News

03 December 1997

TEXT: NAC DEFENSE MINISTERS FINAL COMMUNIQUE IN BRUSSELS

(Defense Ministers Session, December 2, 1997) (5670)



Brussels -- After meeting in Defense Ministers' Session of the North
Atlantic Council December 2, the ministers issued a final communique
which reaffirms NATO's core function of collective defense and fully
endorsed greater cooperation and integration in Europe, including the
security and defense fields.


The ministers agreed that substantial progress on the Alliance's new
command structure was made and noted the completion of the accession
talks with the invited three; they welcomed "signing of the Protocols
of Accession at the forthcoming meeting of Foreign Ministers"; they
noted that "invitees plan to increase significantly their defense
spending and to contribute appropriately to the Alliance's
commonly-funded budgets"; and they took note of a report on resource
implications, which provided an initial assessment common funding
costs "amounting to the equivalent of about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars
over a period of 10 years, of which 1.3 billion U.S. dollars would be
for the Security Investment Program." A further report on mid-term
funding will be presented at the spring meeting.


Agreement was been reached on a new command structure as a whole, and
in particular on the type, number, and location of Headquarters. They
noted that the new structure will allow greater flexibility and
mobility of forces and force preparedness. The ministers tasked the
NATO Military Authorities to develop a detailed plan, as proposed by
the Military Committee (MC), for the transition to the new command
structure, for consideration and endorsement by Ministers next year.


On Bosnia, the ministers reviewed SFOR's status, agreed support for
the High Representative's decision to suspend Serbian program
broadcasts which contravened the Peace Agreement, and decided that
SFOR would remain at full strength for the remaining time of NATO's
engagement therein.


On other issues, the ministers noted the following in their Final
Communique: NATO will work to prevent "the proliferation of nuclear,
biological and chemical (NBC) weapons and their means of delivery";
they committed to work toward improved defenses against such weapons;
they were pleased with the progress toward adapting the CFE Treaty to
Europe's changed security circumstances; the "Alliance remains
committed to preserving the viability of the CFE (Conventional Forces
in Europe) Treaty as a cornerstone of European security, and to
ensuring that this adaptation enhances the security of all States
Parties"; they welcomed Russia's ratification of the Chemical Weapons
Convention and look forward to START II ratification.


The ministers said that far-reaching endeavors testify to the
undiminished vitality of the Alliance as the linchpin of security and
stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. These endeavors include the
"intensifying preparations for the integration of the three invitees;
the steady progress achieved in adapting NATO's internal structures to
ensure the Alliance's military effectiveness, to preserve the
transatlantic link and to build the European Security and Defense
Identity within the Alliance; the successful outreach to Partners; the
development of a strong, stable and enduring partnership with Russia
and a distinctive partnership with Ukraine; our enhanced Mediterranean
dialogue; our engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina."


Following is the text of the Final Communique released by NATO
December 2:


(Begin text)



Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Defense Ministers Session
held in Brussels on 2nd December 1997


Final Communique



1. The North Atlantic Council met in Defense Ministers Session in
Brussels on 2nd December 1997.


2. At their Summit Meeting in Madrid on 8th-9th July, our Heads of
State and Government took key steps to shape the new NATO to meet the
challenges of the 21st century. They brought the different strands of
NATO's ongoing adaptation together, responding to the profound changes
in the evolving security environment, and gave far-reaching directions
for future work. They reaffirmed the Alliance's commitment to the core
function of collective defense, to strengthening the indispensable
transatlantic link, to developing the European Security and Defense
Identity within the Alliance, and, in light of the new security
challenges facing the Alliance, underlined the importance of ensuring
the Alliance's military effectiveness for the full range of its
missions. They gave their full endorsement to the decisions taken at
this Spring's Ministerial meetings designed to reflect the movement
towards greater integration and cooperation in Europe, including in
the security and defense fields.


