Summit meetings of Heads of State and Government Bucharest, Romania, 2 to 4 April 2008
Press Release (2008)049
3 Apr. 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration
Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Bucharest on 3 April 2008
We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, met today to enlarge our Alliance and further strengthen our ability to confront the existing and emerging 21st century security threats. We reviewed the significant progress we have made in recent years to transform NATO, agreeing that this is a process that must continue. Recognising the enduring value of the transatlantic link and of NATO as the essential forum for security consultations between Europe and North America, we reaffirmed our solidarity and cohesion and our commitment to the common vision and shared democratic values embodied in the Washington Treaty. The principle of the indivisibility of Allied security is fundamental. A strong collective defence of our populations, territory and forces is the core purpose of our Alliance and remains our most important security task. We reiterate our faith in the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
Today, we have decided to invite Albania and Croatia to begin accession talks to join our Alliance. We congratulate these countries on this historic achievement, earned through years of hard work and a demonstrated commitment to our common security and NATO’s shared values. The accession of these new members will strengthen security for all in the Euro Atlantic area, and bring us closer to our goal of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.
We look forward to the 60th Anniversary Summit in 2009, which will underscore the enduring importance of the transatlantic link. We continue to transform our Alliance with new members; better responses to security challenges, taking into account lessons learned; more deployable capabilities; and new relationships with our partners. The Summit will provide an opportunity to further articulate and strengthen the Alliance’s vision of its role in meeting the evolving challenges of the 21st century and maintaining the ability to perform the full range of its missions, collectively defending our security at home and contributing to stability abroad. Accordingly, we request the Council in Permanent Session to prepare a Declaration on Alliance Security for adoption at the Summit to further set the scene for this important task.
We have welcomed to Bucharest a number of our partner nations; Mr. Ban Ki moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations; and prominent representatives of other international organisations. Many of today’s security challenges cannot be successfully met by NATO acting alone. Meeting them can best be achieved through a broad partnership with the wider international community, as part of a truly comprehensive approach, based on a shared sense of openness and cooperation as well as determination on all sides. We are resolved to promote peace and stability, and to meet the global challenges that increasingly affect the security of all of us, by working together.
The success of this common effort depends greatly on individual commitment. We pay tribute to the professionalism and bravery of the more than sixty thousand men and women from Allied and other nations who are involved in NATO’s missions and operations. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have died or been injured during the course of their duties. Their sacrifices will not be in vain.
Euro Atlantic and wider international security is closely tied to Afghanistan’s future as a peaceful, democratic state, respectful of human rights and free from the threat of terrorism. For that reason, our UN mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission, currently comprising 40 nations, is our top priority. Working with the Afghans, we have made significant progress, but we recognise that remaining challenges demand additional efforts. Neither we nor our Afghan partners will allow extremists and terrorists to regain control of Afghanistan or use it as a base for terror that threatens all of our people. With our ISAF partners, and with the engagement of President Karzai, we will issue a statement on Afghanistan. This statement sets out a clear vision guided by four principles: a firm and shared long term commitment; support for enhanced Afghan leadership and responsibility; a comprehensive approach by the international community, bringing together civilian and military efforts; and increased cooperation and engagement with Afghanistan’s neighbours, especially Pakistan. We welcome announcements by Allies and partners of new force contributions and other forms of support as further demonstration of our resolve; and we look forward to additional contributions. We welcome as well the appointment of Ambassador Kai Eide, the United Nations’ Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), who will provide added impetus and coherence to the international community’s efforts. We welcome the upcoming Paris Conference that will review progress on and strengthen international efforts to further implement the Afghanistan Compact.
Our commitment to regional security and stability throughout the Balkans remains steadfast. We praise the prompt, impartial and effective performance by KFOR in the face of violence, and we deplore all attacks against the UN mandated NATO led KFOR and other international presences in Kosovo. We reiterate that KFOR will remain in Kosovo on the basis of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1244 to ensure a safe and secure environment, including freedom of movement, for all people in Kosovo unless the Security Council decides otherwise.
In Kosovo, NATO and KFOR will continue to work with the authorities and, bearing in mind its operational mandate, KFOR will cooperate with and assist the United Nations, the European Union and other international actors, as appropriate, to support the development of a stable, democratic, multi ethnic and peaceful Kosovo. We support UN action to ensure respect for the rule of law and call on all parties to take affirmative steps to prevent and condemn violence in Kosovo. NATO and KFOR welcome the restraint shown thus far by the authorities in Kosovo. We expect continued full implementation of their 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.
