The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1992Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Text of the NATO Communique – 21 October 1992

Below is the text of the NATO Communique, issued on 21st October 1992.


The Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) of the North Atlantic Alliance met at Gleneagles, Scotland, on 20 and 21 October 1992. Iceland attended as an observer.

We used this occasion to have wide-ranging discussions on developments in the security environment that affect NATO. The Alliance’s new Strategic Concept underlines the importance of the Alliance’s role in crisis management and warns of the risks to European security that may arise from serious economic, social and political difficulties, including ethnic rivalries and territorial disputes. We are deeply disturbed by the continuing violence and destruction in and around Europe and, in particular, we deplore the tragic and worsening situation in the former Yugoslavia. As made clear last June in Oslo , the Alliance is prepared to support peacekeeping activities, including by making available Alliance resources and expertise, and thus contribute to the peaceful settlement of disputes. In our discussions we therefore agreed on the need to intensify ongoing practical work within the Alliance, so that NATO is better prepared to respond to the international community when required for this purpose, and we agreed review progress at our December Defence Planning Committee meeting. We also propose to discuss peacekeeping issues at the next meeting of Defence Ministers with our cooperation partners.

In keeping with our approach to peacekeeping, a NATO naval force is monitoring, in cooperation with the Western European Union, the United Nations (UN) embargo and sanctions in the Adriatic, and a NATO airborne early warning force is monitoring the UN “no-fly” zone in effect over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Allies are also making substantial contributions of forces to the provision and protection of humanitarian assistance and to the operational headquarters of the expanded UN Protection Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We stand ready to provide further support to the efforts of the UN to bring peace to the former Yugoslavia.

In our discussions on nuclear policy, we received with appreciation briefings by the United States and the United Kingdom on their nuclear forces. We also reviewed progress in adapting NATO’s nuclear planning, procedures and force posture to the changing political and military environment. In this context we further refined policy guidance in accordance with our new Strategic Concept, which provides for a reduced reliance on nuclear weapons whilst reaffirming the essential role for the Alliance of effective nuclear forces, including those based in Europe. The reduction and restructuring of NATO’s substrategic nuclear forces in Europe which we endorsed in Taormina continue to progress well.

All nuclear warheads from NATO’s ground-launched and naval tactical nuclear weapons have now been removed, much earlier than originally envisaged, and those weapons designated to be destroyed are being retired and scheduled for destruction. The reductions in the number of air-delivered nuclear weapons, the only remaining sub-strategic systems to be held by the Alliance in Europe, are underway.
We have welcomed the announced completion of the withdrawal of all ground-launched tactical nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union into Russia for destruction. However, we also attach great importance that the parallel commitment to withdraw naval tactical nuclear weapons and to destroy a portion of them should also be fulfilled. We are encouraged by the progress that has been made by Allies in contributing to ensure the safe and secure transport, storage and destruction of nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union and we will continue consultations in the Alliance on this most important subject.

We welcomed the agreements reached between the United States and Russia to cut their strategic arsenals dramatically and, in particular, to eliminate land-based multiple-warhead intercontinental ballistic missiles, the most de-stabilising systems. We also welcomed the arrangements for the implementation of the START Treaty agreed in Lisbon. We look forward to the early completion of the process of ratification of the Treaty by all concerned and the subsequent removal of all strategic nuclear warheads from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Recalling the accords of Alma Ata and Minsk, and the undertakings in Lisbon, we urge those three countries to take immediate steps to accede to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as non-nuclear weapon states.

Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains a matter of great concern to all of us. It is vital that the international consensus against the proliferation of nuclear weapons is sustained and strengthened. In this context we reaffirmed our support for the NPT, the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and for its indefinite extension in 1995. We welcomed the recent accession of a number of countries to the Treaty as non-nuclear weapon states and we urge all those states who are not yet parties to accede. We also welcomed the conclusion of the negotiations on the global prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction.

We urge the earliest accession to this agreement by all countries.

The Spring 1993 NPG Ministerial meeting will be held at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium.