Ref. :  000003307
Date :  2002-05-14
Language :  English
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Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council Held In Reykjavik on 14 May 2002

Author :  NATO/OTAN

1. Since 11 September, NATO has acted on its core commitments to deter and defend against any threat of aggression against any NATO member state, as provided for in Articles 5 and 6 of the Washington Treaty. Our countries are contributing, as individual Allies, to the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. The Alliance and its members are playing their full part in the current campaign against terror, confirming NATO's key role in ensuring Euro-Atlantic security, including in the face of new threats. The Alliance, which embodies the transatlantic link that binds North America and Europe in a unique defence and security partnership, must, and will continue to adapt itself, to be better able to perform its fundamental security tasks and to strengthen security right across the Euro-Atlantic area. We will intensify our consultations on this process of adaptation, looking to the meeting of our Heads of State and Government in Prague in November to mark a decisive step forward in achieving this objective.

2. In preparation for the Prague Summit, we have today given guidance on the development of vital new capabilities, on the process of NATO enlargement, on the creation of a new security relationship with Russia, as well as on the development of our relationships with Ukraine and all other Partners. We have also re-affirmed NATO's commitment to a peaceful, stable and democratic South-East Europe, and to the development of close and effective relations between NATO and the European Union.

3. We reiterate our determination to combat the threat of terrorism for as long as necessary. There is no justification whatsoever for terrorist actions. In keeping with our obligations under the Washington Treaty we will continue to strengthen our national and collective capacities to protect our populations, territory and forces from any armed attack, including terrorist attack, directed from abroad. We recognised this challenge in the Strategic Concept adopted at the 1999 Washington Summit, where we made clear that any armed attack on the territory of the Allies, from whatever direction, would be covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty and where we singled out terrorism as a risk to the security interests of the Alliance. Meeting this challenge is fundamental to our security. Actions taken to meet this challenge will be in accordance with our decisions and in full compliance with all our commitments under international law and relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter and national legislation.

4. Our countries are also working together to deal with the threat posed by possible use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including their possible use by terrorists, and the means of their delivery. Disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation make an essential contribution to preventing the use of WMD, along with deterrence and defence. The Alliance is working on proposals to develop critical defences against biological and chemical weapons. We also attach importance to reinforcing the role of the NATO WMD Centre within the International Staff. We will also enhance our ability, through working on all possible options, to provide support, when requested, to national authorities for the protection of civilian populations against the effects of any terrorist attack, and are cooperating with our Partners in this field, taking into account the various proposals and initiatives put forward. We are exploring the scope for enhancing cooperation with the European Union in this field. Together with our Defence colleagues, we are developing a package of proposals to be in place for the Prague Summit, to strengthen these capacities.

5. To carry out the full range of its missions, NATO must be able to field forces that can move quickly to wherever they are needed, sustain operations over distance and time, and achieve their objectives. This will require the development of new and balanced capabilities within the Alliance, including strategic lift and modern strike capabilities, so that NATO can more effectively respond collectively to any threat of aggression against a member state. We look forward to decisions by Defence Ministers on specific recommendations for the development of new capabilities, for approval by Heads of State and Government at the Prague Summit.

6. At their Prague Summit in November this year, our Heads of State and Government will launch the next round of NATO enlargement. This will confirm the Alliance's commitment to remain open to new members, and enhance security in the Euro-Atlantic area. We received today a Consolidated Progress Report on the results of the third cycle of the Membership Action Plan (MAP). We congratulate all aspirants on the significant progress they have made thus far towards achieving their objectives in the MAP. Heads of State and Government will expect invitees to have demonstrated a commitment to the basic principles and values set out in the Washington Treaty, the capability to contribute to collective defence and the Alliance's full range of missions, a firm commitment to contribute to stability and security, especially in regions of crisis and conflict, and to be willing and able to assume the responsibilities of membership. We encourage all aspirants to intensify their efforts in the coming months and to continue them not only up to Prague but also in the years ahead.

7. We commit ourselves to continuing to work with the aspirants to help them make sufficient progress to be invited to begin accession negotiations at Prague. The 2002-2003 cycle of the MAP, which we launched today to conclude in Spring 2003, will include all the present participants, and be tailored to their individual requirements. We look forward to submission of individual Annual National Programmes in the Autumn. After Prague, the MAP will continue to serve both aspirants and those countries invited to begin accession talks with the Alliance.