NATO stands ready to play its part in the implementation of future security arrangements. Recalling UNSCR 1244, we note the necessity of maintaining international presences throughout Kosovo, whose efforts contribute to freedom of movement and the flow of people and goods, including border monitoring. We call on all actors of the region to engage constructively and to avoid any actions or rhetoric that could undermine the security situation in Kosovo or in any other part of the region. KFOR will continue close security dialogue with all parties.
Today’s information environment, in particular with regard to our operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, underlines the need for appropriate, timely, accurate and responsive communication with local and international audiences in relation to NATO’s policies and engagement in international operations. We welcome the progress made in enhancing NATO's strategic communications capability, as demonstrated by the rapid response Media Operations Centre. We also welcome the launching at our Summit of a new NATO TV channel on the internet which will include regular news updates and video reports, in particular from the various regions of Afghanistan. We underscore our commitment to support further improvement of our strategic communications by the time of our 2009 Summit.
Experiences in Afghanistan and the Balkans demonstrate that the international community needs to work more closely together and take a comprehensive approach to address successfully the security challenges of today and tomorrow. Effective implementation of a comprehensive approach requires the cooperation and contribution of all major actors, including that of Non Governmental Organisations and relevant local bodies. To this end, it is essential for all major international actors to act in a coordinated way, and to apply a wide spectrum of civil and military instruments in a concerted effort that takes into account their respective strengths and mandates. We have endorsed an Action Plan comprising a set of pragmatic proposals to develop and implement NATO’s contribution to a comprehensive approach. These proposals aim to improve the coherent application of NATO’s own crisis management instruments and enhance practical cooperation at all levels with other actors, wherever appropriate, including provisions for support to stabilisation and reconstruction. They relate to areas such as planning and conduct of operations; training and education; and enhancing cooperation with external actors. We task the Council in Permanent Session to implement this Action Plan as a matter of priority and to keep it under continual review, taking into account all relevant developments as well as lessons learned.
We welcome over a decade of cooperation between the United Nations and NATO in support of the work of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security. We have developed operational cooperation in peacekeeping through the UN mandated NATO led operations in the Balkans and Afghanistan. These shared experiences have demonstrated the value of effective and efficient coordination between the two organisations. Further cooperation will significantly contribute to addressing the threats and challenges to which the international community is called upon to respond. NATO reaffirms its faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations including the exercise of the inherent right of individual or collective self defence recognised by Article 51 of the UN Charter, as stated in the Washington Treaty. The primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with the United Nations Security Council.
NATO is also playing its role in contributing to the implementation by nations of UNSCR 1373 and related UNSCRs in the fight against terrorism, and is lending its support to non proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction by playing its role in contributing to the implementation by nations of UNSCR 1540.
NATO EU relations cover a wide range of issues of common interest relating to security, defence and crisis management, including the fight against terrorism, the development of coherent and mutually reinforcing military capabilities, and civil emergency planning. Our successful cooperation in the Western Balkans, including with EU operation Althea through the Berlin Plus arrangements, is contributing to peace and security in the region. In the light of shared common values and strategic interests, NATO and the EU are working side by side in key crisis management operations and will continue to do so. We recognise the value that a stronger and more capable European defence brings, providing capabilities to address the common challenges both NATO and the EU face. We therefore support mutually reinforcing efforts to this end. Success in these and future cooperative endeavours calls for enhanced 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, and respecting the autonomy of the two organisations. A stronger EU will further contribute to our common security.
We condemn in the strongest terms all acts of terrorism, whatever their motivation or manifestation. Our nations remain determined to fight this scourge, individually and collectively, as long as necessary and in accordance with international law and UN principles. Terrorists are using a variety of conventional weapons and tactics, including asymmetric tactics, and may seek to use Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to threaten international peace and security. We attach great importance to the protection of our populations, territories, infrastructure and forces against the consequences of terrorist attacks. We will continue to develop and contribute to policies to prevent and counter proliferation, with a view to preventing terrorist access to, and use of, WMD. We will also continue to support our programme of work to develop advanced capabilities to help defend against terrorist attacks, including through the continuing development of new technologies. We remain committed to strengthening the Alliance’s ability to share information and intelligence on terrorism, especially in support of NATO operations. Our Alliance provides an essential transatlantic dimension to the response against terrorism and our nations will continue to contribute to the full implementation of UNSCR 1373 and related UNSCRs, in particular UNSCR 1540, and to the wider efforts of the international community in this regard. Dialogue and cooperation with other international organisations, as appropriate, and with our partners are essential, and we welcome efforts towards revitalising the implementation of the Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism. We reiterate our commitment to Operation Active Endeavour, our maritime operation in the Mediterranean, which continues to make a significant contribution to the fight against terrorism.