3. We reviewed today the implementation of the Summit decisions in the
defense field and noted with satisfaction the progress achieved since
the Summit. Substantial progress has been achieved on the Long Term
Study and an agreement has been reached on a new command structure as
a whole, and in particular on the type, number, and location of
Headquarters. The accession negotiations with the Czech Republic,
Hungary and Poland have been successfully concluded. The first steps
in implementing the NATO-Russia Founding Act as well as the
NATO-Ukraine Charter have been taken. Progress in implementing the
Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council has been achieved. As Defense
Ministers we will continue to play our full part in shaping the new
European security structure to which the Madrid Summit made such a
fundamental contribution.


4. We reviewed the ongoing operations by the NATO-led Stabilization
Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We welcomed the active
approach being taken by SFOR to help accelerate the implementation of
the Peace Agreement in accordance with the Sintra Declaration and
Council decisions. This has included operations to bring the Republika
Srpska Specialist Police into compliance with Annex 1A of the Peace
Agreement, and to support the High Representative's decision to
suspend the broadcasting of programs that were in persistent and
blatant contravention of the Peace Agreement. SFOR also played an
essential role in facilitating the peaceful conduct of the municipal
elections in September and the Republika Srpska assembly elections in
November which were both carried out under the OSCE's [Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe's] supervision. SFOR also
continued support for IPTF [International Police Task Force], for the
International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, and for a safe
and secure environment that facilitates a return of refugees. We
expressed our warmest thanks to the men and women of SFOR for their
outstanding performance.


5. Despite the progress already achieved, much remains to be done to
consolidate the peace before we can be confident that it is
irreversible. Our countries are committed to supporting the
maintenance and further strengthening of peace, stability, and
democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We remain determined to support
those who are committed to the Peace Agreement and to oppose those who
seek to obstruct the peace process. We call on the parties to the
Peace Agreement to live up fully to their obligations, including full
cooperation in the transfer of persons indicted for war crimes to the
International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. We welcome progress with
regard to confidence building measures and arms control as covered in
articles 2 and 4 of Annex 1B of the Peace Agreement. We also attach
great importance to further progress in this field. We look forward to
next week's Ministerial meeting of the Peace Implementation Council in
Bonn, which should give further impetus to the peace process.


6. Our Heads of State and Government have declared that the Alliance
has a commitment to promoting stability in the region. NATO is now in
the process of conducting the twelve-month review of SFOR operations,
on the basis of advice from the NATO Military Authorities and in
consultation with the non-NATO contributing countries. With regard to
the final six months of SFOR's mission, we confirmed that the force
would continue its firm and even-handed approach to implementing its
mandate and supporting civil implementation. With this in mind, we
consider that SFOR should continue at its present force levels,
subject to prudent adjustments, until otherwise directed. On this
basis, we invited the Council in Permanent Session to consult the
non-NATO contributors before the meeting of Foreign Ministers on 16th
December. Looking ahead, we confirmed the Alliance's long-term
interest in stability and a secure environment in Bosnia and
Herzegovina to allow the Peace Agreement to be further implemented. We
asked the Council in Permanent Session to provide politico-military
guidance to the NATO Military Authorities to develop without
commitment a full range of distinct options identifying potential
tasks and necessary associated forces for a future NATO-led military
presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the end of SFOR's
mandate. This should be taken forward in the light of the Peace
Implementation Conference in Bonn on 9th and 10th December and the
decisions of Foreign Ministers in the North Atlantic Council on 16th
December. We have also endorsed an initial set of security cooperation
activities with Bosnia and Herzegovina, including both entities and
all three parties. These activities are to be coordinated through the
Bosnian Presidency's Standing Committee on Military Matters (SCMM)
with the aim of promoting confidence and cooperation among the Bosnian
armed forces and encouraging the development of democratic practices
and central defense mechanisms such as the SCMM.


7. We welcomed the successful conclusion of accession talks with the
Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland and look forward to the signing of
the Protocols of Accession at the forthcoming meeting of Foreign
Ministers. We reviewed the significant steps that have already been
taken to assist the invited nations to prepare for their future
military roles and obligations as Alliance members. In particular the
defense planning work done within the Alliance, building on the full
information provided by the three invited countries through their
replies to NATO's Defense Planning Questionnaire, has created a solid
foundation for the development of Target Force Goals which will
constitute a major step towards defining in detail the military
contributions which the future members will make to the Alliance on
accession. We stressed the importance of effectively assisting invited
countries in preparing for membership and welcomed the proposal to
develop, using PFP tools and mechanisms, a cooperation program with
the invited countries, which is comprehensive in nature and ensures
transparency between multilateral and bilateral assistance programs.


