5 Strasbourg / Kehl Summit Declaration
Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Strasbourg / Kehl on 4 April 2009
We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, have gathered in Strasbourg and Kehl to celebrate the 60th anniversary of NATO. We have adopted a Declaration on Alliance Security which reaffirms the basic values, principles and purposes of our Alliance. We have launched the process to develop a new Strategic Concept which will define NATO’s longer-term role in the new security environment of the 21st century.
We warmly welcome Albania and Croatia into our Alliance. Our nations are united in democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law, and we reaffirm our adherence to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. NATO contributes to stability and security, which are the essential foundations necessary to tackle the global financial hardships and uncertainty we face. Transatlantic cooperation remains essential to protect our peoples, defend our values, and meet common threats and challenges, from wherever they may come.
The indivisibility of our security is a fundamental principle of the Alliance. We reaffirm our solidarity and our commitment to the cohesion of the Alliance. We are guided by these indispensable principles in all fields of our activity. A strong collective defence of our populations, territory and forces is the core purpose of the Alliance and remains our most important security task. NATO’s ongoing transformation will strengthen the Alliance’s ability to confront existing and emerging 21st century security threats, including by ensuring the provision of fully prepared and deployable forces able to conduct the full range of military operations and missions on and beyond its territory, on its periphery and at strategic distance.
The venue of our meeting is a powerful symbol of Europe’s post-World War II reconciliation. The end of the Cold War, 20 years ago, opened the way towards the further consolidation of Europe into a continent that is truly whole, free and at peace. NATO has played, and will continue to play, an active role in that process, by engaging partner countries in dialogue and cooperation and keeping open the door to NATO membership in accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty .
We warmly welcome the French decision to fully participate in NATO structures; this will further contribute to a stronger Alliance.
We express our heartfelt appreciation for the commitment and bravery of the more than 75,000 men and women from Allied and other nations who are serving in NATO’s missions and operations. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the injured and fallen; their sacrifices in advancing the cause of freedom will not be in vain.
Today we renew our commitment to a common approach to address the challenges to peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic area. We underscore that the existing structures – NATO, the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe – based on common values, continue to provide every opportunity for countries to engage substantively on Euro-Atlantic security with a broad acquis, established over decades, that includes respect for human rights; territorial integrity; the sovereignty of all states, including their right to decide their own security arrangements; and the requirement to fulfil international commitments and agreements.
Within this framework, NATO and Allies are open to dialogue on a broad, cooperative approach to Euro-Atlantic security, for which the OSCE provides an appropriate, inclusive format. The common aim of such a dialogue should be to improve implementation of existing commitments and to continue to improve existing institutions and instruments so as to effectively promote our values and Euro-Atlantic security.
Our security is closely tied to Afghanistan’s security and stability. As such, our UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force mission (ISAF) in Afghanistan, comprising 42 nations, is our key priority. We are working with the Government and people of Afghanistan, and with the international community under the leadership of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Together, in a comprehensive approach combining military and civilian resources, we are helping the Government of Afghanistan build a secure, stable and democratic country, respectful of human rights. We stress the importance of the protection of women’s rights. The international community aims to ensure that Al-Qaeda and other violent extremists cannot use Afghanistan and Pakistan as safe havens from which to launch terrorist attacks. Today we have issued a Summit Declaration on Afghanistan in which we reiterate our strategic vision and set out actions that demonstrate our resolve to support Afghanistan’s long-term security and stability. Afghan ownership remains crucial for sustained progress. Strong constructive engagement by countries of the region is also critical and, to this end, we pledge to reinforce our cooperation with all Afghanistan’s neighbours, especially Pakistan. We encourage further cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and welcome the results of the third Trilateral Summit in Ankara on 1 April 2009. We also welcome the outcome of the International Conference on Afghanistan in The Hague on 31 March 2009.
