Text Only | Disarmament Diplomacy | Disarmament Documentation | ACRONYM Reports
Back to the Acronym home page
Iraq
US/Russia
Space
NPT
CTBT
Fissban
BWC
CWC
UN
CD
British Policy
South Asia
Calendar
About Acronym
Links
Glossary

Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 53, December 2000 - January 2001

NATO Arms Control Report

'Report on Options for Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs), Verification, Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament,' issued as NATO Press Release M-NAC-2(2000)121, December 2000 (release date, December 14); full report available on the NATO website at http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2000/p00-121e/home.htm.

1. Introduction

"1. NATO's policy of support for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation has played and will continue to play a major role in the achievement of the Alliance's security objectives. NATO has a longstanding commitment in this area and continues to ensure that its overall objectives of defence, arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation remain in harmony.

2. At their Summit Meeting in Washington in April 1999, Allies decided to increase Alliance efforts against weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. The WMD Initiative has initiated a more vigorous and structured debate on WMD issues. The principal goal of the Alliance and its members remains to prevent proliferation from occurring or, should it occur, to reverse it through diplomatic means.

3. As stated in the Strategic Concept of 1999, the Alliance is committed to contribute actively to the development of arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation agreements as well as to confidence and security-building measures (CSBMs). The Allies are fully aware of their distinctive role in promoting a broader, more comprehensive and more verifiable international arms control and disarmament process. They consider confidence-building, arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation as important components of conflict prevention. NATO's partnership, co-operation and dialogue programmes offer a unique opportunity to promote these objectives. In this context, the Alliance's longstanding commitments and current activities in the area of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation are in and of themselves tangible contributions to the overall goal of creating meaningful CSBMs and a cooperative approach to international security.

4. At the Washington Summit, Allies agreed, in the light of overall strategic developments and the reduced salience of nuclear weapons, to consider options for CSBMs, verification, non-proliferation and arms control and disarmament. Since the Summit, the responsible NATO bodies have taken up an extensive and comprehensive evaluation of overall developments, have taken stock of Allies' efforts in these fields, and have considered a number of options for the future. ...

4. Alliance Policy Of Support For Arms Control, Disarmament And Non-Proliferation

4.1. The Contribution of Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation to Alliance Security

63. Efforts to bring about more stable international relations at lower levels of military forces and armaments, through effective and verifiable arms control agreements and confidence-building measures, have long been an integral part of NATO's security policy.

64. 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. It is a policy that constitutes a key component in NATO's broad approach to security, which recognises the importance of political, economic, social and environmental factors in addition to the indispensable defence dimension.

65. The Alliance provides an essential consultative forum for its members on all aspects of their defence and security, including arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation . As such, the consultative function serves to further the achievement of Alliance objectives in these areas. This consultation enables Allies to consider, among themselves and with Partners as well as with Mediterranean Dialogue Countries, the significance of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation for Euro-Atlantic security and to consider ways to advance these activities. Consultation takes place in the full range of NATO bodies, but most particularly in the various proliferation groups within NATO as well as the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council and the NATO-Ukraine Commission. In addition, NATO bodies regularly meet with experts on disarmament, notably prior to significant international meetings such as the NPT Review Conference, the UN First Committee and the Conference on Disarmament. Of particular note, in recent months, NATO has provided a valuable forum for consultations on the implications for Alliance security and global strategic stability of theatre missile defence options and weapons of mass destruction proliferation, as well as exchanging views on the proposed US National Missile Defense.

66. The Allies have a distinctive role in promoting a broader, more comprehensive and more verifiable international arms control and disarmament process. These efforts contribute significantly to transatlantic security, while enhancing global security and stability.

67. It is important to ensure that the Alliance's approach to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation contributes to the Alliance's security. NATO nations share the common view that arms control and CSBMs should enhance the security of all Allies, while ensuring that the Allies' strategy of deterrence remains credible and effective. Arms control measures should maintain the strategic unity and political cohesion of the Alliance, and should safeguard the principle of the indivisibility of Alliance security by avoiding the creation of areas of unequal security.

68. Arms control measures and non-proliferation should also enable the Alliance to contribute to effective conflict prevention and engage actively in crisis management, including crisis response operations. In this regard, arms control measures should be based on wide-ranging partnership, co-operation, and dialogue with other countries in the Euro-Atlantic area.