8. At their meeting in Madrid, Allied Heads of State and Government
noted that admitting new members will have resource implications for
the Alliance. They directed the Council in Permanent Session to bring
to an early conclusion the concrete analysis of the resource
implications of the forthcoming enlargement, drawing on the continuing
work on military implications. We took note of a report on the
resource implications of the accession of the Czech Republic, Hungary
and Poland to the Alliance, which has been prepared by the competent
bodies of the Alliance on the basis of a substantial analysis by the
NATO Military Authorities. We noted that the invitees plan to increase
significantly their defense spending and to contribute appropriately
to the Alliance's commonly-funded budgets. The report concludes that
the available and planned military forces and their capabilities of
the current Allies and the three invitees are sufficient to ensure
fully the collective defense of all members of the enlarged Alliance
in the present and foreseeable security environment and that the Czech
Republic, Hungary and Poland will also make valuable contributions to
the Alliance's ability to perform the full range of its missions. It
provides an initial assessment of those costs which would be eligible
for common funding, amounting to the equivalent of about 1.5 billion
US dollars over a period of 10 years, of which 1.3 billion US dollars
would be for the Security Investment Program. The impact of these
costs on the commonly funded budgets of the Alliance will be assessed
in a further report on the Alliance's medium-term resource plan, which
will be presented to us at our Spring meeting. We recognize in this
context the important role which the military common-funded programs
will play in integrating the new members. Overall, the analysis of the
resource implications of the accession of the three new members has
justified the confidence of Heads of State and Government that in the
present and foreseeable security environment in Europe, Alliance costs
associated with the accession of the three invitees will be
manageable, and that the resources necessary to meet these costs will
be provided in accordance with our agreed procedures under which each
Ally bears its fair share.


9. NATO enlargement is linked to and part of a comprehensive process
which comprises the following elements: broad cooperation with
Partners within the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the enhanced
Partnership for Peace Program; a strong, stable and enduring
partnership with Russia based on the Founding Act on Mutual Relations,
Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation,
signed in Paris on 27th May 1997; a distinctive Partnership with
Ukraine, which was founded by means of the Charter, signed in Madrid
on 9th July 1997; and an enhanced Mediterranean Dialogue. All these
elements contribute to establishing the foundation of a Euro-Atlantic
area characterized by cooperative security and reliable stability, and
are supplemented by the work of the OSCE, in particular on a "Common
and Comprehensive Security Model for the 21st Century" in accordance
with the decision of the OSCE Lisbon Summit in 1996.


10. We, as Defense Ministers, remain fully committed to the
implementation of the process of enlargement in the terms set up by
paragraph 8 of the Madrid Declaration on Euro-Atlantic Security and
Cooperation, in which the Heads of State and Government of the member
countries of the North Atlantic Alliance clearly reaffirmed that NATO
remains open to new members under Article 10 of the North Atlantic
Treaty. We look forward to the continuation with interested Partners
of the Alliance's intensified dialogues, for which modalities have
been agreed and which will cover the full range of political,
military, financial and security issues related to membership.


11. We noted with appreciation the report by the Senior Political
Committee (Reinforced) on the implementation of the enhanced
Partnership for Peace. We welcomed the progress achieved so far, in
particular decisions to establish PFP Staff Elements at the strategic
and regional levels of NATO's military command structure, and have
mandated a report for May 1998 on the possibility of establishing them
also at the sub-regional level. We also welcomed proposals for the
further development of the Planning and Review Process (PARP) to
introduce Ministerial Guidance and to develop as a matter of priority
Partnership Goals for interested Partner nations, establishing
international military posts for Partners at the Partnership
Coordination Cell, and the identification of the first PFP projects to
be supported under the NATO Security Investment Program. We also
welcome the Alliance work now begun with Partners to develop a
political-military framework for NATO-led PFP operations. We fully
support the consultations in the framework of the EAPC on issues of
regional cooperation. These initiatives are cornerstones of the new
Partnership and the keys to developing a more operational Partnership
in which Partners play a greater role in planning and executing PFP
activities, exercises and operations and participate in the Alliance's
new missions. We also reviewed with satisfaction the efforts under PFP
to assist Albania in restructuring its armed forces.
 