Our commitment to regional security and stability throughout the Balkans remains steadfast. We praise the continued excellent work carried out by the robust UN-mandated NATO-led KFOR to help maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all in Kosovo. We reiterate that KFOR will remain in Kosovo according to its operational mandate, on the basis of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, unless the Security Council decides otherwise, cooperating with all relevant actors, to support the development of a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo, as appropriate. We welcome the deployment of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, EULEX, and encourage all actors to continue their efforts to facilitate the deployment and full operation of EULEX throughout Kosovo. The Alliance remains fully committed to supporting the establishment of the agreed multi-ethnic security structures in Kosovo. The standing down of the Kosovo Protection Corps, as well as the establishment of the Kosovo Security Force and civilian-led oversight, under NATO’s close supervision, are in the interest of all parties. We welcome the progress made so far in Kosovo and expect full implementation of the existing commitments to standards, especially those related to the rule of law and regarding the protection of ethnic minorities and communities, as well as the protection of historical and religious sites, and to combating crime and corruption. We expect all parties concerned in Kosovo to make further progress towards the consolidation of peace and order. NATO will continue to assess developments on the ground in shaping future decisions.
We reiterate our willingness to continue providing a broad range of training support to the Iraqi Security Forces through the NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I) , and look forward to agreement on a revised legal framework as a matter of urgency. We recall our offer to the Government of Iraq of a Structured Cooperation Framework as a basis for developing a long-term relationship, and welcome the progress achieved towards that end.
At the request of the United Nations Secretary-General and on the basis of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, NATO has taken action against piracy and armed robbery at sea. We have launched Operation Allied Protector aimed at conducting maritime operations off the Horn of Africa in order to help counter piracy and armed robbery at sea alongside the efforts of other nations and organisations, especially Combined Task Force 151 and the EU’s ATALANTA operation, which are all complementary in nature. The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia plays an important role in order to facilitate coordination among all actors involved. Addressing the root causes of piracy requires a comprehensive approach by the international community. We are considering options for a possible long-term NATO role to combat piracy, including by taking into account, as appropriate, regional requests for maritime capacity-building.
We remain deeply concerned by the continued violence and atrocities in Darfur and by the expulsion of humanitarian organisations from Sudan, and call on all parties to cease hostilities and negotiate in good faith. We are also concerned by the ongoing violence and the severe humanitarian crisis in Somalia. We stress the need for a political settlement and are encouraged by recent developments in the consolidation of state and government structures. At the request of the African Union (AU), NATO provided support to the AU Mission in Somalia through coordination of airlift and planning assistance. The Alliance is supporting the development of the AU’s long-term peacekeeping capabilities, including the African Standby Force and its maritime dimension. Stressing the principle of African ownership, NATO remains ready to enhance its dialogue with the AU and consider further requests to support the AU , including for regional capacity-building.
Our Alliance provides an essential transatlantic dimension to the response against terrorism. We condemn in the strongest terms all acts of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, irrespective of their motivations or manifestations, and are determined to fight this scourge, individually and collectively, as long as necessary and in accordance with international law and principles of the UN Charter. Our nations will continue to contribute to the full implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCR), in particular UNSCR 1373, as well as of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We deplore all loss of life and extend our sympathies to all those who have suffered from acts of terrorism. We reiterate our determination to protect against terrorist attacks against our populations, territories, infrastructure and forces, and to deal with the consequences of any such attacks. We will intensify our efforts to deny terrorists access to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery as underscored in UNSCR 1540. We will continue to develop advanced technologies to help defend against terrorist attacks, and we appreciate the role of Partnership for Peace Training and Education Centres and our Centres of Excellence in addressing aspects of terrorism. We also remain committed to strengthening information and intelligence sharing on terrorism, particularly in support of NATO missions and operations. We continue to attach great importance to dialogue and cooperation with our partners in this important area, including in the framework of the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism. We strongly condemn tactics such as suicide bombing and hostage taking; the recruitment, particularly of the young and disadvantaged, for these purposes; as well as terrorist abuse of freedoms inherent to democratic societies to spread hatred and incite violence.
Since its activation in 2001, Operation Active Endeavour (OAE) , our maritime operation in the Mediterranean which is conducted in the framework of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, has made a significant contribution to the fight against terrorism. We reiterate our commitment to OAE and welcome the continued support of partner countries whose contributions demonstrate both their engagement and NATO’s added value in promoting regional security and stability.
