6 December 2001
Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.