We remain deeply concerned by the continued violence and atrocities in Darfur and call on all parties to cease hostilities. NATO remains ready, following consultation with and the agreement of the United Nations and the African Union (AU), to support their peacekeeping efforts in the region. At the request of the African Union, NATO has agreed to provide support to the AU Mission in Somalia and we are prepared to consider further requests for support to this mission. As an example of our comprehensive approach, we welcome the direct cooperation between NATO and the AU, demonstrated through our recently concluded support to the AU Mission in Sudan and our ongoing support to the African Standby Force. NATO welcomes the European Union’s EUFOR Chad / Central African Republic operation and the EU’s contribution to stability and security in the region.
We reiterate the Alliance’s commitment to support the Government and people of Iraq and to assist with the development of Iraqi Security Forces. We have responded positively to a request by Prime Minister Al Maliki to extend the NATO Training Mission Iraq (NTM I) through 2009. We are also favourably considering the Government of Iraq’s request to enhance the NTM I mission in areas such as Navy and Air Force leadership training, police training, border security, the fight against terrorism, defence reform, defence institution building, and Small Arms and Light Weapons accountability. NTM I continues to make an important contribution to international efforts to train and equip Iraqi Security Forces and, to date, has trained over 10,000 members of these forces. Complementing these efforts, NATO has also approved proposals for a structured cooperation framework to develop NATO’s long term relationship with Iraq and continue to develop Iraq’s capabilities to address common challenges and threats.
NATO’s ongoing enlargement process has been an historic success in advancing stability and cooperation and bringing us closer to our common goal of a Europe whole and free, united in peace, democracy and common values. NATO’s door will remain open to European democracies willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership, in accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty. We reiterate that decisions on enlargement are for NATO itself to make.
Our invitation to Albania and Croatia to begin accession talks to join our Alliance marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Western Balkans and shows the way forward to a future in which a stable region is fully integrated into Euro Atlantic institutions and able to make a major contribution to international security.
We recognise the hard work and the commitment demonstrated by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 to NATO values and Alliance operations. We commend them for their efforts to build a multi ethnic society. Within the framework of the UN, many actors have worked hard to resolve the name issue, but the Alliance has noted with regret that these talks have not produced a successful outcome. Therefore we agreed that an invitation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be extended as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached. We encourage the negotiations to be resumed without delay and expect them to be concluded as soon as possible.
Admitting Albania and Croatia will enhance the Alliance's ability to face the challenges of today and tomorrow. These countries have demonstrated a solid commitment to the basic principles set out in the Washington Treaty as well as their ability, and readiness, to protect freedom and our shared values by contributing to the Alliance's collective defence and full range of missions.
We will begin talks immediately with the aim of signing Accession Protocols by the end of July 2008 and completing the ratification process without delay. During the period leading up to accession, NATO will involve the invited countries in Alliance activities to the greatest extent possible, and will continue to provide support and assistance, including through the Membership Action Plan (MAP). We look forward to receiving the invited countries' timetables for reform, upon which further progress will be expected before, and after, accession in order to enhance their contribution to the Alliance.
NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO. Both nations have made valuable contributions to Alliance operations. We welcome the democratic reforms in Ukraine and Georgia and look forward to free and fair parliamentary elections in Georgia in May. MAP is the next step for Ukraine and Georgia on their direct way to membership. Today we make clear that we support these countries’ applications for MAP. Therefore we will now begin a period of intensive engagement with both at a high political level to address the questions still outstanding pertaining to their MAP applications. We have asked Foreign Ministers to make a first assessment of progress at their December 2008 meeting. Foreign Ministers have the authority to decide on the MAP applications of Ukraine and Georgia.
