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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 53, December 2000 - January 2001

NATO Ministerial Meetings

North Atlantic Council

Meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) in Foreign Ministers' Session, Brussels, December 14-15, 2000; Final Communiqué, M-NAC-2(2000)124, December 15.

"44. We value our ongoing consultations and co-operation with Russia in the framework of the PJC on such issues as strategy, defence policy and military doctrines, infrastructure development programmes, nuclear weapons, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, theatre missile defence, air defence, and other disarmament and arms control issues, including CFE and Open Skies, scientific and environmental issues, civil emergency preparedness, and the retraining of discharged military personnel. ...

49. We are pleased with Ukraine's enhanced participation in PfP, both in its military and non-military aspects. ... We welcome the ratification by the Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian Parliament] of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

55. Recalling the Alliance's longstanding commitment to the goals of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, we welcome the comprehensive report on options for confidence and security building measures (CSBMs), verification, non-proliferation and arms control and disarmament called for by our Heads of State and Government in Washington. We task the Council in Permanent Session to pursue vigorously implementation of the recommendations contained in this report, including with Russia through the PJC. A public report has been released as a NATO document.

56. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the CFE Treaty we recognise the vital contribution the Treaty makes to the stability and security of Europe. The overall implementation of the Treaty since its entry into force in 1992 has brought positive results including significantly reduced holdings of Treaty-limited equipment, enhanced transparency and predictability. However, there continue to be both substantive and technical concerns with specific aspects of CFE implementation, which must be addressed. As we approach the next CFE review conference in 2001, we will seek intensified efforts to resolve these issues. Pending the completion of the process of ratifying the Adapted Treaty, the full and continued implementation of the Treaty and its associated documents remains crucial.

57. Early entry into force of the Adapted CFE Treaty, which was signed last year by Heads of State and Government at the Istanbul OSCE Summit, will ensure CFE's continuing viability as a cornerstone of European security and stability. We are committed to that end and are pleased that the Adapted Treaty will permit accession by new States Parties. However, as we have made clear ever since Istanbul, we believe ratification by our governments can only be envisaged in the context of compliance by all states parties with the Treaty's agreed levels of armaments and equipment and consistent with the commitments contained in the CFE Final Act. In this regard we welcome President Putin's recent reaffirmation of Russia's intention to fulfill all CFE Treaty obligations and commitments. We expect concrete results consistent with that assurance. We remain particularly concerned about the continued high levels of Russian Treaty-limited equipment in relation to the Treaty's Article V ('Flank') limits. We continue to attach special importance to early and complete fulfillment of Russia's assurances of November 1, 1999, that its current equipment levels in the North Caucasus are of a temporary nature and will be reduced to CFE limits as soon as possible, in conditions of maximum transparency and in a manner consistent with agreed counting rules and procedures.

58. We look for no less timely and effective fulfillment of the CFE Final Act commitments requiring the reduction and withdrawal of Russian military forces from Georgia and Moldova in accordance with the timelines agreed at Istanbul. We welcome progress thus far in Georgia, but note the importance of full Russian withdrawal of excess Treaty-limited equipment by the end of this year, and of actual closure of designated Russian military bases by the middle of next year. However, there has been little tangible progress in implementation of the unconditional commitment to complete withdrawal of Russian forces from the territory of Moldova. To meet the deadlines set at Istanbul, the pace of withdrawal should be accelerated. We applaud and support the efforts of individual Allies and OSCE Partners to facilitate these activities through financial and other assistance.

59. We continue to attach great importance to the ratification of the Open Skies Treaty and call on Russia and Belarus to ratify the Treaty to allow it to enter into force as soon as possible. Joint trial observation flights conducted by Signatories, including Russia, have demonstrated the potential of the Open Skies Treaty for enhancing security and confidence.

60. The proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery continues to be a matter of serious concern for the Alliance as it poses risks to international and regional security and can pose a direct military threat to Allies' populations, territory and forces. The principal non-proliferation goal of the Alliance and its members is unchanged: to prevent proliferation from occurring, or, should it occur, to reverse it through diplomatic means. In this context we continue to place great importance on non-proliferation regimes, international arms control and disarmament, and export control regimes as means to prevent proliferation.

61. Our response to the NBC threat should be consistent with the indivisibility of Allied security. We reaffirm that the Alliance's defence posture must have the capability to address appropriately and effectively the risks associated with the proliferation of NBC weapons and their means of delivery. We note continued work in NATO inter alia on Theatre Missile Defence for point and area defence, in particular on the feasibility study on a possible system for the defence of deployed NATO forces. We will continue consultations in the Alliance on TMD issues.

62. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. Alliance nations have dramatically reduced nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and reaffirm their commitment to work for the further reduction of nuclear weapons globally. We confirm our full support and commitment to the implementation of the conclusions of the NPT Review Conference which agreed on the importance of universal adherence to and compliance with the NPT, and reaffirmed the commitment of all states parties to disarmament, safeguards and peaceful nuclear co-operation.

63. Last May we welcomed Russian ratification of the START II Treaty. We continue to attach greatest importance to an early entry into force of that Treaty and of an early conclusion of a START III agreement, while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons. Given the need to reduce the uncertainties surrounding substrategic nuclear weapons in Russia, we believe that a reaffirmation - and perhaps codification - of the 1991/92 Presidential Initiatives might be a first, but not exhaustive, step in this direction. We remain committed to an early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and, in the meanwhile, urge all states to refrain from any acts which would defeat its object and purpose. Similarly, we remain committed to the immediate commencement, in the Conference on Disarmament, of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in accordance with the Mandate of the Special Coordinator.

64. We continue to emphasise the importance of universal accession and adherence to, as well as full compliance with, the Chemical Weapons Convention. We continue to regard as a matter of priority the conclusion of negotiations on appropriate measures, including possible verification measures and proposals to strengthen the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, to be included as appropriate in a legally binding instrument. We reiterate our commitment to efforts to achieve such an instrument as soon as possible before the 5th Review Conference of the BTWC in 2001. We remain strongly committed to the Missile Technology Control Regime as an important element in our efforts to counter the proliferation of means for delivering weapons of mass destruction. During the past year, the MTCR partners have focused increasingly on new ideas for addressing the ongoing global missile threat and responses to face the challenge posed by indigenous missile programmes and exports. We will encourage countries that are not part of the MTCR to subscribe to and adopt its principles, commitments, confidence-building measures and incentives. We support ongoing efforts to achieve a code of conduct against ballistic missile proliferation on the basis of these ideas.

65. We have continued consultations on the United States consideration of a limited National Missile Defence system. We took note of President Clinton's decision not to take steps now to begin deployment of such a system. As the President noted, the view of NATO Allies was a critical consideration in that decision. NATO will continue its consultations on this issue.

66. We are pleased that the implementation of the WMD Initiative is proceeding well and that the newly established WMD Centre is already contributing to improve co-ordination of all WMD-related activities at NATO Headquarters, including the strengthening of our commitments to arms control and non-proliferation.

67. The Alliance is currently engaged in very productive consultations with Russia under the Permanent Joint Council on proliferation-related matters, and we are continuing to prepare for discussions with Ukraine in the NATO-Ukraine Commission, with Partners under the EAPC/PfP framework and with Mediterranean Dialogue countries. ..."

II. Defence Planning Committee & Nuclear Planning Group

Meeting of the Defence Planning Committee (DPC) and the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) in Defence Ministers' Session, Brussels; Final Communiqué, M-DPC/NPG-2(2000)115, December 5.

"7. At our Nuclear Planning Group meeting, we reviewed the status of NATO's nuclear forces and other related issues and activities. We received with appreciation presentations by the United States Secretary of Defense which included further information on US-Russian efforts to establish a Joint Data Exchange Center in Moscow to share information from early warning systems regarding missile launches.

8. We affirmed the continuing validity of the fundamentally political purpose and the principles underpinning the nuclear forces of the Allies as set out in the Alliance's 1999 Strategic Concept. NATO's nuclear forces are a credible and effective element of the Alliance's strategy of preventing war, and they are maintained at the minimum level of sufficiency to preserve peace and stability, and under conditions that meet the highest standards of safety and security. Nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO continue to provide an essential political and military link between the European and North American members of the Alliance.

9. We reaffirmed the continued importance attached by Allies to full implementation of and compliance with international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regimes. We confirmed our commitments made at this year's Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and will contribute to carrying forward the conclusions reached there. NATO Allies continue to support the ratification, early entry into force, and full implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and remain committed to the immediate commencement and rapid conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable and universal Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.

10. We expressed our full support to the United States and the Russian Federation for an early implementation of START II and for future negotiations on the basis of an agreed START III framework to reduce significantly the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads of both countries. We also recalled the drastic reductions of NATO's nuclear forces in the new security environment, and renewed our call on Russia to complete the reductions in its non-strategic nuclear weapons stockpile, as pledged in 1991 and 1992 for implementation by the end of the year 2000.

11. We welcomed the resumption of exchanges with the Russian Federation on a range of nuclear weapons issues, under the auspices of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, and we look forward to further exchanges in the spirit of improved transparency and full reciprocity.

12. At the 1999 Washington Summit, the Alliance agreed to consider options for confidence and security building measures, verification, non-proliferation and arms control and disarmament in the light of overall strategic developments and the reduced salience of nuclear weapons. We received a comprehensive final report on the nuclear elements of this work and endorsed its conclusions, in particular proposals made in the area of confidence and security building measures and increased transparency as a basis for enhanced understanding, trust and cooperation. We commend the High Level Group for this valuable contribution to the overall Alliance work in fulfilling the Summit remit."

© 2001 The Acronym Institute.