As NATO adapts to 21st century challenges in its 60th anniversary year, it is increasingly important that the Alliance communicates in an appropriate, timely, accurate and responsive manner on its evolving roles, objectives and missions. Strategic communications are an integral part of our efforts to achieve the Alliance’s political and military objectives. We therefore welcome the improvements in NATO’s strategic communications capability and public diplomacy efforts that we launched at our 2008 Bucharest Summit , particularly the enhancements to the NATO HQ Media Operations Centre, and the increased output of NATO’s television channel on the internet . We underscore our commitment to support further improvement of our strategic communications by the time of our next Summit.
We welcome the role of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in promoting the Alliance’s principles and values. We also appreciate the role of the Atlantic Treaty Association in fostering a better understanding of the Alliance and its objectives among our publics.
Experience in the Balkans and Afghanistan demonstrates that today’s security challenges require a comprehensive approach by the international community, combining civil and military measures and coordination. Its effective implementation requires all international actors to contribute in a concerted effort, in a shared sense of openness and determination, taking into account their respective strengths and mandates. We welcome the significant progress achieved, in line with the Action Plan agreed at Bucharest , to improve NATO’s own contribution to such a comprehensive approach, including through a more coherent application of its crisis management instruments and efforts to associate its military capabilities with civilian means. Progress includes NATO’s active promotion of dialogue with relevant players on operations; the development of a database of national experts in reconstruction and stabilisation to advise NATO forces; and the involvement of selected international organisations, as appropriate, in NATO crisis management exercises. As part of the international community’s efforts, we reaffirm our commitment to enhancing NATO’s intrinsic contribution to a civil-military approach, and task the Council in Permanent Session to prepare an interim report for Foreign Ministers in December 2009 and to report at our next Summit on further progress with regard to the implementation of the Action Plan and NATO’s ability to improve the delivery of stabilisation and reconstruction effects. We also encourage other actors to intensify their efforts in the same spirit.
More than a decade of cooperation between NATO and the United Nations, especially in the Balkans and Afghanistan, has demonstrated the value of effective and efficient coordination between our two organisations. Last year’s Joint UN-NATO Declaration represents a major step in our developing cooperation and will significantly contribute to addressing the threats and challenges faced by the international community. It also reaffirms our willingness to consider, within our respective mandates and capabilities, requests for assistance to regional and sub-regional organisations, as appropriate. We are committed to its full implementation in cooperation with the UN. We welcome progress achieved so far, particularly in enhancing dialogue and improving liaison arrangements, and look forward to a report on further progress at our next Summit.
NATO and the EU share common values and strategic interests. In this light, NATO and the EU are working together and side by side in key crisis management operations and are cooperating, inter alia, in the fight against terrorism, in the development of coherent and mutually reinforcing military capabilities and in civil emergency planning, and will continue to do so. NATO recognises the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence, and welcomes the EU’s efforts to strengthen its capabilities and its capacity to address common security challenges that both NATO and the EU face today. These developments have significant implications and relevance for the Alliance as a whole, which is why NATO stands ready to support and work with the EU in such mutually reinforcing efforts, recognising the ongoing concerns of Allies. Non-EU Allies have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to these efforts. In this context, we continue to believe it important that all possible efforts should be made by all those involved in these endeavours, and also to render possible the fullest involvement of non-EU Allies. Since we last met in Bucharest, various initiatives have been taken as part of the continuing effort to improve the NATO-EU strategic partnership , as agreed by our two organisations. We are also willing to explore ways to further intensify work in the framework of the NATO-EU Capability Group. Success in these and future cooperative endeavours calls for enhanced mutual commitment to ensure effective methods of working together. We are therefore determined to improve the NATO-EU strategic partnership, as agreed by our two organisations, to achieve closer cooperation and greater efficiency, and to avoid unnecessary duplication in a spirit of transparency, respecting the autonomy of the two organisations.
In accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty , NATO’s door will remain open to all European democracies which share the values of our Alliance, which are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership, and whose inclusion can contribute to common security and stability.
We reiterate our agreement at the Bucharest Summit to extend an invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached within the framework of the UN, and urge intensified efforts towards that goal. We will continue to support and assist the reform efforts of the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. We welcome the recent decision by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to increase its contribution to ISAF.