8. As at Madrid, our goal is that all invitees should accede on a common date before the next Summit. After Prague, we will expect invited countries to continue to participate in the MAP. The accession process will take into account work conducted under the MAP, and the MAP will be used to help the integration of invitees into Alliance structures. During accession talks and on the basis of an invitee's Annual National Programme, the NATO Expert Team, on the basis of political guidance to be elaborated, will discuss with individual invitees specific issues and reforms upon which further progress will be expected before and after accession in order to enhance their contribution to the Alliance. These will be drawn from existing MAP objectives, Partnership Goals and other issues identified by Allies and those associated with military integration identified by the NATO Military Authorities. A timetable for the completion of these reforms should be established, including for those that are unlikely to be realised until after accession. This timetable should be reflected within a revised Annual National Programme. We look forward to the commitments that invitees will make as part of this process. We look forward to signing the individual accession protocols not later than our meeting in Spring of 2003. Invitees will participate in subsequent MAP cycles until the ratification process has been completed.

9. We commend Croatia on the progress it has made in its reform efforts, making full use of the options offered by Partnership for Peace (PfP), the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and the Intensified Dialogue. We expect Croatia to continue to contribute to stability in the Balkans. We welcome Croatia's participation in the MAP and invite Croatia to present its first Annual National Programme in the Autumn and look forward to reviewing Croatia's progress at our meeting next Spring.

10. NATO is undertaking internal preparations to ensure its readiness to accept new members. We direct the Council in Permanent Session to prepare a comprehensive report on the relevant factors associated with decisions on enlargement for consideration by Heads of State and Government in Prague. This work will be conducted in keeping with political guidance provided by the Council and will not create any preconditions or decisions on new members.

11. We welcome the decisive and substantial deepening of the NATO-Russia relationship, which marks an historic step towards the Alliance's long-standing goal of building a secure, cooperative and democratic Euro-Atlantic area. We look forward to the approval this afternoon by the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council of the document on the creation of the NATO-Russia Council, where NATO member states and Russia will work as equal partners in areas of common interest, while preserving NATO's prerogative to act independently. The document will be adopted and signed at the inaugural session of the Council, to be held at a Summit meeting of Heads of State and Government in Rome on 28 May. We are confident that the creation of the Council will lend new impetus and substance to our partnership with Russia, and make a substantial contribution to our common goal of a stable, peaceful and undivided Europe, as enshrined in the NATO-Russia Founding Act. A NATO-Russia Council meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government in Prague would offer an opportunity to take stock of our new relationship.

12. We support Russia's right to protect her territorial integrity, and recognise her responsibility to protect all her citizens against terrorism and criminality. We urge Russia to find a prompt and lasting political and peaceful resolution to the conflict in Chechnya, 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 action against it.

13. We note Ukraine's strong determination to pursue full Euro-Atlantic integration. We continue to encourage Ukraine to implement the reforms required to achieve this objective and stand ready to continue to assist it in this regard. In that context, we have decided to give new impetus and substance to our partnership with Ukraine. To that end, we have tasked the Council in Permanent Session to develop new mechanisms and modalities that build on the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership and bring our relationship to a qualitatively new level. We expect to deepen and expand our relationship, including through intensified consultations and cooperation on political, economic and defence issues. In this context, Allies look forward to a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, at the level of Heads of State and Government, at the Prague Summit.

14. Since 11 September, the important contribution made by NATO's Partnerships to Euro-Atlantic security has been confirmed and reinforced. We look forward to a new, more substantive relationship with Partners, which intensifies our cooperation in responding to new security challenges, including terrorism. In light of the changing security environment, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and Partnership for Peace are adapting to remain valuable and effective. We have tasked the Council in Permanent Session to continue reviewing our Partnerships, with a view to presenting our Heads of State and Government at Prague with concrete proposals for further developing the EAPC and PfP to better serve Allies and Partners in addressing the challenges of the 21st century. We look forward to the meeting of the EAPC at the level of Heads of State and Government in Prague.