We remain committed to the strategically important region of the Balkans, where Euro Atlantic integration, based on democratic values and regional cooperation, remains necessary for lasting peace and stability. We welcome progress since the Riga Summit in developing our cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. We encourage each of these three countries to use to the fullest extent possible the opportunities for dialogue, reform and cooperation offered by the Euro Atlantic Partnership, and we have directed the Council in Permanent Session to keep the development of relations with each of these Partners under review.
We welcome Bosnia and Herzegovina's and Montenegro's decisions to develop an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO. We look forward to ambitious and substantive Action Plans which will further the Euro Atlantic aspirations of these countries and we pledge our assistance to their respective reform efforts towards this goal. To help foster and guide these efforts, we have decided to invite Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to begin an Intensified Dialogue on the full range of political, military, financial, and security issues relating to their aspirations to membership, without prejudice to any eventual Alliance decision.
We stand ready to further develop an ambitious and substantive relationship with Serbia, making full use of its Partnership for Peace membership, and with a view to making more progress towards Serbia’s integration into the Euro Atlantic community. We reiterate our willingness to deepen our cooperation with Serbia, in particular through developing an IPAP, and we will consider an Intensified Dialogue following a request by Serbia.
We expect Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and will closely monitor their respective efforts in this regard.
We recall that the NATO Russia partnership was conceived as a strategic element in fostering security in the Euro Atlantic area, based on core principles, values and commitments, including democracy, civil liberties and political pluralism. Looking back at a history of more than a decade, we have developed a political dialogue as well as concrete projects in a broad range of international security issues where we have common goals and interests. While we are concerned by recent Russian statements and actions on key security issues of mutual concern, such as the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), we stand ready to continue working with Russia as equal partners in areas of common concern, as envisaged by the Rome Declaration and the Founding Act. We should continue our common efforts in the fight against terrorism and in the area of non proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their means of delivery. We urge Russia to engage actively in important cooperative offers that have been extended. We believe that United States Russia bilateral discussions on missile defence and CFE, among other issues, can make an important contribution in this field. We believe the potential of the NATO Russia Council is not fully realised and we remain ready to identify and pursue opportunities for joint actions at 27, while recalling the principle of independence of decision making and actions by NATO or Russia. We reaffirm to Russia that NATO’s Open Door policy and current, as well as any future, NATO Missile Defence efforts are intended to better address the security challenges we all face, and reiterate that, far from posing a threat to our relationship, they offer opportunities to deepen levels of cooperation and stability.
We note Russia’s ratification of the Partnership for Peace Status of Forces Agreement, and hope that it will facilitate further practical cooperation. We appreciate Russia's readiness to support NATO's ISAF mission in Afghanistan by facilitating transit through Russian territory. We would welcome deepened NATO Russia cooperation in support of, and agreed by, the Government of Afghanistan, and look forward to building on the solid work already achieved in training Afghan and Central Asian counter narcotics officers. Our continued cooperation under our Cooperative Airspace Initiative and Russia’s support to Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean contribute to our common fight against terrorism. We also welcome our cooperation on military interoperability, theatre missile defence, search and rescue at sea, and civil emergency planning.
We reaffirm that NATO’s policy of outreach through partnerships, dialogue, and cooperation is an essential part of the Alliance’s purpose and tasks. The Alliance’s partnerships across the globe have an enduring value, contributing to stability and security in the Euro Atlantic area and beyond. With this in mind, we welcome progress made since our last Summit in Riga in strengthening NATO’s policy of partnerships and cooperation, and reaffirm our commitment to undertake further efforts in this regard.
We value highly the contributions that our partners are making to NATO’s missions and operations. Seventeen nations outside the Alliance are contributing forces to our operations and missions and many others provide different forms of support. We will continue to strive to promote greater interoperability between our forces and those of partner nations; to further enhance information sharing and consultations with nations contributing to NATO led operations; and to offer partner countries NATO’s advice on, and assistance with, the defence and security related aspects of reform.