We remain committed to the Balkans, which is a strategically important region, where Euro-Atlantic integration, based on democratic values and regional cooperation, remains necessary for lasting peace and stability. We acknowledge the important role played by the South East Europe Initiative and the Adriatic Charter in fostering regional cooperation, building confidence, and facilitating the Euro-Atlantic integration process of the Western Balkans.
We welcome the Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro as well as progress made in NATO’s Intensified Dialogue on membership issues with both countries.
We welcome Montenegro’s successful and active implementation of its current Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO. We are encouraged by the reforms it has made in a number of areas that are essential to its Euro-Atlantic integration and also by its contributions to cooperation and security in the region. We are looking forward to Montenegro’s further determined efforts in this regard. The Council in Permanent Session is keeping Montenegro’s progress under active review and will respond early to its request to participate in the Membership Action Plan (MAP), on its own merits.
We welcome progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s cooperation with NATO, including through implementation of its current IPAP, and acknowledge the country’s expressed intention to apply for MAP at an appropriate time. We welcome Bosnia and Herzegovina’s decision to contribute to ISAF. We are encouraged by the ongoing political process, and urge that the widest possible consensus be found on the fundamental challenges facing the country. Nevertheless, we remain deeply concerned that irresponsible political rhetoric and actions continue to hinder substantive progress in reform. We urge Bosnia and Herzegovina’s political leaders to take further genuine steps to strengthen state-level institutions and reinvigorate the reform process to advance the country’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
We welcome Serbia’s first Individual Partnership Programme with NATO as a sound basis for substantial practical cooperation. NATO welcomes, and continues to support, the Government’s stated commitment to Serbia’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community of nations. We stand ready to further develop our partnership, in particular through elaboration of an IPAP and continued support to Serbia’s defence reform efforts. All NATO partnership opportunities for political consultation and practical cooperation remain open to Serbia. The will and performance of the Serbian authorities are crucial for the further deepening of our partnership. We call upon Serbia to support further progress towards the consolidation of peace and order in Kosovo.
We acknowledge the progress achieved in terms of cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). However, Serbia must cooperate fully with ICTY, as must Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we will closely monitor their respective efforts in this regard.
Stability and successful political and economic reform in Ukraine and Georgia are important to Euro-Atlantic security. At Bucharest we agreed that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO and we reaffirm all elements of that decision as well as the decisions taken by our Ministers of Foreign Affairs last December. We are maximising our advice, assistance and support for their reform efforts in the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission and NATO-Georgia Commission, which play a central role in supervising the process set in hand at the Bucharest Summit . We welcome in particular the planned reinforcement of NATO’s Information and Liaison Offices in Kyiv and Tbilisi. Without prejudice to further decisions which must be taken about MAP, the development of Annual National Programmes will help Georgia and Ukraine in advancing their reforms. The annual review of these programmes will allow us to continue to closely monitor Georgia and Ukraine’s progress on reforms related to their aspirations for NATO membership. We also welcome the valuable contributions made by both countries to NATO’s operations.
We remain convinced that the mutually beneficial relationship between NATO and Ukraine, launched twelve years ago with the Distinctive Partnership, will continue to contribute to regional and Euro-Atlantic security. In this context, we appreciate Ukraine’s valuable contributions to our common security, including through participation in NATO-led operations. We encourage Ukraine’s continued efforts to promote regional security and cooperation. We underscore the importance of Ukraine’s commitment to continue implementing needed political, economic, defence and security sector reforms, in order to achieve its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and we will continue to provide assistance to this end. Political stability is of crucial importance to the successful implementation of these reforms.
The NATO-Georgia relationship has deepened substantially in the past year. We remain committed to fostering political dialogue with, as well as providing assistance to, Georgia. We strongly encourage Georgia to continue implementing all necessary reforms, particularly democratic, electoral, and judicial reforms, in order to achieve its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. We reiterate our continued support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.
We encourage all participants in the Geneva talks to play a constructive role as well as to continue working closely with the OSCE, UN and the EU to pursue peaceful conflict resolution on Georgia’s territory. We welcome as a positive step the agreement reached in the framework of the Geneva talks on joint incident prevention and response mechanisms and we urge all the participants involved to engage in their rapid implementation. We note the renewal of the mandate for the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and the roll-over of the mandate for the OSCE Military Monitors. We call for a new mandate for the OSCE Mission to Georgia as well as for unimpeded access for UN, EU, and OSCE observers throughout all of Georgia, including the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. We are concerned by the continued tensions and violence along the administrative boundary lines and call on all parties to demonstrate restraint.