69. Effective and reliable verification is a fundamental requirement for arms control agreements. If an arms control regime is to be effective and to build confidence, the verifiability of proposed arms control measures must remain a central concern for the Alliance. Progress in arms control should also be measured against the record of compliance with existing agreements. Agreed arms control measures must ensure adequate safeguards against circumvention.

70. The overall objectives of Allies in this field are to promote stability and transatlantic well-being, by uniting their efforts for collective defence and for the preservation of peace and security. In order to accomplish this, the Alliance needs to react to potential threats by developing commensurate capabilities. Non-proliferation and disarmament treaties make an important contribution to reducing threats to the Alliance, and ensuring predictability and transparency of military activities and weapons inventories. Allies undertake to promote and strengthen such treaties, as an integral part of their overall response to the challenges which face the Alliance.

71. NATO nations are guided by a number of important considerations and principles which apply to support for arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. The principles and objectives of the Alliance in this area have been reaffirmed in the Strategic Concept of 1999 and will be kept under review in the light of the evolving security environment.

4.2. Allies' Support for Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation since 1990

4.2.1. Reducing Nuclear Forces

72. The context of Alliance nuclear policy is set out in the 1999 Strategic Concept: 'To protect peace and to prevent war or any kind of coercion, the Alliance will maintain for the foreseeable future an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces based in Europe and kept up to date where necessary, although at a minimum sufficient level. Taking into account the diversity of risks with which the Alliance could be faced, it must maintain the forces necessary to ensure credible deterrence and to provide a wide range of conventional response options. But the Alliance's conventional forces alone cannot ensure credible deterrence. Nuclear weapons make a unique contribution in rendering the risks of aggression against the Alliance incalculable and unacceptable. Thus, they remain essential to preserve peace.'

73. During the Cold War, NATO's nuclear forces played a prominent role in the Alliance strategy. They were integrated into the whole of NATO's force structure (ground, sea, and air), and the Alliance maintained a variety of targeting plans, which could be executed at short notice. This role entailed high readiness levels and quick-reaction alert postures for significant parts of NATO's nuclear forces.

74. In light of the end of the Cold War, since 1991 the Alliance has taken far-reaching steps to adapt its overall strategy, policy and force posture to take into account the improved security environment. NATO has radically reduced its reliance on nuclear forces. Its strategy remains one of war prevention but it is no longer dominated by the possibility of nuclear escalation. Its nuclear forces are no longer targeted against any country, and the circumstances in which their use might have to be contemplated are now considered to be extremely remote.

75. The types and numbers of NATO's sub-strategic forces have been dramatically reduced, and the number of land-based nuclear warheads in Europe has been reduced by over 85%. Additionally, sub-strategic warheads are no longer deployed under normal circumstances on surface vessels and attack submarines. Systems such as nuclear land mines, nuclear artillery, air-to-surface missiles, anti-submarine warfare depth bombs, surface-to-air missiles and short and intermediate-range surface-to-surface missiles were all removed from Europe, and a number of modernisation or replacement plans for follow-on systems were cancelled by the Alliance's nuclear powers. In addition, NATO nuclear storage sites have also undergone a massive reduction of about 80% as weapon systems were eliminated and their number of stored weapons was reduced.

76. Today, the only land-based sub-strategic nuclear weapons available to NATO are US nuclear bombs capable of being delivered by dual-capable aircraft (DCA). These remaining gravity bombs are stored safely in very few storage sites under highly secure conditions. In addition to the sub-strategic US nuclear weapons, there are a small number of UK Trident SSBN weapons available for a sub-strategic role.

77. Due to the new security environment NATO has also taken a number of steps to decrease the number and readiness-levels of its dual-capable aircraft. At the height of the Cold War, quick-reaction alert capable of launching within minutes was maintained for a portion of these aircraft, whereas nuclear readiness is now measured in weeks and months. There are no longer any NATO sub-strategic nuclear forces in Europe on alert.