We welcome our Euro Atlantic Partners at the Bucharest Summit and reiterate the enduring value of the Euro Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme. We remain committed to substantive political discussions and effective cooperation within these frameworks. We welcome Malta’s return to the PfP and look forward to its active engagement in the EAPC. We welcome the strengthening of political dialogue through the EAPC Security Forum. We will give priority to several new practical initiatives, which include building integrity in defence institutions and the important role of women in conflict resolution as outlined in UNSCR 1325. We value the Euro Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre’s successes over the past ten years in coordinating NATO and partner countries’ contributions to disaster relief. We will continue to make full use of the NATO/PfP Trust Funds and of their opening to other partner countries. We welcome and will continue to support the engagement of all interested Partners across the Euro Atlantic area in programmes to support defence and broader reforms, including the Individual Partnership Action Plan. Recalling our Istanbul Summit decision, we are committed to engage our Partners in the strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia, including by strengthening liaison arrangements in these regions, and will continue dialogue with our Central Asian Partners on Afghanistan. We appreciate the significant contributions provided by our EAPC Partners to Alliance operations and look forward to working with them to address the security challenges of the 21st century.
We are pleased to note the significant progress achieved in the framework of our Mediterranean Dialogue since the Istanbul and Riga Summits. Political consultations with our Mediterranean Dialogue partners have gained both in frequency and substance, and the meeting held between our Foreign Ministers and their seven Mediterranean Dialogue partners last December contributed to a further deepening of our partnership. We therefore plan to pursue this momentum through deepening our liaison arrangements, on a voluntary basis, with the region. Our practical cooperation has grown in several areas, and new opportunities have been created especially in training and education. We welcome the progress made in the implementation activities of the NATO Training Cooperation Initiative, in the spirit of joint ownership and in the view of launching the NATO Regional Cooperation Course at the NATO Defense College, where two pilot courses were successfully conducted. We encourage our Mediterranean Dialogue partners to work with us to develop this Initiative further. The conclusion of Individual Cooperation Programmes (ICP) with Egypt and Israel will help in establishing long term, structured and effective cooperation with those countries. We encourage our other Mediterranean Dialogue partners to develop their own ICP in the near future. We welcome the implementation of the first ever Mediterranean Dialogue Trust Fund project to assist Jordan with the disposal of unexploded ordnance and ammunitions, and the launching of the feasibility study for the Trust Fund project to assist Mauritania with the disposal of ammunitions. We thank our Mediterranean Dialogue partners for their various contributions to our operations and missions.
We welcome the response of four countries in the Gulf region to our offer of cooperation in the framework of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and encourage other countries of the region to take up that offer. To that end, we plan to develop our liaison arrangements, on a voluntary basis, with this region. We are pleased to see their increased interest and participation in NATO training and education activities, and stand ready to enhance our cooperation in this and other fields. We welcome the progress made in the implementation activities of the NATO Training Cooperation Initiative, in the spirit of joint ownership and in the view of launching the NATO Regional Cooperation Course at the NATO Defense College, where two pilot courses were successfully conducted. We encourage our ICI partners to work with us to develop this Initiative further. We encourage our ICI partners to develop an ICP with a view to better structuring our cooperation. We very much appreciate the support provided by our ICI partners to Alliance operations and missions.
The Alliance places a high value on its expanding and varied relationships with other partners across the globe. Our objectives in these relationships include support for operations, security cooperation, and enhanced common understanding to advance shared security interests and democratic values. We have made substantial progress in building political dialogue and developing individual Tailored Cooperation Packages with a number of these countries. We particularly welcome the significant contribution by Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore to NATO led efforts in Afghanistan. We also welcome the valuable contributions by the Republic of Korea to efforts which support the NATO led mission in Afghanistan. Recognising that each of these countries wishes to pursue a unique degree of relations with NATO, and that other countries may wish to pursue dialogue and cooperation with NATO as well, we reiterate our willingness to further develop existing, and openness to new, individual relationships, subject to the approval of the North Atlantic Council, and at a pace that respects mutual interests in so doing.
We reaffirm the continued importance of the Black Sea region for Euro Atlantic security. In this regard, we welcome the progress in consolidation of regional ownership, through effective use of existing initiatives and mechanisms. The Alliance will continue to support, as appropriate, these efforts guided by regional priorities and based on transparency, complementarity and inclusiveness, in order to develop dialogue and cooperation among the Black Sea states and with the Alliance.
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 recognise the substantial contribution to the protection of Allies from long range ballistic missiles to be provided by the planned deployment of European based United States missile defence assets. We are exploring ways to link this capability with current NATO missile defence efforts as a way to ensure that it would be an integral part of any future NATO wide missile defence architecture. Bearing in mind the principle of the indivisibility of Allied security as well as NATO solidarity, we task the Council in Permanent Session to develop options for a comprehensive missile defence architecture to extend coverage to all Allied territory and populations not otherwise covered by the United States system for review at our 2009 Summit, to inform any future political decision.