15. We have decided to upgrade the political and practical dimensions of our Mediterranean Dialogue, including by consulting with Mediterranean partners on security matters of common concern, including terrorism-related issues, as appropriate. These efforts will aim to bring our Mediterranean partners even closer to NATO, and give fresh impetus to the Dialogue by the Prague Summit.

16. 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 welcome recent progress towards finalising EU modalities for consultation with Canada and for its participation in EU-led operations.

17. We reiterate our commitment to a peaceful, stable, and democratic South-East Europe, and reaffirm our support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all the countries in the region. The continued presence of NATO-led forces demonstrates and embodies our determination to oppose all violence whether ethnically, politically or criminally motivated, and to strengthen peace, tolerance, the rule of law and democratic institutions in the region. Working together with our Partners in SFOR and KFOR and with other international institutions, we will continue to promote regional reconciliation and cooperation, protection of rights of members of all ethnic groups and minorities, confidence-building measures and a lasting solution to the problem of refugees and displaced persons. We remain actively engaged in the field of border security and smuggling interdiction operations and reaffirm the importance of a wider regional approach to these issues.

18. In light of the progress achieved towards a lasting and self-sustaining peace, we have reviewed the status of NATO's operations in the Balkans. Our Defence colleagues will review the implementation of force restructuring which takes into account a more regional approach and aims at rationalising NATO's military presence, as civilian authorities increasingly take up their responsibilities. Full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) remains a priority. All persons indicted for war crimes by the ICTY must be brought to justice in The Hague.

19. We remain determined to further support efforts towards security and stability in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1). NATO continues to contribute to security by providing support for the EU and OSCE monitors through the presence of Task Force Fox. We are encouraged by progress in the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement and emphasise that the passing of remaining legislation related to the Agreement and the holding of free and fair general elections in September will together constitute important steps towards peace and stability.

20. We remain committed to a self-sustaining peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in full accordance with the principles of the General Framework Agreement, and call on the local authorities in the country 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 look forward to the general elections this Autumn as an important step towards a single, multi-ethnic, and democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina.

21. We look forward to further developing the Alliance's relations with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), and expect swift implementation of the agreement that has been reached between Serbia and Montenegro in redefining their relationship. We welcome the FRY's interest in joining PfP and look forward to working with the FRY leadership in achieving the progress necessary to enable participation in PfP. Full and continued cooperation with ICTY, democratic reform and control of the military, as well as full and transparent implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, are essential to a deeper relationship with the Alliance.

22. With regard to Kosovo, we reaffirm our commitment to the full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, and welcome the establishment of provisional institutions of self-government which include representatives of all communities. We call on the provisional institutions and community leaders to assume their responsibilities and fully cooperate with UNMIK, KFOR and the international community to promote a peaceful, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and democratic Kosovo. We look forward to the local elections in Kosovo this Autumn as another 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.

23. 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. We will continue to work together to adapt the Alliance's comprehensive strategy to meet the threats posed by the proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery, adopting an appropriate mix of political and defence efforts. Our efforts to that end should be consistent with the indivisibility of Allied security. 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 and security building measures. In that context, we welcome the U.S.-Russian agreement to sign a treaty to reduce deployed strategic nuclear warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200. We reaffirm our determination to contribute to the implementation of the conclusions of the 2000 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and welcome the full discussion of issues at the Preparatory Conference for the 2005 Review Conference in April 2002. We also support ongoing efforts to achieve an International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation before the end of 2002. Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, 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.

24. Concerning the CFE Treaty, we welcome the Russian Federation's December declaration that it is now within agreed levels of armament and equipment. We encourage Russia to enhance its cooperation with NATO to facilitate our efforts to verify this claim as soon as possible. However, we 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 contained in the CFE Final Act. We urge a swift resolution of outstanding issues relating to Istanbul commitments, including on Georgia and Moldova. Recognising the contributions of the CFE Treaty to European security and stability, we recall that the entry into force of the adapted CFE Treaty would permit accession by non-CFE States. We welcome the entry into force of the Open Skies Treaty on 1 January 2002.

25. We express our deep appreciation to the Government of Iceland for hosting this meeting.

1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

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