The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1994Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s NATO Summit Statement – 10 January 1994

Below is the text of Mr Major’s statement at the NATO Summit on 10th January 1994.


NATO’s fundamental role

NATO has been the cornerstone of post-war Europe’s security. It has been by far the most successful collective security organisation in history.

Now is not the time to weaken the cornerstone.

But we cannot take it for granted. Keeping our security insurance up to date requires a continuing commitment from all of us.

US Commitment to Europe

President Clinton said yesterday that the core of American security remained with Europe.

I warmly welcome the renewed commitment by the United States.

NATO has been vital to the transatlantic relationship; and the American contribution continues to be vital to NATO.

The need for change

NATO must adapt to meet new challenges, while preserving its effectiveness.

The main challenges are clear:

– what relationships to develop with the new democracies to our East;

– how to organise ourselves politically and militarily, to engage in new missions to promote and restore peace;

– how to ensure that NATO adjusts to the emerging security and defence identity of the European Union.

Enlargement\Russia\partnership for peace

It must be our objective to consolidate democracy in all of the countries to the east now embracing it; to develop a closer partnership with them; and to help to enhance their security and stability.

These countries are not all alike, and NATO’s relationships with them will differ. Partnership for Peace recognises that. It is, rightly, an evolutionary and transitional process without a predetermined end result.

We must be clear about a number of points:

The process could clearly lead to the admission of new members. The door is open.

We cannot yet define who will be able to meet the obligations of membership, or when.

Those who wish to join have much work to do, with our assistance, to prepare themselves.

The Poles, Czechs and Hungarians are European peoples with fast-developing democracies and a strong claim to membership.

There must be no new dividing line in Europe; no recreation of opposing blocs.

We must show that NATO is a genuine partner for a democratic Russia, not an opponent. It is therefore essential for NATO to build a closer relationship with Russia, which acknowledges that country’s special status.

Partnership for Peace will provide real and practical benefits to NATO and to Partners; through a non-discriminatory, gradual and incremental approach, with the prospect of eventual membership for some.

Equipping NATO for new tasks\Combined Joint Task Forces\European Defence identity

NATO itself needs further change to ensure we are better prepared and equipped for new missions such as peacekeeping, peace enforcement, humanitarian and sanctions operations.

Combined Joint Task Forces are a sensible and imaginative concept, to supplement but not to replace the Integrated Military Structure.

The UK will play a leading role in the Combined Joint Task Force in the NATO HQ at AFNORWEST in High Wycombe. We also have a strong contribution to make in AFCENT in Germany.

These more flexible structures will also help NATO to be more responsive to the European Defence aspirations. Europe cannot afford and does not want separate forces, separate HQs or separate command and control structures.

I support the idea of a further review of NATO’s military structures designed to promote adaptation to new missions and to facilitate a more specific European profile within the Alliance.


I support the US approach on counter-proliferation. The defence-related aspects should continue to be seen in wider political context of non-proliferation policy. I am glad that NATO’s work can be carried forward by all Sixteen Allies, including France.

Former Yugoslavia

NATO has so far done efficiently what it has been asked to do: support for the United Nations, sanctions enforcement in the Adriatic, air operations in support of UNPROFOR and the no-fly zone, and planning for a peace implementation operation.

As Bosnia struggles through another desperate winter of war, we face very serious questions which cannot be resolved today.

On the one hand, the parties purport to be negotiating seriously while, on the other, they are bent on prosecuting the war, with UN humanitarian forces from my own and other countries operating with difficulty between them.

We shall remain in close touch with our partners in UNPROFOR and NATO. We shall consider with them what realistic help we can continue to give to keep Bosnians alive and encourage the peace process.


Europe is still in flux following the end of the Soviet Union and of the cold war. A NATO which continues to change rapidly and relevantly will remain central to the Euro-Atlantic cause. Partnership for Peace, combined Joint Task Forces, the new focus on counter-proliferation, are important steps along the way. Follow up work will have full UK support. We were at the forefront of NATO’s creation and will be equally active in its transformation.