We also commend the work already underway to strengthen NATO Russia missile defence cooperation. We are committed to maximum transparency and reciprocal confidence building measures to allay any concerns. We encourage the Russian Federation to take advantage of United States missile defence cooperation proposals and we are ready to explore the potential for linking United States, NATO and Russian missile defence systems at an appropriate time.
We reaffirm that arms control, disarmament and non proliferation will continue to make an important contribution to peace, security, and stability and, in this regard, to preventing the spread and use of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their means of delivery. We took note of the report prepared for us on raising NATO’s profile in this field. As part of a broader response to security issues, NATO should continue contributing to international efforts in the area of arms control, disarmament and non proliferation, and we task the Council in Permanent Session to keep these issues under active review.
The Alliance has reduced both its conventional forces significantly from Cold War levels and has reduced nuclear weapons assigned to NATO by over 90%. Allies have also reduced their nuclear arsenals. France has reduced the types of its nuclear systems to two, the number of its nuclear delivery vehicles by over half, and has announced it will reduce the number of its nuclear warheads to fewer than 300, with no other weapons beside those in its operational stockpile. The United Kingdom has reduced to one nuclear system, and has reduced the explosive power of its nuclear stockpile by 75%, and its number of operationally available nuclear warheads to fewer than 160. The United States has reduced its nuclear weapon stockpile to less than 25% of its size at the height of the Cold War, and decreased tactical nuclear weapons assigned to NATO by nearly 90%.
We remain deeply concerned about the proliferation risks of the Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. We call on Iran to fully comply with UNSCRs 1696, 1737, 1747 and 1803. We are also deeply concerned by the proliferation activities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and call on it to fully comply with UNSCR 1718. Allies reaffirm their support for existing multi lateral non proliferation agreements, such as the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, and call for universal compliance with the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and universal adherence to the Additional Protocol to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguard Agreement and full compliance with UNSCR 1540. Allies agree to redouble their efforts to fully implement the non proliferation agreements and relevant UNSCRs to which Allies reaffirm their support and by which they are bound.
We fully endorse the statement of the North Atlantic Council of 28 March 2008 and 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 place the highest value on the CFE Treaty regime with all its elements and underscore the strategic importance of the CFE Treaty, including its flank regime, as a cornerstone of Euro Atlantic Security. We are deeply concerned that the Russian Federation has continued its unilateral “suspension” of its legal obligations under the CFE Treaty. This action does not contribute to our common objective of preserving the long-term viability of the CFE regime and we urge the Russian Federation to resume its implementation. The current situation, where NATO CFE Allies implement the Treaty while Russia does not, cannot last indefinitely. We have 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 the Russian Federation on outstanding commitments related to Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. We believe these proposals address all of Russia’s stated concerns. We encourage Russian authorities 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 are concerned with the persistence of regional conflicts in the South Caucasus and the Republic of Moldova. Our nations support the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. We will continue to support efforts towards a peaceful settlement of these regional conflicts, taking into account these principles.
We have already done much to transform our forces and capabilities in line with our political objectives, in particular the priorities laid out in the Comprehensive Political Guidance, and our operational experience. We will continue this process to ensure the Alliance remains able to meet its operational commitments and perform the full range of its missions. Our operations highlight the need to develop and field modern, interoperable, flexible and sustainable forces. These forces must be able to conduct, upon decision by the Council, collective defence and crisis response operations on and beyond Alliance territory, on its periphery, and at strategic distance, with little or no host nation support. We will also ensure that we have the right kind of capabilities to meet the evolving security challenges of the 21st century, and to do so, we will transform, adapt and reform as necessary.
Transformation is a continual process and demands constant and active attention. We therefore support our Defence Ministers’ efforts as they oversee the management of the defence aspects of transformation to ensure NATO remains effective and efficient, especially by pursuing ongoing efforts in the following areas:
We must ensure that we provide the forces required for our operations and other commitments. To that end we will continue efforts to be able to deploy and sustain more forces. We are committed to support the NATO Response Force by providing the necessary forces, and to improving the availability of operational and strategic reserve forces for our operations. We will seek greater domestic support for our operations, including through improved public diplomacy efforts.