The NATO-Russia partnership was conceived as a strategic element in fostering security in the Euro-Atlantic area, and we remain committed to it. Dialogue and cooperation between NATO and Russia are important for our joint ability to meet effectively common security threats and challenges. We reaffirm the importance of upholding the common values and all the principles enshrined in the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act and the 2002 Rome Declaration by all members of the NATO-Russia Council. Our relations with Russia depend on trust and the fulfilment of commitments. Since our last Summit, dialogue and cooperation with Russia have suffered from profound disagreements on a number of issues. The Alliance will continue to assess developments in relations with Russia.
We urge Russia to meet its commitments with respect to Georgia, as mediated by the European Union on 12 August 2 and 8 September 2008. In this context, we view Russia’s withdrawal from the areas it has committed to leave as essential. We have welcomed steps taken to implement those commitments, but the withdrawal is still incomplete. The Alliance has condemned Russia’s recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states, and continues to call on Russia to reverse its recognition which contravenes the founding values and principles of the NATO-Russia Council, the OSCE principles on which the security of Europe is based, and the United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Georgia’s territorial integrity, which Russia endorsed. In addition, the build-up of Russia’s military presence in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia without the consent of the Government of Georgia is of particular concern.
Despite our current disagreements, Russia is of particular importance to us as a partner and neighbour. NATO and Russia share common security interests, such as the stabilisation of Afghanistan; arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation of WMD, including their means of delivery; crisis management; counter-terrorism; counter-narcotics; and anti-piracy. Following through with the decisions taken by the Foreign Ministers at their meetings in December 2008 and March 2009 , we look forward to the reconvening of formal NATO-Russia Council meetings, including at Ministerial level, as soon as possible before summer 2009. We are committed to using the NATO-Russia Council as a forum for political dialogue on all issues – where we agree and disagree – with a view towards resolving problems, addressing concerns and building practical cooperation. We are convinced that the NATO-Russia Council has not exploited its full potential. We therefore stand ready, in the NATO-Russia Council , to assess possibilities for making it a more efficient and valuable instrument for our political dialogue and practical cooperation.
Twenty years ago, an historic wave of democratic change swept through Central and Eastern Europe. NATO took this opportunity to engage countries across the Euro-Atlantic area in partnership and cooperation with a view to fostering security, stability and democratic transformation. We reiterate our commitment to further develop the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and Partnership for Peace (PfP) as the essential framework for substantive political dialogue and practical cooperation, including enhanced military interoperability. We welcome the offer of Kazakhstan to host the EAPC Security Forum for the first time in Central Asia in June. We thank our Partners for their significant contributions to our operations. We will continue to develop EAPC policy initiatives. In this regard, we welcome the work of the EAPC in education and training activities, and encourage national educational institutions to contribute to these efforts. We also encourage the EAPC to further develop the Building Integrity initiative which promotes transparency and accountability in the defence sector, and to report back to us on this initiative at our next Summit. We remain actively engaged with our Partners in supporting the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security, with the aim of having a comprehensive set of measures in place by autumn 2010. We are also contributing with our Partners to international efforts to put an end to the trafficking in human beings.
Peace and stability in the Mediterranean region are essential for Euro-Atlantic security. For the past fifteen years, NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue has provided a valuable forum, including meetings at Ministerial level, for consultations and cooperation with our Mediterranean partners on a wide range of issues, and we welcome their significant contributions to Alliance-led operations and missions. We are convinced that joint ownership remains essential to the success of our relationship. We welcome the finalisation last month of an Individual Cooperation Programme (ICP) with Jordan, following those already concluded with Israel and Egypt, as well as the recent initiatives from Morocco and Tunisia in this field. Against a challenging background in the Middle East and much welcomed renewed international commitment to build peace in the region, we stand ready to further enhance our political dialogue and practical cooperation with all our Mediterranean partners, including through the continued use of Trust Funds on a voluntary basis. We look forward to the restoration of constitutional rule in Mauritania, which will allow the resumption of its full participation in the Mediterranean Dialogue.