4.2.2. Alliance policy on WMD Proliferation

78. Recognising that proliferation of WMD constitutes a threat to international security, NATO Heads of State and Government directed the Alliance in 1994 to intensify and expand its efforts against proliferation. In June 1994 NATO Foreign Ministers issued the 'Alliance Policy Framework on Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction', a public document stating that the principal goal of the Alliance and its member states is to prevent proliferation from occurring or, should it occur, to reverse it through diplomatic means. The document also noted that proliferation might nevertheless occur despite international non-proliferation norms and agreements, and that WMD and their delivery means can pose a direct military threat to NATO territory, populations and forces. Since 1994, the Alliance has increasingly addressed the range of defence capabilities needed to devalue WMD proliferation and use. The defence posture against WMD risks must continue to be improved to further reduce operational vulnerabilities of NATO military forces - while maintaining their flexibility and effectiveness despite the presence, threat or use of NBC [nuclear, biological and chemical] weapons.

4.2.3. The Alliance's WMD Initiative

79. In order to respond to the risks to Alliance security posed by the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means, the Alliance launched an Initiative in 1999 that builds upon work since the Brussels Summit to improve overall Alliance political and military efforts in this area. This WMD Initiative is ensuring a more vigorous, structured debate at NATO leading to strengthened common understanding among Allies on WMD issues and how to respond to them; improving the quality and quantity of intelligence and information-sharing; supporting the development of a public information strategy; enhancing existing Allied military readiness to operate in a WMD environment and to counter WMD threats; strengthening the process of information exchange about Allies' national programmes of bilateral WMD destruction and assistance; enhancing the possibilities for Allies to assist one another in the protection of their civil populations; and has created a WMD Centre within the International Staff to support these efforts. As of May 2000, the WMD Centre has been established, and has produced a robust work programme for the future.

80. The three senior NATO groups that were created to deal with the Alliance's political and defence efforts against WMD proliferation (the Senior Politico-Military Group on Proliferation (SGP) and the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation (DGP) to deal with the political and defence dimensions respectively of NATO's response, and the Joint Committee on Proliferation (JCP) to co-ordinate and combine work on political and defence efforts) have engaged in reinvigorated discussion and debate on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation issues. The SGP considers a range of factors in the political, security and economic fields that may cause or influence proliferation and discusses political and economic means to prevent or respond to it. The DGP addresses the military capabilities needed to discourage WMD proliferation, to deter threats and use of such weapons, and to protect NATO populations, territory and forces.

4.2.4. Contributing to Progress on Conventional Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

81. The Adaptation of the CFE Treaty in 1999 was the culmination of many efforts and initiatives by Alliance members to ensure that this Treaty would continue to be a cornerstone of European security, and that it would effectively meet the new security realities. During the course of the negotiations in Vienna, the Alliance put forward a comprehensive series of detailed proposals dealing with all aspects of adaptation. These were designed to ensure continued predictability and transparency as well as a greater degree of stability in the European military environment, and a further lowering of holdings of Treaty Limited Equipment among the CFE states parties, consistent with the requirement of conflict and crisis management. Throughout the negotiations and in the period pending entry into force, the Alliance also committed itself to, and continues to exercise, restraint in relation to levels and deployments of forces in all parts of the Treaty's Area of Application. In addition, several Allies indicated in Vienna the intention to accept limits on national equipment entitlements that are more restrictive than under the current Treaty.

82. The Alliance's High Level Task Force (HLTF) continues to be the primary forum for the development and co-ordination of Alliance policy in the field of conventional arms control. The HLTF also functions as an experts group to engage Partners on issues of mutual interest. The Verification Coordinating Committee (VCC) continues to co-ordinate the conventional arms control verification activities of the Allies and to monitor implementation issues. With the objective of enhancing the implementation of the CFE Treaty the VCC developed a programme of intensified co-operation which was offered to the CFE partner states in 1993. The programme continues, and includes the establishment of joint multi-national inspection teams in which Allies and Partners participate, joint training of inspectors at the NATO School, and access to the NATO arms control database. The VCC also sponsors several seminars and workshops on an annual basis.

83. Until the Adapted Treaty is ratified and enters into force, the continued full implementation of the existing treaty and its associated documents will remain crucial. Allies are now engaged in preparing for the implementation of the Adapted Treaty. The Alliance advocates its entry into force at the earliest possible time, but this can only be envisaged in the context of compliance by all states parties with the Treaty's agreed levels of armaments and equipment.

84. All of these efforts by the Alliance have contributed to the achievement of stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic region. In effect, these efforts are, of themselves, confidence and security-building measures.