12. Partnership for Peace has become a focal point for our efforts to
enhance practical cooperation between Alliance and Partner nations in
the security field. We look forward to our second meeting of the
Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Defense Minister session tomorrow
in which we will begin to fulfill our commitment to make the EAPC a
substantial body that engages Partners and enhances security
consultations and practical cooperation.


13. We will play our full part as Defense Ministers in giving
substance to NATO's new partnership with the Russian Federation. We
look forward to the first meeting of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint
Council at the level of Defense Ministers tomorrow. We noted with
satisfaction that the work programs of the Council for this year and
next year include a growing number of political-military projects. In
this respect we confirm our strong wish to contribute to the work of
the Council and to the implementation of the political-military
provisions of the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and
Security between NATO and the Russian Federation. We attach particular
importance to the development of an Individual Partnership Program
with Russia in the framework of the Partnership for Peace. We welcomed
the appointment by the Russian Federation of a military representative
to NATO. The first meeting of the Permanent Joint Military Committee
in Chiefs of Defense Session on 4th December will further enhance
mutual understanding between NATO and the Russian Federation on
military issues. All of these valuable developments will contribute to
the spirit of shared purposes that has marked NATO-Russian cooperation
in IFOR and SFOR.


14. We fully support the development of the political-military aspects
of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine.
This process will be built on an intensified practical military
cooperation between NATO and Ukraine within the framework of the
Partnership for Peace and on participation within IFOR and SFOR. We
support the establishment of a Joint Working Group on Defense Reform,
which is expected to start its work shortly.


15. Security in the whole of Europe is closely linked with stability
and security in the Mediterranean. We therefore confirm our support
for the enhanced dialogue between NATO and six countries in the
Mediterranean region: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, and
Tunisia. We welcome the first meetings of these countries with the
Mediterranean Cooperation Group, which was established at the Madrid
Summit to have overall responsibility for the Mediterranean Dialogue.
We look forward to a progress report next year on the implementation
of the first work program of the enhanced Mediterranean dialogue, as a
basis on which to build in order to strengthen further
confidence-building and cooperation in the region.


16. We welcomed further progress on NATO's internal adaptation. Work
undertaken since the Summit has continued to focus on three main and
linked areas: the development of the Alliance's future command
structure; the implementation of the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF)
concept; and the building of the European Security and Defense
Identity (ESDI) within the Alliance. We endorsed a comprehensive
report on the various aspects of this work.


17. Substantial progress has been achieved on the Long Term Study and
an agreement has been reached on a new command structure as a whole,
and in particular on the type, number, and location of Headquarters.
The structure will comprise two Strategic Commands (SC), one for the
Atlantic and one for Europe. SC Atlantic will comprise three Regional
Commands (RC), RC West (Norfolk), RC East (Northwood), and RC
Southeast (Lisbon) as well as STRIKFLTLANT and SUBACLANT, both based
at Norfolk. In SC Europe, two RCs are foreseen - RC North (Brunssum)
and RC South (Naples). Two component commands (CC) - CC Air (Ramstein)
and CC Nav (Northwood) - will report to RC North together with three
Joint Sub-Regional Commands (JSRC) - JSRC Centre (Heidelberg), JSRC
Northeast (Karup) and JSRC North (Stavanger). RC South will command
two CCs - CC Air and CC Nav (both at Naples) - and four JSRCs - JSRC
Southeast (Izmir), JSRC SouthCentre (Larissa), JSRC South (Verona) and
JSRC SouthWest (Madrid). Taken together, this will represent a
reduction from 65 headquarters at present to 20 in the proposed new
command structure. We tasked the NATO Military Authorities to develop
a detailed plan, as proposed by the MC, for the transition to the new
command structure, for consideration and endorsement by Ministers next
year.