The security and stability of the Gulf region is significant to the Alliance. We are pleased with the significant progress achieved in the framework of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) since its establishment in 2004. Political consultations and practical cooperation have intensified, and new opportunities have been created in key areas such as energy security, maritime security and training and education. We encourage our ICI partners to develop ICPs. We value highly the support provided by our ICI partners to NATO’s operations and missions.
Within the context of our Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, we welcome the substantial progress made in implementing the first phase of the NATO Training Cooperation Initiative , including the establishment of a dedicated faculty at the NATO Defense College and the inauguration of the faculty’s NATO Regional Cooperation Course.
Since Bucharest, NATO’s relationships with other partners across the globe have continued to expand and deepen, reflecting their increasing importance to the Alliance’s goals in operations, security cooperation, and efforts, through political dialogue, to build common understanding of emerging issues that affect Euro-Atlantic security, notably Afghanistan. These relationships, which take many forms, offer a flexible means for countries to pursue dialogue and cooperation with NATO, and we reaffirm our intent to enhance them, on a case-by-case basis. We welcome the significant contributions made by many partners to NATO-led operations, and in particular those by Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea to our mission in Afghanistan.
The Black Sea region continues to be important for Euro-Atlantic security. We welcome the progress in consolidation of regional cooperation and ownership, through effective use of existing initiatives and mechanisms, and based on transparency, complementarity and inclusiveness. We will continue to support, as appropriate, efforts based on regional priorities and dialogue among the Black Sea states and with the Alliance.
We have already achieved much in transforming our forces, capabilities and structures. The continuation of this process is crucial as it underpins the Alliance’s ability to conduct the full range of its missions, including collective defence and crisis response operations on and beyond Alliance territory. Against this background we must continue to work individually and collectively to improve, both in quality and quantity, the capabilities needed to meet the priorities we set in the Comprehensive Political Guidance.
We will continue to adapt NATO’s forces, structures and procedures to meet the changing security challenges we face. We welcome the progress that has been made to make NATO’s command structure more effective and efficient and look forward to further efforts in this regard. NATO’s defence planning process must enable Allies to deliver the capabilities needed to deal with current and future challenges within a comprehensive approach. We therefore also welcome agreement on a new, defence planning process which puts the emphasis squarely on delivery of capabilities we need.
We are determined to provide the forces required for the full range of Alliance missions. We continue to support efforts to make our forces more deployable, sustainable, interoperable and, thus, more usable. By design, the NATO Response Force (NRF) has an important role in providing a rapidly deployable, credible force for the Alliance and in driving transformation and capability development. It needs to be able to respond to new and unpredicted crises for either collective defence or crisis operations beyond Alliance borders. We expect our Defence Ministers, at their meeting in June, to agree on measures to achieve these aims by improving NRF resourcing and employability.
The Alliance will further develop the capabilities and policies required to conduct the full range of our missions, to remedy specific shortages, and to deal with emerging challenges and threats, at the same time facilitating an equitable sharing of burdens, risks and costs. We will vigorously pursue our work developing and fielding key enablers, such as mission-capable helicopters, strategic lift and the Alliance Ground Surveillance system. We support the greater use of multinational solutions for additional capability development including increased collective responsibility for logistics. We will also continue to pursue many of these initiatives in the existing framework of NATO-EU cooperation in capability development. We encourage our Defence Ministers to agree on an Action Plan to improve the interoperability of our armed forces at their meeting in June 2009.
In view of the imminent achievement of full operational capability of the NATO Special Operations Coordination Centre (NSCC) initiated at our 2006 Riga Summit , we invite the Council in Permanent Session to exploit this success further, including by examining the benefits of a new multinational Headquarters.
We are committed to provide, individually and collectively, the financial resources necessary for our Alliance to perform the operational and transformational tasks we demand of it. We will strive to prioritise our defence spending and programming for improved efficiency in delivering the ability to conduct the full range of Alliance missions. This is particularly important in the current economic situation.
We will continue to improve and demonstrate more clearly our ability to meet emerging challenges on and beyond Alliance territory, including on its periphery, inter alia by ensuring adequate planning, exercises and training.