5. NATO's Role In The Future: Options For CSBMs, Verification, Non-Proliferation, Arms Control And Disarmament

85. In light of overall strategic developments and the reduced salience of nuclear weapons, the Alliance has considered options for confidence and security building measures, verification, non-proliferation, and arms control and disarmament. The work that has been carried out within the Alliance has been brought together in a comprehensive and integrated approach. The result is focused on specific policy options for the future, which are summarised hereafter.

5.1. Nuclear Policy Issues

5.1.1. Role of nuclear forces in NATO's strategy

86. Notwithstanding positive developments in the strategic environment, the security of the Alliance remains subject to a wide variety of risks, both military and non-military, which are multidirectional and often difficult to predict. As stated in the Strategic Concept of 1999, the existence of powerful nuclear forces outside the Alliance constitutes a significant factor, which the Alliance has to take into account if stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area are to be maintained. NATO has radically reduced its reliance on nuclear forces, and undertook a dramatic reduction in its sub-strategic forces, a significant relaxation in the readiness criteria for nuclear-roled forces, and the termination of standing peacetime nuclear contingency plans.

87. The conclusions and recommendations relating to nuclear policy issues are based on the work carried out by the Allies concerned in the following main fields:

  • Proposed CSBMs with Russia
  • Transparency measures
  • Nuclear Proliferation ...
5.1.1.1. Confidence and security building measures with Russia

90. Given the extensive Russian nuclear arsenal, the NATO-Russia relationship constitutes an important focus for the consideration of options for nuclear confidence and security building measures. The NATO-Russia Founding Act established a mechanism, the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC), for consultation on a wide range of issues in order to develop, on the basis of reciprocity and transparency, a strong, stable and enduring partnership. Two of the issues listed in the Founding Act as areas for consultation and co-operation include conducting reciprocal exchanges on nuclear weapons issues, including doctrine and strategy, and consulting on nuclear safety issues across their full spectrum. NATO has agreed that consultations with Russia on future nuclear CSBMs are desirable, should build upon the provisions of the Founding Act, and should take place in the PJC. This is in keeping with the PJC Ministerial conclusion of May 24, 2000 that the Founding Act remains the basis for all NATO-Russia co-operation.

91. NATO intends to pursue with Russia four specific CSBM proposals to enhance mutual trust and to promote greater openness and transparency on nuclear weapons and safety issues:

A. Enhance and deepen dialogue on matters related to nuclear forces,

B. Exchange information regarding the readiness status of nuclear forces,

C. Exchange information on safety provisions and safety features of nuclear weapons,

D. Exchange data on US and Russian sub-strategic nuclear forces.

A. Enhance and deepen dialogue on matters related to nuclear forces 92. It will be important to establish a more frequent in-depth exchange of views, assessments, and information on nuclear forces - thereby enabling a better understanding of intentions and activities in the nuclear sphere than has been the experience to date. With respect to the objective of promoting an enhanced and deepened dialogue, NATO will propose, through seminars, workshops and other expert-level meetings, a more frequent in-depth exchange of views, assessments and information on nuclear forces with Russia.

B. Exchange information regarding the readiness status of nuclear forces

93. Exchanging information on the readiness status of nuclear forces will demonstrate to Russia the unilateral measures taken by the Alliance to reduce the alert status and readiness of its forces, while increasing the Alliance's understanding of the readiness status of Russia forces. This proposal would consist of two elements:

  • A discussion of the unilateral measures already taken by NATO countries and Russia to reduce the alert status and readiness of their nuclear forces, such as those taken by the US as part of the PNIs (removed all tactical/non-strategic nuclear weapons from ships in peacetime, removed strategic bombers from alert, earlier removal from alert of 450 Minuteman II missiles scheduled for elimination under START I), those taken by the UK as a result of its Strategic Defence Review (including significant reductions of warhead numbers and maintenance of only a single Trident submarine on deterrent patrol at reduced readiness), and earlier steps taken by NATO to de-alert dual-capable aircraft. Russia would be expected to present its measures taken as part of the PNIs.
  • A generic description of the present state of alert for nuclear weapons of NATO countries and Russia.
C. Exchange information on safety provisions and safety features of nuclear weapons

94. This proposal involves exchanging on a reciprocal basis information on safety provisions for nuclear weapons storage and transport, as well as safety features and procedures to prevent theft and unauthorized use or to minimize the risk of accidents. The proposal could comprise any of the following elements:

Safety & Security Features of Nuclear Weapons

  • Hold meetings to discuss on a reciprocal basis lessons learned by the nuclear-weapons states on issues related to safety and security practices.
Share Personnel Reliability Programme Oversight Practices
  • Exchange information on a reciprocal basis on personnel reliability programmes, two-person concept, or other methods for ensuring against unauthorized access to nuclear weapons.
Mutual Observation of Exercises
  • Invite Russia on a reciprocal basis to observe a 'nuclear accident response' exercise. The purpose would be to foster a better understanding of the procedures to be followed in responding to an accident, co-ordination required among civil and military organizations, etc.
Joint NATO-Russia accident exercise
  • Invite Russia to participate in a 'joint' nuclear accident response exercise. The purpose would be to enhance mutual co-operation and to improve accident response capability.

The following CSBM could also be pursued in the context of readiness measures:

'Shadow' exchange officer programme

  • Establish an exchange officer programme between SHAPE and an equivalent Russian Federation Military Organization, similar to the exchange which exists between the Russian Military and the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM). The exchange could start at flag officer level and could eventually be extended down to the unit level.
D. Exchange data on US and Russian sub-strategic nuclear forces

95. This proposal would involve conducting a reciprocal data exchange with Russia within the PJC context. The objective would be to enhance transparency and knowledge of the size of the US and Russian stockpiles.

5.1.1.2. Transparency

96. NATO is committed to meaningful public outreach to interested individuals and groups, including discussion of the adaptations which the Alliance's force posture has undergone over the last decade in response to the changed security environment. NATO is equally committed to discussing the Alliance's policy of support for nuclear arms control and disarmament. In this regard, the Alliance will continue to broaden its engagement with interested non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and the general public and will contribute actively to discussion and debate regarding nuclear weapons and nuclear arms control and disarmament issues.

97. As NATO has reacted to the changes of the past 10 years, it has developed a number of documents that set out the facts and rationale of the Alliance's nuclear posture. NATO's Strategic Concept of 1991 and its revision in 1999 are public documents. Additionally, communiqués from NATO foreign and defence ministerials have chronicled successive reductions in Alliance nuclear forces and other changes in Alliance posture. Several documents have been developed by the Allies concerned to address nuclear issues. These documents were designed primarily for use by Allied officials in responding publicly to questions. Basic Fact Sheets, as well as a recent paper on 'NATO's Nuclear Stance', are now available on NATO's internet website.

98. The general aim of transparency is to contribute to confidence and security building and non-proliferation and to foster public and political support by explaining the rationale of NATO's nuclear policy and posture. The following policy issues are of particular importance:

The role of nuclear weapons in the post-Cold War security environment.

  • There is a clear rationale for a continued, though much reduced, presence of substrategic forces in Europe. This is consistent with the Alliance's fundamental guiding principle of common commitment, mutual co-operation and collective security, the burden and risks of providing the nuclear element of NATO's deterrent capability should not be borne by the nuclear powers alone.
NATO's force posture since the end of the Cold War.
  • Drastic reductions and significant relaxation of readiness levels to Alliance nuclear forces have been implemented since the end of the Cold War.
Safety, security, and survivability of nuclear weapons.
  • NATO is transparent to the maximum degree possible with respect to the safety, security, survivability, and storage conditions of US nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons and procedures are designed to ensure that weapons are safely and securely stored and handled.
5.1.1.3. Nuclear Proliferation

99. Nuclear proliferation remains a concern for both governments and publics. It touches on aspects of nuclear policy, nuclear arms control and disarmament policy, and traditional non-proliferation policy as well. Allies concerned have explored - in the broadest sense - the reasons why nations may be attempting to acquire, or already have acquired, nuclear weapons despite the provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

100. Allies concerned have concluded that the primary motivations for proliferants' pursuit and development of nuclear weapons remain 'local' threat perceptions, regional ambitions, and global prestige. The idea that proliferant states would assess the broader military and security environment in deciding to develop weapons of mass destruction is only common-sense. However, no evidence was found that proliferant nations acquire nuclear capabilities based on the fact that NATO maintains nuclear weapons in Europe for ensuring the security of the Alliance. NATO's residual sub-strategic nuclear arsenal - which has been dramatically reduced and its land-based forces de-alerted and de-mated - is not responsible for nuclear proliferation.

