Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 11, December 1996
NATO communiquésNorth Atlantic Council (NAC) Foreign Ministers meeting, 10 December 1996
Final Communique, Issued at the Foreign Minister Level Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, M-NAC-2, Press Release (96)165, 10 December 1996
NATO enlargement and nuclear policy
"We reaffirm that the nuclear forces of the Allies continue to play a unique and essential role in the Alliance's strategy of war prevention. New members, who will be full members of the Alliance in all respects, will be expected to support the concept of deterrence and the essential role nuclear weapons play in the Alliance's strategy. Enlarging the Alliance will not require a change in NATO's current nuclear posture and therefore, NATO countries have no intention, no plan, and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members nor any need to change any aspect of NATO's nuclear posture or nuclear policy - and we do not foresee any future need to do so. ..."
"The CFE Treaty is a fundamental cornerstone of security and stability for all in the Euro-Atlantic area. We are committed to maintain and strengthen it. Consistent with our broader goal of enhancing political cooperation and military stability in a Europe without dividing lines, we welcome the decision of the 30 States Parties to the CFE Treaty on 1 December 1996 in Lisbon to launch negotiations to adapt the Treaty to the changing security environment in Europe. We look forward to beginning negotiations in the Joint Consultative Group in Vienna in January 1997 on the basis of the scope and parameters (Terms of Reference) document agreed in Lisbon.
Our common goal is to enhance security for all States Parties, irrespective of whether they belong to an alliance, and preserve their right to choose and change their security arrangements. Within the broader political context of enhanced security for all, this process should strengthen the cooperative pattern of relationships between States Parties, based on mutual confidence, transparency, stability and predictability. Committed, like the other States Parties, to adapting the Treaty by developing mechanisms which will enhance the Treaty's viability and effectiveness, we will pursue steps to review the Treaty's group structure, to adapt the Treaty system of limitations and to enhance its verification and information provisions. To that end, the members of the Alliance will develop and table proposals for the negotiations in Vienna.
We reaffirm our support for the CFE Flank Agreement, reached at this year's Review Conference in Vienna. We urge all States Parties who have not yet done so to approve this Agreement before the end of the extended provisional application period.
We will play our full part in the intensive continuing efforts directed at resolving outstanding implementation issues.
The members of the Alliance reaffirm the commitment made at Lisbon to exercise restraint during the period of negotiations as foreseen in the document in relation to the current postures and capabilities of their conventional armed forces - in particular, with respect to their levels of forces and deployments - in the Treaty's area of application. As decided in Lisbon, this commitment is without prejudice to the outcome of the negotiations, or to voluntary decisions by the individual States Parties to reduce their force levels or deployments, or to their legitimate security interests. We believe that the CFE Treaty must continue to play a key role in ensuring military stability into the 21st century, and are committed to adapting it expeditiously in order to take account of new security challenges."
Nuclear arms control
"We emphasise the importance of the START Treaties for international stability and security. We note with satisfaction the progress made by the United States and the Russian Federation in the implementation of START I. We urge the Russian Federation to follow the United States in ratifying the START II Treaty. We welcome the successful conclusion and signing by the great majority of UN members of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and we urge all other nations to sign this important international arms control agreement. We look forward to the early start of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. ...
We attach particular importance to a solid preparation of the first preparatory committee of the strengthened review process of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), scheduled for April 1997. This process will significantly contribute to the further strengthening of the NPT, which is the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation system."
Chemical and biological weapons arms control
"We are pleased that the Chemical Weapons Convention will soon enter into force and we look forward to its early implementation. We welcome the fact that States Parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention have at the Fourth Review Conference in Geneva in December 1996 again solemnly declared their recognition that effective verification could reinforce the Convention."
"Recognising the heightened concern of the international community of the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines, we support the vigorous pursuit of an effective, legally binding international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of antipersonnel mines and, as an important step to this end, support the early ratification of the revised Second Protocol of the Convention on Inhumane Weapons."
"Proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their delivery means continues to be a matter of serious concern to us. Progress in expanding and intensifying NATO's political and defence efforts against proliferation, as directed by NATO Heads of State and Government in January 1994, is an integral part of NATO's adaptation to the new security environment. These efforts also contribute to NATO's ability to conduct new roles and missions. We remain committed to preventing proliferation in the first place, or, if it occurs, to reversing it through diplomatic means. The Alliance is improving its capabilities to address the risks posed by proliferation. We welcome further consultations and cooperation with Partner countries to address the common security risks posed by proliferation. We note with satisfaction the report of the Alliance's Joint Committee on Proliferation on the activities of the Senior Political-Military Group on Proliferation and the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation and direct them to continue their vital efforts."
NAC Defence Ministers Meeting, 18 December
Final Communique, M-NAC(DM)-3(96)172, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, 18 December 1996
"NATO's intensified efforts 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. The principal non-proliferation goal of the Alliance and its members is to prevent proliferation from occurring or, should it occur, to reverse it through diplomatic means. We nevertheless recognise 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. Therefore we have reaffirmed that Alliance defence planning should address the military risks posed by nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their delivery means, with particular emphasis on enhancing protection for deployed forces and improving our defences against biological weapons. These defence planning efforts underpin NATO's ability to perform the full range of its missions despite the presence, threat or use of NBC weapons.
We note with great satisfaction the progress that has been made since June toward implementing the recommendations of the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation (DGP) to improve the Alliance's overall defence posture against NBC weapons. We welcome the efforts made by the NATO Military Authorities and the Allies concerned to develop on an accelerated basis new force goals to address proliferation risks. These capabilities also contribute to the overall modernisation of Alliance forces for the new security environment.
The NATO Military Authorities should, within the collective defence planning process, continue to underscore the importance of capabilities addressing proliferation risks in 1998 Force Goals. We also look forward to continued progress in addressing, as a priority, proliferation risks in armaments planning, as well as through cooperative initiatives such as strategic and operational intelligence; automated and deployable command, control, and communications; wide-area ground surveillance; theatre missile defence; biological agent detection; and NBC individual protection equipment for deployed forces. Through these efforts, the Alliance will make manifest its commitment to improve Alliance defence capabilities to address shared security concerns.
We recognise that fielding new capabilities alone will not guarantee Alliance success in addressing the risks posed by proliferation. We also look forward to continued progress in refining and developing the policies based on the DGP's Guiding Principles which would further direct NATO's common defence efforts against proliferation. We welcome further consultations and cooperation with Partner countries to address the common security risks posed by proliferation. ...
We reaffirm that the nuclear forces of the Allies continue to play a unique and essential role in the Alliance's strategy of war prevention. New members, who will be full members of the Alliance in all respects, will be expected to support the concept of deterrence and the essential role nuclear weapons play in the Alliance's strategy. Enlarging the Alliance will not require a change in NATO's current nuclear posture, and therefore, NATO countries have no intention, no plan, and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members nor any need to change any aspect of NATO's nuclear posture or nuclear policy - and we do not foresee any future need to do so. ...
We look forward to our meeting with Minister of Defence Rodionov and remain committed to the development of a strong, stable and enduring security partnership with the Russian Federation, one that is consistent with that country's importance and with the far-reaching changes in the Alliance since the end of the Cold War. We view such a relationship as a key element in the European security architecture and as an essential source of stability for the entire Euro-Atlantic area. Our collaboration has already demonstrated its value in Operation JOINT ENDEAVOUR, as well as in a series of special consultations on such common security problems such as non-proliferation, nuclear safety, disaster preparedness, and arms control. ..."
Defence Planning Committee (DPC) and Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) Defence Ministers Meetings, 17 December
M-DPC/NPG-2(96)173, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, 17 December 1996
"To safeguard the Alliance's ability to perform the full range of its missions, we underlined at our meeting in June the importance of developing capabilities for countering the risks stemming from the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their means of delivery. For this purpose, we asked that new force goals be developed so that these risks could be addressed within existing Alliance procedures. We approved these additional force goals today. In addition, we gave directions for further work to deal with proliferation-related risks, work which will be carried forward within the force planning process.
The nuclear forces of the Alliance continue to play a unique and essential role in Alliance strategy. Their fundamental purpose is political: to preserve peace and prevent coercion. We welcome the reduced emphasis on nuclear weapons as reflected in the major reductions in the size of Alliance nuclear forces and the lower readiness states progressively implemented since 1991. Alliance nuclear forces are not targeted at any country. We reaffirm that the presence of US nuclear forces in Europe and committed to the Alliance remains an essential and enduring political and military link between the European and North American members of the Alliance. We also express our determination to ensure that the Alliance's nuclear forces continue to meet the highest standards of safety and security.
We received with appreciation a presentation from the United States on the status of its bilateral negotiations with Russia to achieve further progress on various nuclear issues. In this context, we encourage the Russian Duma promptly to ratify START II and express our full support for the efforts to reach a successful completion of the bilateral negotiations concerning the demarcation between strategic and theatre missile defence systems.
At a time when NATO has vastly reduced its nuclear forces, Russia still retains a large number of tactical nuclear weapons of all types. We call upon Russia to bring to completion the reductions in these forces announced in 1991 and 1992, and to further review its tactical nuclear weapons stockpile with a view towards making additional significant reductions. We welcome the assistance being provided by several NATO countries for the safe and secure removal and dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan and urge all Allies to look for additional ways to contribute.
We welcome the completion of the removal of nuclear warheads from Belarus in accordance with the Lisbon Protocol of 1992.
We welcome the completion of the agreement on a universal and verifiable zero-yield Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and encourage all states to ratify the treaty which, once in force, will contribute importantly to preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. We emphasize the importance of commencing the negotiations on a treaty to end the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons."
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