We remain committed to strengthening communication and information systems that are of critical importance to the Alliance against cyber attacks, as state and non-state actors may try to exploit the Alliance’s and Allies’ growing reliance on these systems. To prevent and respond to such attacks, in line with our agreed Policy on Cyber Defence, we have established a NATO Cyber Defence Management Authority, improved the existing Computer Incident Response Capability, and activated the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Estonia. We will accelerate our cyber defence capabilities in order to achieve full readiness. Cyber defence is being made an integral part of NATO exercises. We are further strengthening the linkages between NATO and Partner countries on protection against cyber attacks. In this vein, we have developed a framework for cooperation on cyber defence between NATO and Partner countries, and acknowledge the need to cooperate with international organisations, as appropriate.
Ballistic missile proliferation poses an increasing threat to Allies’ forces, territory, and populations. Missile defence forms part of a broader response to counter this threat. We therefore reaffirm the conclusions of the Bucharest Summit about missile defence.
In response to our tasking at the Bucharest Summit to develop options for a comprehensive missile defence architecture to extend coverage to all European Allied territory and populations, several technical architecture options were developed and subsequently assessed from a politico-military perspective. We recognise that additional work is still required. In this context, a future United States’ contribution of important architectural elements could enhance NATO elaboration of this Alliance effort.
Based on the technical and political military analysis of these options, we judge that missile threats should be addressed in a prioritised manner that includes consideration of the level of imminence of the threat and the level of acceptable risk. We received a comprehensive analysis of the technical architecture options and agree to its overall assessment that, even though some of these options do not meet the Bucharest tasking, each of them has its strengths and shortcomings.
Bearing in mind the principle of the indivisibility of Allied security as well as NATO solidarity, we task the Council in Permanent Session, taking into account the Bucharest Summit tasking, to present recommendations comprising architecture alternatives, drawing from the architectural elements already studied, for consideration at our next Summit. To inform any future political decision on missile defence, we also task the Council in Permanent Session to identify and undertake the policy, military and technical work related to a possible expanded role of the Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) programme beyond the protection of NATO deployed forces to include territorial missile defence.
We support increased missile defence cooperation between Russia and NATO, including maximum transparency and reciprocal confidence-building measures to allay any concerns. We reaffirm our readiness to explore the potential for linking United States, NATO and Russian missile defence systems at an appropriate time and we encourage the Russian Federation to take advantage of United States’ missile defence cooperation proposals.
In Bucharest we reaffirmed that arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation will continue to make an important contribution to peace, security, and stability. In response to our tasking to the Council in Permanent Session to keep these issues under active review, we note its report on raising NATO’s profile in this field. The report displays a broad range of activities being undertaken, including continuing efforts in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and destruction of excess small arms and light weapons and surplus munitions. The Allies continue to seek to enhance security and stability at the lowest possible level of forces consistent with the Alliance’s ability to provide for collective defence and to fulfil the full range of its missions. NATO and Allies should continue contributing to international efforts in the area of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. We aim at achieving a higher level of public awareness of NATO’s contribution in these fields. We task the Council in Permanent Session to continue to keep these issues under active review, as part of NATO’s broad response to security challenges.
NATO Allies reaffirm that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), with its three mutually reinforcing pillars, remains important and Allies will contribute constructively with a view to achieving a successful outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Alliance nations have dramatically reduced nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and remain committed to all objectives enshrined in the Treaty. We call for universal compliance with the NPT and universal adherence to the Additional Protocol to the International Atomic Energy Agency Safeguard Agreement and full compliance with UNSCR 1540. We will intensify our efforts to prevent state and non-state actors from accessing WMD and their means of delivery. In this regard, we endorse NATO’s comprehensive strategic-level policy for preventing the proliferation of WMD and defending against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear threats. We remain deeply concerned about the Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and related proliferation risks and call on Iran to comply with relevant UNSCRs. We are also deeply concerned by the programmes and proliferation activities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and call on it to fully comply with relevant UNSCRs.
