohesive by adding
new allies who are eager and able to contribute to our common
security. We want the first round of enlargement to be seen
as a solid success on these terms, and we want it to be backed
by strong parliamentary and public majorities.
Second, we want to give the nations of central and eastern
Europe an incentive to make the right choices about their future.
We want to encourage them to resolve old disputes, to consolidate
democracy, and to respect human rights and international norms.
So far, that is exactly what the prospect of enlargement has
These two goals present us with a commensurate two-part challenge.
First, we must continue to insist that the candidates for membership
in NATO meet the highest possible standards before they are
invited to join. The Alliance should admit only those new democracies
that have both cleared the highest hurdles of reform and demonstrated
they can meet the full obligations of membership.
NATO enlargement is not a scholarship program. That would dilute
our alliance. It would alarm our parliaments. And it would defeat
our purpose of encouraging more reform and deeper reconciliation
in the lands to the east.
But second, and just as important: we must make a clear and
credible commitment in Madrid to those nations that are not
yet ready for membership. We must pledge that the first new
members will not be the last and that no European democracy
will be excluded because of where it sits on the map.
Those nations in Europe that are still struggling to overcome
the legacies of dictatorship and conflict and that have set
NATO membership as their goal need to know that we welcome their
aspirations. They need to be certain that there is no invisible
barrier across the open door we have pledged. They need to be
confident that the promise of integration in Europe is real,
that there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel of reform.
I would ask you to consider what would happen if we treated
the coming summit as the first and last chance to join NATO,
a once in a lifetime event like the arrival of the Hale-Bopp
comet. There would be a mad scramble to get on board in Madrid
and a crushing sense of disappointment among those left behind.
This would set back all our efforts to strengthen NATO's cooperation
with non-members. It would undermine all the positive incentives
that the prospect of cooperation and ultimately membership in
NATO has created, including in the Balkans. Fearful of each
other, and unable to count on us, those we permanently shut
out would be tempted to search for security by other means,
including arms build-ups and other destabilizing behavior.
We cannot promise any country that it will one day join NATO.
But we can offer a process that gives substance to the commitments
we have made, one that helps aspiring nations understand what
they must do and how they must change to make membership a possibility.
In other words, a Europe without divisions is not a Europe
without distinctions. But those distinctions must be based on
new behavior, and evolving realities, not old history or geography.
That is why it is essential that NATO begin a new phase of
dialogues with aspiring countries after Madrid. Establishing
such dialogues will be the most clear signal of NATO's intentions
on enlargement in the years ahead. It will be the critical complement
to our decision on "who".
This process should convey exactly what it means in military
terms to carry out our Article V responsibilities -- and what
it means in political terms to be a full NATO member -- so that
aspirants know the difference between being a Partner and an
The point is not to raise our Partners' hopes, but to channel
them into constructive cooperation and progress. It is not to
accelerate the pace of enlargement, but to manage it in a way
that preserves NATO's effectiveness and cohesion.
There is a final challenge that we all have to meet as we build
a new and larger NATO, and that is the ratification of new allies
by our parliaments. For President Clinton and for me, that will
be the most important task in the coming year.
There are several things we can do to make it easier.
We need to bring our legislators into the process, consulting
with them on all the questions that we discuss with each other.
I am very pleased that a delegation from the U.S. Congress,
led by Senator William Roth -- the President of the North Atlantic
Assembly -- will be joining us in Madrid.
We must also do nothing to imply that we take the outcome of
the legislative process for granted. Obviously, after Madrid
and especially after the conclusion of accession protocols,
NATO will want to develop its relations with its prospective
allies. This will include full transparency about the proceedings
of the NATO-Russia Joint Council as well as arrangements that
would facilitate their transition to membership. But we do not
need to create any formal status for these nations that would
prejudge, and potentially jeopardize, ratification.
Finally, we have to be serious and forthright about the costs
of enlargement. Each of us, old and new allies alike, will need
to demonstrate that we are ready to shoulder our fair share
of the burden to maintain the credibility of NATO's core mission
of collective defense.
Before I conclude, let me raise another issue that is central
to the success of our alliance and to our vision of a united,
Bosnia reminds us that our strategy of integration in Europe
is but a means to an end. What we do together is even more important
than how we come together.
Our initial security goals in Bosnia have been achieved. We
have ended the fighting, separated the forces, and improved
confidence. A national election has been successfully held.
Joint institutions have been formed. Reconstruction is underway
and economic growth has resumed.
But 18 months after Dayton, it is not enough to say that the
war is over. Too much remains undone. Too few of the region's
leaders have embraced true political and social integration.
SFOR has just over a year to go. We should remember that its
mission in this period is not to preserve IFOR's achievement,
but to build on it. Our work will not be judged a success if
we simply maintain the status quo; we must improve it. Our goal
is to ensure that when our forces depart Bosnia, they can do
so without the fear that renewed violence threatening our interests
might one day require them to return.
That will require moving ahead on every front, diplomatic,
economic and military, simultaneously. For example, while SFOR
will remain principally focused on enforcing the military aspects
of Dayton, it also must actively support crucial civil implementation
tasks, within its mandate and capabilities. It must help to
create a secure environment for managed refugee returns and
for the installation of elected officials in targeted areas,
as well as for reconstruction projects, such as restoring inter-entity
communications and civil aviation.
If the parties do not comply with their arms control obligations,
the SFOR commander also has the option to restrict military
movements and training.
Full compliance must be our goal in every area. And while that
goal cannot be imposed, those who resist it will not receive
our help. The only aid we will provide or support for Bosnia
is aid that helps to build a unified country, that helps people
who are helping Dayton to succeed.
This includes full compliance with the orders of the War Crimes
Tribunals. That is why I am confident that a price will be paid
for the atrocities that ravaged Bosnia for four years. Until
it will be paid by those who perpetrated the crimes, it will
be paid by those who protect them.
We will do our share to help the people of the former Yugoslavia
realize the objectives of Dayton. We want southeastern Europe
to be part of the European mainstream. We want to see a peaceful,
united Bosnia take its place in a peaceful, united Europe. And
I believe that ultimately we will.
I know that it has become fashionable to say that the euphoria
which swept across Europe in 1989 was naive, and that our aspirations
But if we are realistic about the ruinous legacy that Europe's
Cold War division left behind, then we have every reason to
celebrate the progress we have made in overcoming it.
The transatlantic partnership is strong and it has adapted
to meet new challenges. Our European partners are strengthening
their internal bonds and reaching out to the east. Real freedom,
with all its real imperfections, has taken hold across most
of central Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Today, the people of virtually every nation in Europe, from
the emerging middle classes of Estonia and Poland, to the young
freedom marchers of Bulgaria and Serbia, want to be part of
the community we are building. And we are ready to welcome them.
I believe that the optimism of 1997 will prove more meaningful
and enduring than the exhilaration of 1989. For it rests not
on ethereal hopes but on solid achievements.
It will be my great privilege to work with you in the coming
months and years to consolidate these achievements. In fact,
I relish that chance and I look forward to seeing you all in