101. NATO's nuclear posture has evolved constantly to suit the changing realities of Euro-Atlantic security. Indeed, in line with this approach, the Alliance has over the past decade continually reviewed its nuclear doctrine and posture. In concluding that the role of NATO's nuclear forces in today's environment is fundamentally political, the Alliance has greatly reduced the operational/military focus for these weapons. To support such changes, the size and readiness of the NATO nuclear stockpile and forces have been dramatically reduced, and the remaining land-based forces have been de-alerted and de-mated. These measures reflect the reduced role of nuclear weapons in the current security environment. They also support NATO's policy that the Alliance's nuclear weapons will be maintained at the minimum level sufficient to preserve peace and stability. This enhances the security of the Euro-Atlantic region and beyond.

102. NATO countries have made firm commitments to realistic and practical measures toward arms control and disarmament in the area of nuclear weapons. To this end, NATO and its nuclear-weapons states have taken unilateral steps, entered into bilateral agreements, undertaken CSBMs, and adhered to a range of multilateral agreements that support arms control and disarmament. It bears noting that all Allied governments are parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and signatories to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. By contrast, proliferant states have shown little interest in pursuing similar measures - either through adjustments to their own posture, or through measures to promote disarmament and arms control. The consequence of this has been that their nuclear programmes have diminished, not strengthened security and stability within their regions and beyond. Here again, despite statements that profess support for total disarmament, the actions of proliferant states suggest a very different approach.

5.2. Support by Alliance Members for the Non-Proliferation Treaty

103. As states parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, all Allies are committed to and will continue to pursue vigorously the principles and objectives of the NPT as the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.

104. Alliance nations have dramatically reduced nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and reaffirm their commitment under Article VI of the NPT to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

105. Allies have welcomed the decisions concerning the indefinite extension of the NPT and the 'Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament' adopted by the 1995 NPT Review Conference. They have also welcomed the positive outcome of the 2000 NPT Review Conference. The Conference agreed on the importance of universal adherence to and compliance with the NPT, and reaffirmed the commitment of all states parties to disarmament, IAEA safeguards, and peaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the NPT. Allies confirm their commitments made at the NPT Review Conference and will contribute to carrying forward and implementing the conclusions reached there.

106. NATO members support the entire Final Document of the May 2000 NPT Review Conference, including all...the...practical steps [included in the Document's nuclear disarmament plan of action] for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI of the NPT and paragraphs 3 and 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on 'Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament'...

5.3. Arms Control Issues Relevant to Outer Space

107. Alliance member states support the view that it is particularly important for the international community to preserve and protect current economic and security benefits from the use of Outer Space while avoiding the creation of new and daunting military competitions in the future. There already exist a number of agreements for limiting the uses of Outer Space to those that are peaceful and for providing a framework for the legitimate military uses of Outer Space. Alliance nations share specific interests in, and have already expressed support for the following areas:

  • efforts within the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
  • the establishment within the Conference on Disarmament (CD) of a subsidiary body to discuss issues relevant to Outer Space, in the context of a programme of work for the CD. ...
5.6. Conventional Arms Control

5.6.1. The CFE process

116. The CFE process, begun in 1990, has achieved a significant reduction in the holdings of conventional armaments and equipment of the states parties to the Treaty and has established a new pattern of security relations among them. However, there are continuing implementation issues, which must be addressed as we approach the next CFE Review Conference in 2001. The Agreement on the Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul on 19 November 1999, will ensure the continuing role of the CFE Treaty as a cornerstone of European security and stability. The successful completion of this negotiation is an important contribution to the overall process of enhancing security and stability in Europe. It also demonstrates the common commitment of Allies to cooperative security relations.

117. Maintaining the effectiveness and credibility of the CFE Treaty will also represent a significant contribution to the overall process of enhancing arms control. In this regard, NATO Ministers at Florence have stated that the Alliance advocates 'entry into force at the earliest possible time but this can only be envisaged in the context of compliance by all states parties with the Treaty's agreed levels of armaments and equipment, consistent with the commitments contained in the CFE Final Act. We look for early and effective implementation of Russia's commitments to reduce and withdraw its forces from Moldova and Georgia.' But we remain concerned about the continued high levels of Russian Treaty limited equipment in relation to the Treaty's Article V ('Flank') limits. These levels must be brought into line with treaty limits in a manner consistent with agreed counting rules and procedures. It is on this basis that Allies will continue to work towards bringing the Adapted Treaty into force. Pending the completion of this process, the full and continued implementation of the Treaty and its associated documents remains crucial.