We will further develop the capabilities required to conduct the full range of our missions and to remedy specific shortfalls. We will work particularly at improving strategic lift and intra-theatre airlift, especially mission-capable helicopters and welcome national initiatives in support of this work, as well as addressing multinational logistics. We will further strengthen information superiority through networked capabilities, including an integrated air command and control system; increased maritime situational awareness; and timely delivery of the Alliance Ground Surveillance capability. We will continue to enhance the capability and interoperability of our special operations forces. Supported by the defence planning processes, we will enhance our efforts to develop and field the right capabilities and forces, with the greatest practicable interoperability and standardisation. This will be furthered by improving trans-Atlantic defence industrial cooperation.
We are committed to develop policies and capabilities to deal with emerging challenges and threats. This includes the development of a comprehensive policy for preventing the proliferation of WMD and defending against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.
We are pursuing the adaptation and reform of the Alliance’s structures and processes. In this context we are reviewing the peacetime establishment of the NATO Command Structure to make it leaner, more effective and efficient, and reforming defence planning processes in order to promote timely delivery of the capabilities sought by the Comprehensive Political Guidance.
Transformation is not possible without sufficient, properly prioritised resources. We are committed to continuing to provide, individually and collectively, the resources necessary for our Alliance to perform the tasks we demand from it. Therefore we encourage nations whose defence spending is declining to halt that decline and to aim to increase defence spending in real terms.
NATO remains committed to strengthening key Alliance information systems against cyber attacks. We have recently adopted a Policy on Cyber Defence, and are developing the structures and authorities to carry it out. Our Policy on Cyber Defence emphasises the need for NATO and nations to protect key information systems in accordance with their respective responsibilities; share best practices; and provide a capability to assist Allied nations, upon request, to counter a cyber attack. We look forward to continuing the development of NATO’s cyber defence capabilities and strengthening the linkages between NATO and national authorities.
We have noted a report “NATO’s Role in Energy Security”, prepared in response to the tasking of the Riga Summit. Allies have identified principles which will govern NATO’s approach in this field, and outlined options and recommendations for further activities. Based on these principles, NATO will engage in the following fields: information and intelligence fusion and sharing; projecting stability; advancing international and regional cooperation; supporting consequence management; and supporting the protection of critical energy infrastructure. The Alliance will continue to consult on the most immediate risks in the field of energy security. We will 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 have tasked the Council in Permanent Session to prepare a consolidated report on the progress achieved in the area of energy security for our consideration at the 2009 Summit.
Demands on our Alliance have grown in complexity in the last twenty years, as the security environment has changed and both the scope of our missions and operations and our membership have expanded. This requires continual adaptation and reform of NATO Headquarters’ structures and processes. We note the progress that has been made in this field, as part of NATO’s overall transformation; but more remains to be done, including to get full benefit from our move to a new Headquarters building. In evaluating where we need to change, we need to make fuller use of lessons drawn from our experience in delivering our core functions, including meeting operational, capability development, partnership and strategic communications requirements. Building on our Defence Ministers’ work to take forward the defence aspects of transformation, Allies will also need to consider how 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, including those of NATO Commanders. We have requested the Secretary General to chart a path forward, in time for the 2009 Summit, on how to meet these objectives.
We express our sincere appreciation for the gracious hospitality extended to us by the Government of Romania. The city of Bucharest has been the venue of NATO’s largest ever Summit meeting, highlighting the Alliance’s determination to work closely with the International Community as well as its own unique contribution to promoting security and stability in a fast changing strategic environment. At our meeting we have taken decisions and given further direction for NATO’s own ongoing adaptation to that environment, through its missions and operations, the modernisation of its structures and capabilities, closer engagement of other nations and organisations, as well as its continuing openness to the inclusion of additional member states. We have strengthened our dialogue and cooperation with countries and organisations vital to our security. We will meet again next year in Strasbourg and Kehl to celebrate NATO’s 60th anniversary, take stock of its adaptation, and give further direction for the modernisation of our Alliance to meet the security challenges of the 21st century.
1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.