18. Once in place, the new command structure will enable the Alliance
to perform the whole range of its roles and missions more effectively
and flexibly while providing appropriate roles for all Allies
participating and strengthening the transatlantic link. In
implementing it, we will ensure that it is fully functional,
militarily efficient and cost effective, and will also take account of
ESDI and CJTF requirements, and, by this, enable the Alliance, based
on the concept of separable, but not separate capabilities, to provide
European command arrangements able to prepare, support, command and
conduct operations under the political control and strategic direction
of the WEU. The new command structure will also provide for
participation of Partner countries and will facilitate the integration
of the future new members into the Alliance's military structures.


19. Allies welcomed the intention of Spain to join the new military
structure as soon as possible. Spain's full participation will enhance
its overall contribution to the security of the Alliance, help develop
the European Security and Defense Identity within NATO and strengthen
the transatlantic link.


20. The implementation of the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) concept
will enhance the Alliance's ability to plan and conduct quickly and
efficiently a wide range of military operations. It will thus
represent an important source of flexibility in the capabilities
available to NATO. In addition, CJTFs will greatly contribute to
building ESDI within the Alliance by responding to the requirement to
provide deployable headquarters for WEU-led operations using NATO
assets and capabilities. They will also provide enhanced opportunities
for the participation of non-NATO nations in NATO-led operations. For
these reasons we noted with satisfaction the continuing successful
implementation of the CJTF concept. We welcome the holding of the
first CJTF trial last month. The lessons learned from this and
subsequent trials, including in due course trials and exercises for
WEU-led CJTF operations, will be taken into account in the further
implementation of the concept.


21. At their meetings in Berlin and Brussels in June 1996 NATO Foreign
and Defense Ministers resolved to build ESDI within the Alliance,
based on the concept of separable but not separate capabilities. We
noted with satisfaction the further progress achieved towards defining
practical arrangements for WEU-led operations making use of Alliance
assets and capabilities. This has included the detailed development of
mechanisms for the identification, release, monitoring and return or
recall of NATO assets and capabilities; arrangements designed to
ensure close consultation between NATO and WEU on, inter alia, the
planning and conduct of WEU-led operations involving the use of such
assets and capabilities, including measures for intensified sharing of
information and intelligence in the context of such operations; the
provision from NATO's command structure of headquarters elements and
command positions to command and conduct WEU-led operations; the
development of an exercise program designed to test procedures for
NATO support of a WEU-led operation, leading to a joint NATO-WEU
crisis management exercise planned for 2000, to be followed by a CJTF
exercise based on a WEU-led operation, taking into account decisions
on European command arrangements and the provision of NATO assets and
capabilities to the WEU; and the incorporation of requirements for
WEU-led operations into NATO's defense planning based, inter alia, on
the WEU's illustrative mission profiles.


22. We reviewed ongoing work on modalities for the WEU's further
involvement in the Alliance's defense planning process on the basis of
the Alliance's revised defense planning procedures. This work is being
carried out in cooperation with the WEU. As ESDI within the Alliance
is taking shape, cooperation with the WEU is becoming increasingly
close. We therefore welcomed the steady strengthening of NATO-WEU
working relations as illustrated by regular joint Council meetings and
also joint meetings of subordinate bodies. We also welcomed the
results of the WEU Ministerial Council in Erfurt that aim at enhanced
forms of cooperation between WEU and NATO, supporting the process of
translating the political directives formulated by the respective
Ministerial Councils into practical links between both organizations
leading in particular to arrangements for WEU-led operations making
use of Alliance assets and capabilities.


23. We directed the Council in Permanent Session to pursue further
work, as required, on internal adaptation and to report to us at our
next meeting.


24. We reiterate the key importance of the principle of
multinationality throughout Alliance structures for Alliance
solidarity and cohesion, the conduct of Alliance missions and as a
guard against renationalization. In this context, we welcomed the most
recent agreements between Germany and the Netherlands signed in
October relating to the development and deeper integration of the
German-Netherlands Corps and the establishment by Italy and Spain of
the Spanish-Italian Amphibious Force (SIAF), both of which are
available to NATO and the WEU (SIAF is also available in the framework
of EUROMARFOR) to carry out both collective defense missions and peace
support operations.