We place the highest value on the CFE Treaty regime with all its elements. We underscore the strategic importance of the CFE Treaty, including its flank regime, as a cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security. We reiterate our endorsement at the Bucharest Summit of the statement of the North Atlantic Council of 28 March 2008 and fully support the December 2008 statement of our Foreign Ministers. We reaffirm the Alliance’s commitment to the CFE Treaty regime, as expressed in the Alliance’s position contained in paragraph 42 of the 2006 Riga Summit Declaration, the final statement by Allies at the CFE Extraordinary Conference in Vienna, and Alliance statements reflecting subsequent developments. We are deeply concerned that, since 12 December 2007, Russia has continued its unilateral «suspension» of its legal obligations under the CFE Treaty. Furthermore, Russia’s actions in Georgia have called into question its commitment to the fundamental OSCE principles on which stability and security in Europe are based: principles which underpin the CFE Treaty. These actions run counter to our common objective of preserving the long-term viability of the CFE regime and we call upon Russia to resume its implementation without further delay. Because of our commitment to cooperative security and fulfilment of international agreements as well as the importance we attach to the confidence that results from military transparency and predictability, we have continued fully to implement the Treaty despite Russia’s «suspension». However, the current situation, where NATO CFE Allies implement the Treaty while Russia does not, cannot last indefinitely. We offered a set of constructive and forward-looking proposals for parallel actions on key issues, including steps by NATO Allies on ratification of the Adapted CFE Treaty and by Russia on outstanding commitments related to Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. We continue to believe that these proposals address all of Russia’s stated concerns. We continue to urge Russia to work cooperatively with us and other concerned CFE States Parties to reach agreement on the basis of the parallel actions package so that together we can preserve the benefits of this landmark regime.
We remain concerned with the persistence of protracted regional conflicts in the South Caucasus and the Republic of Moldova. It is essential for all parties in these regions to engage constructively in peaceful conflict resolution. We call on them all to avoid steps that undermine regional security and stability, and to respect the current negotiation formats. We continue to support the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, and will also continue to support efforts towards a peaceful settlement of these regional conflicts, taking into account these principles. We welcome OSCE efforts and processes in these regions, to which the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform could be a useful complement.
The Alliance will continue to consult on the most immediate risks in the field of energy security. In Bucharest we agreed principles which govern NATO’s approach in the field of energy security, and options and recommendations for further activities. The Alliance has continued to implement these recommendations. Today we have noted a «Report on Progress Achieved in the Area of Energy Security». The disruption of the flow of natural gas in January 2009 seriously affected a number of Allies and Partner countries. The issues of a stable and reliable energy supply, diversification of routes, suppliers and energy sources, and the interconnectivity of energy networks, remain of critical importance. Today we have declared our continuing support for efforts aimed at promoting energy infrastructure security. In accordance with the Bucharest decisions, we will continue to ensure that NATO’s endeavours add value and are fully coordinated and embedded within those of the international community, which features a number of organisations that are specialised in energy security. We task the Council in Permanent Session to prepare an interim report for the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in December 2009 and a further report on the progress achieved in the area of energy security for our consideration at our next Summit.
Developments in the High North have generated increased international attention. We welcome the initiative of Iceland in hosting a NATO seminar and raising the interest of Allies in safety- and security-related developments in the High North, including climate change.
We welcome the Secretary General’s report on progress in reforming the NATO Headquarters, to achieve the fastest and most coherent flow of sound political, military and resource advice to support our consensual decision-making, and to enhance our responsiveness to time-sensitive operational needs. The proposed changes aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our processes and structures, our ability to integrate the different strands of NATO’s work – duly safeguarding the role of the Military Committee – and the optimal use of resources. We endorse the Secretary General’s plans for future action and, in line with the mandate we gave him in Bucharest , empower him to take forward this work. We task the Council in Permanent Session to take the necessary decisions to implement these reforms as quickly as possible. We will review a report on implementation at our next Summit.
We express our gratitude to the Governments of France and Germany for their gracious hospitality at this first co-hosted NATO Summit. Today we have reaffirmed the indispensable link between North America and Europe, the enduring principle of the indivisibility of Allied security, and our common goal of a Europe that is whole and free. We have taken decisions on our missions and operations, the modernisation of our capabilities, and our engagement with other nations and organisations. We will meet next in Portugal to approve a new Strategic Concept and give further direction to ensure that NATO can successfully continue to defend peace, democracy and security in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.