HARADINAJ AND BALAJ ACQUITTED OF ALL CHARGES, BRAHIMAJ GUILTY OF CRUEL TREATMENT AND TORTURE IN JABLANICA COMPOUND Press Release (Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 3 April 2008 NJ/MOW/1232e
The Tribunal's Trial Chamber I today acquitted Ramush Haradinaj and Idriz Balaj of all charges which alleged they were responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo between March and September 1998. The third accused, Lahi Brahimaj was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for cruel treatment and torture of two persons at the Jablanica/Jabllanicë headquarters of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
Haradinaj, Balaj and Brahimaj faced charges of participation in a joint criminal enterprise whose aim was to consolidate the KLA’s total control over Dukagjin area in north-western Kosovo by the unlawful removal, mistreatment and murder of Serbian and Kosovar Roma civilians, as well as Kosovar Albanian citizens who were perceived to have been collaborating with Serbian forces.
During the period in question, Haradinaj was a commander of the KLA in Dukagjin area, Balaj was the commander of the Black Eagles Unit within the KLA and Brahimaj a KLA member stationed in the force’s Jablanica/Jabllanicë headquarters in Ðakovica/Gjakovë municipality. The Chamber acquitted all three accused of all counts alleging crimes against humanity. Evidence presented by the prosecution “did not always allow the Chamber to conclude whether a crime was committed or whether the KLA was involved as alleged”.
“The evidence on some of the other counts indicates that the victims may have been targeted primarily for reasons pertaining to them individually rather than as members of the targeted civilian population,” the judges found. They also ruled that the ill-treatment, forcible transfer and killing of Serb and Roma civilians as well as Kosovar Albanian civilians was “not on a scale of frequency that would allow for a conclusion that there was an attack against a civilian population”.
The three were charged with 19 counts of the violations of laws or customs of war including murder, torture, rape and cruel treatment. The Chamber found that a large number of crimes alleged in the indictment were committed by KLA soldiers, particularly those that took place in Jablanica/Jabllanicë compound.
The Trial Chamber found that, based on evidence presented, it was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that there was a joint criminal enterprise with the objective of targeting the civilians, therefore the three accused could not have participated in it.
Regarding the charges the three faced alleging the murder of 30 victims in the Radonjic/Radoniq canal area, the Chamber found “that only seven of these murders could be proven beyond reasonable doubt and attributed to the KLA. The evidence presented with regard to the perpetrators and circumstances of the remaining alleged murders was vague, inconclusive or nonexistent.”
The Prosecution also charged the three with individual criminal responsibility for the planning, instigating, ordering, aiding and abetting many of the crimes in the indictment. The Trial Chamber found sufficient evidence for only two of those counts pertaining to only one of the accused – Lahi Brahimaj.
Brahimaj was found guilty of personally participating in the cruel treatment and torture of Witness 6 who was, from mid-June 1998 detained in Jablanica/Jabllanicë compound. He was also found guilty of cruel treatment and torture for the role he played in the interrogations of Witness 3 who was detained at the Jablanica/Jabllanicë headquarters in July 1998. Following the interrogation Brahimaj told two women dressed in black uniforms to practice on the victim, whereupon the persons in question started beating Witness 3. Both victims were detained and submitted to mistreatment and discrimination on the basis of their perceived collaboration with or ties to the Serbs.
Judge Alphonsus Orie highlighted the significant difficulties encountered by the Chamber in securing testimony of a large number of witnesses. The Chamber received evidence from almost 100 witnesses during the trial of which 34 were granted protective measures and 18 issued with subpoenas.
“The Chamber gained a strong impression that the trial was being held in an atmosphere where witnesses felt unsafe,” Judge Orie said.
The Trial Chamber ordered the immediate release of Haradinaj and Balaj from the Detention Unit. Brahimaj will return to the Tribunal’s detention unit where he will await the enforcement of his sentence of six years’ imprisonment. Credit was given for the time Brahimaj spent in custody since March 2005.
The trial commenced on 5 March 2007 with the Prosecution’s case ending in November 2007. All three defence teams chose not to call any evidence. The closing arguments were heard between 21 and 23 January 2008.
Since its first hearing in November 1994, the Tribunal indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001. Proceedings against 111 have been concluded. No further indictments will be issued.
The full text of the summary of the judgement can be found at the following links: English: http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2008/pr1232e-summary.htm Albanian: http://www.un.org/icty/alb/press/press/p1232a-summary.htm French: http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2008/pr1232f-summary.htm B/C/S: http://www.un.org/icty/bhs/latest/press/p1232-t-summary.htm