25. At their Summit in Madrid in July 1997, our Heads of State and
Government mandated an examination, and an update as necessary, of the
Alliance's Strategic Concept. Recognizing that the security
environment has changed since 1991, this work will ensure that the
Strategic Concept is fully consistent with Europe's new security
situation and challenges, and will confirm our commitment to the core
function of Alliance collective defense and the indispensable
transatlantic link. Today, we have endorsed terms of reference for the
examination, and updating as necessary, of the Alliance Strategic
Concept. We directed the Council in Permanent Session to initiate work
early in 1998 for presentation to Heads of State and Government at
their next Summit meeting in April 1999. We attach great importance to
this task and look forward to receiving a progress report at our next
meeting.


26. NATO's continual effort to address the risks posed by the
proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons and
their means of delivery demonstrate the continuing adaptation of the
Alliance to the new security environment. In this context, the
principal goal of the Alliance and its members is to prevent
proliferation from occurring, or, should it occur, to reverse it
through diplomatic means. We welcome progress achieved with
international disarmament and non-proliferation instruments and attach
utmost importance to their full implementation and rigorous
verification. We nevertheless recognize that proliferation, which at
present poses risks to the Alliance, can continue to occur despite our
preventive efforts and can pose a direct military threat to Allies'
populations, territory, and forces. We remain committed to continue
improving the Alliance defense posture against NBC weapons to which
the Senior Defense Group on Proliferation (DGP) is making an important
contribution within the framework of its mandate.


27. The risks associated with proliferation are a key component of the
changed security environment since 1991 and we will ensure they are
fully reflected in our strategy and plans. We noted with concern
recent and ongoing proliferation developments that underline the
necessity of dealing with the evolving proliferation threat.


28. We welcome the progress being made by the NATO Military
Authorities to implement the Alliance Policy Guidelines for Military
Operations in an NBC Weapons Environment, which will facilitate the
adaptation of NATO's operational doctrine, concepts, and plans and
focus training and exercises on the risks posed by NBC weapons and
their means of delivery. The DGP will undertake further consultations
and cooperation with Partner nations to address defense efforts
against the risks posed by NBC weapons and their means of delivery,
and to examine probable areas for future cooperation.


29. We also note the DGP's ongoing effort to undertake a comprehensive
analysis of progress the Alliance has made towards intensifying and
expanding NATO's defense efforts against proliferation risks since the
1994 Brussels Summit and look forward to receiving a report at our
Spring meeting.


30. European security requires the widest cooperation and coordination
among participating States and European and transatlantic
organizations. Reiterating that the OSCE is particularly well suited
as a forum to enhance cooperation and interaction among such mutually
reinforcing organizations and institutions, we welcome the OSCE
initiative on developing the Platform for Cooperative Security within
the framework of the Security Model for the 21st Century to strengthen
non-hierarchical cooperation between security institutions. NATO
supports and has already contributed to this initiative in cooperation
with other security organizations.


31. We welcomed progress achieved in the Joint Consultative Group
(JCG) towards adapting the CFE Treaty to the changing European
security environment so as to ensure continued stability throughout
the Treaty's Area of Application. As part of these negotiations,
members of the Alliance have provided information on intended overall
reductions in entitlements of Treaty Limited Equipment, which they
would be prepared to take in the context of an adapted Treaty based on
national and territorial ceilings. We call on other States Parties to
do likewise. The Alliance remains committed to preserving the
viability of the CFE Treaty as a cornerstone of European security, and
to ensuring that this adaptation enhances the security of all States
Parties. We encourage all States Parties to work constructively
towards the objective of an early conclusion of the adaptation
negotiations. Until the adapted Treaty enters into force,
implementation of the current CFE Treaty and continued respect of its
provisions must be ensured.


32. In addition, we encourage ratification of the Open Skies Treaty by
those parties who have not done so to permit entry into force of the
Treaty at the earliest moment.