118. NATO nations have begun work on tasks related to the implementation of the Adapted CFE Treaty. This work will include the development and/or updating of procedures for co-ordination among Allies for the implementation of the Adapted CFE Treaty and consideration of procedures for enhanced co-operation with CFE Partners.

119. The accession provisions of the Adapted CFE Treaty provide for increasing the number of states parties and extending the CFE pattern of new security relations based on peaceful co-operation beyond the current 30 states parties. In accordance with those provisions, addition on a case-by-case basis of new states parties to the Adapted CFE Treaty can contribute to transparency, predictability, and stability within the Euro-Atlantic region.

120. The Alliance views conventional arms control to be both an important tool of conflict prevention and an integral part of crisis response. There may be scope for including specific reference to arms control provisions in Alliance planning documents dealing with crisis management.

5.6.2. The Way Ahead on Conventional Arms Control

121. The negotiation of Vienna Document 1999 demonstrated that the current Document sets a high substantive standard for new pan-European CSBMs. Allies agree that the future challenges in the conventional arms control/CSBM arena are likely to focus on regional and sub-regional issues.

122. In the Euro-Atlantic region a comprehensive regime of conventional arms control has been developed. This may serve as an example for other regions of the world. In this context Allies and the Alliance will continue to have expertise to offer and a contribution to make to discussions on regional agreements.

123. There may be scope for encouraging the development, within the appropriate fora, of discussions on stabilising measures in certain regions of tension.

124. Upon entry into force of the Adapted CFE Treaty, OSCE participating states with territory in the area between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains may apply for accession to the Adapted Treaty, thereby providing an important additional contribution to European stability and security. The Alliance is pleased that the Adapted Treaty will permit accession by new states parties, and stands ready to provide relevant information to accession candidates regarding the rights and responsibilities of states parties.

125. The Alliance will continue to engage Russia, Ukraine and other EAPC Partners in discussion of conventional arms control issues, as opportunities arise.

5.7. NATO and EAPC Contribution on Small Arms and Light Weapons [SALW]

126. NATO, along with the UN, EU, OSCE and other international organizations have undertaken a number of initiatives at the global, regional and local levels. Alliance members have engaged in a dialogue with NATO Partners in the EAPC on practical steps that can be taken to deal with the challenge of small arms. The EAPC Ad Hoc Working Group on Small Arms and Light Weapons has addressed stockpile management and security, national export controls and enforcement mechanisms, and weapons collection and destruction in the context of peacekeeping operations. Individual Allies and Partners have co-sponsored a number of seminars and workshops addressing a number of these issues. NATO and Partner countries including through SFOR and KFOR, have made substantial contributions to the control, seizure and destruction of small arms in the Balkans, and will continue these efforts. It is recommended that NATO members build upon the fruitful co-operation that has taken place within the EAPC, and identify further means to address the challenge of SALW. In this context, Alliance members look forward to participating actively in the 2001 UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its Aspects.

5.8. NATO and Anti-Personnel Landmines

127. Landmines can take a disproportionate toll on civilian populations in conflict, can stall reconstruction especially in rural areas in post-conflict situations, and can pose a significant risk to NATO forces in peace support operations. NATO nations have demonstrated their commitment to tackle this scourge.

128. NATO has been actively engaged on the landmines issues through the work of the EAPC Ad Hoc Working Group on Global Humanitarian Mine Action, and through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) Partnership Work Programme. Specific initiatives have included the creation of a PfP Trust Fund for Anti-Personnel Landmine Destruction, as well as seminars and workshops.

129. NATO and non-NATO troops involved in Peace Support Operations in Bosnia-Herzogovina (SFOR) and Kosovo (KFOR) conduct daily operational mine-clearing in support of military operations, to ensure their own security, the freedom of movement and the completion of assigned tasks.

130. De-mining to humanitarian standards, which provides a guarantee that the area is almost totally clear of mines (more than 99% clear), is under the responsibility of the United Nations Mine Action Services (UNMAS). However, IFOR/SFOR, and more recently KFOR have provided and are still providing assistance to International Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, and local organizations in humanitarian de-mining efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo."

© 2001 The Acronym Institute.