33. We acknowledge the significance of the opening of the Convention
on the prohibition of the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer
of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction for signature on 3rd
December 1997 in Ottawa, Canada. The impact of this agreement on NATO
will be fully assessed in the months ahead. We will take the necessary
action to ensure that national obligations under the Convention are
compatible with our obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty. We
welcome the efforts pursued at the Conference on Disarmament to deal
with the issue of anti-personnel land mines and urge the Conference on
Disarmament to intensify its effort to bring about an international
instrument adhered to universally.


34. We welcome the ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention by
the Russian Federation which represents a major step in strengthening
the comprehensive, global, and verifiable ban on chemical weapons. We
congratulate the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
on the successful commencement of its work. In order to promote the
non-proliferation of chemical weapons on a global basis, we call on
all states which have not yet acceded to the Chemical Weapons
Convention to do so at the earliest possible date.


35. We welcome the outcome of the recent US-Russia consultations aimed
at furthering the disarmament process and look forward to the prompt
ratification of the START II Treaty by the Russian Federation. START
II will provide a major contribution to international security through
reducing deployed U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear warheads by 40
percent and eliminating multiple-warhead ICBMs. Entry-into-force of
START II will also allow the beginning of negotiations on START III,
which will further reduce strategic nuclear forces, and for the first
time address strategic nuclear warhead stockpile measures. We urge
Russia to honor its commitments as stated by President Yeltsin in 1992
to substantially reduce its tactical nuclear weapons stockpile.


36. We recalled that our Heads of State and Government reaffirmed the
importance they attach to the arrangements in the Alliance for
consultation on threats of a wider nature, including those linked to
illegal arms trade and acts of terrorism, which affect Alliance
security interests, and stressed the need for the most effective
cooperation possible, in accordance with their respective national
legislation, to prevent and suppress this scourge.


37. We approved a report concluding the first phase of a major study
by our Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) on the future
role of NATO in the armaments field, which is intended to focus
armaments activities more sharply on key NATO military requirements
and improved interoperability. We look forward to the completion of
the study in November next year. We continue to attach great
importance to CNAD work aimed at fulfilling the very important
requirement for a minimum essential NATO-owned and operated core
capability supplemented by interoperable national assets. Noting the
options considered to date, we welcome the determination of our
Armaments Directors to search intensively for fresh concepts and
acquisition options to meet the requirements for the complete Alliance
Ground Surveillance capability, giving due consideration to an air
segment made up of both a NATO-owned and operated capability and
interoperable national assets, and a NATO-owned open architecture
ground segment. We look forward to the results of their work being
highlighted in their annual report to our Spring 1998 meeting.


38. We look forward to the revision by the NATO Air Defense Committee
of the Alliance Air Defense Program. We also attach importance to the
work undertaken by the Committee for European Airspace Coordination,
in particular with respect to the interoperability of the Air Command
and Control System (ACCS) and the European civil aviation
harmonization program, with the ultimate goal of improving air safety
throughout the whole European airspace. We note that the CNAD recently
contributed to proposals for adapting the Alliance's future ACCS to
perform, as required, tactical missile defense roles, and we look
forward to receiving the recommendations of the NATO Air Command and
Control Management Organization on this issue. We also look forward to
receiving this Spring a detailed plan identifying the steps, decision
documents, and resources necessary to establish, within NATO, programs
for layered tactical ballistic missile defenses.


39. We welcome the practical measures of defense cooperation with
Partners already taken by NATO's armaments community, including the
gradual and progressive opening up of armaments groups to Partner
participation and efforts to establish a defense industrial dialogue
between the defense industries of NATO member countries and those of
our Partners.


40. NATO's comprehensive adaptation will continue. The intensifying
preparations for the integration of the three invitees; the steady
progress achieved in adapting NATO's internal structures to ensure the
Alliance's military effectiveness, to preserve the transatlantic link
and to build the European Security and Defense Identity within the
Alliance; the successful outreach to Partners; the development of a
strong, stable and enduring partnership with Russia and a distinctive
partnership with Ukraine; our enhanced Mediterranean dialogue; our
engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina -- all of these far-reaching
endeavors testify to the undiminished vitality of the Alliance as the
linchpin of security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.


(End text)