Signed and issued by the Heads of State
and Government participating in the meeting
of the North Atlantic Council in Washington D.C.
on 23rd and 24th April 1999
We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the
North Atlantic Alliance, declare for a new century our mutual
commitment to defend our people, our territory and our liberty,
founded on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The world
has changed dramatically over the last half century, but our common
values and security interests remain the same.
At this anniversary summit, we affirm our determination to continue
advancing these goals, building on the habits of trust and
co-operation we have developed over fifty years. Collective defence
remains the core purpose of NATO. We affirm our commitment to
promote peace, stability and freedom.
We pay tribute to the men and women who have served our Alliance and who
have advanced the cause of freedom. To honour them and to build a
better future, we will contribute to building a stronger and broader
Euro-Atlantic community of democracies -- a community where human
rights and fundamental freedoms are upheld; where borders are
increasingly open to people, ideas and commerce; where war becomes
We reaffirm our faith, as stated in the North Atlantic Treaty, in
the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and
reiterate our desire to live in peace with all nations, and to
settle any international dispute by peaceful means.
We must be as effective in the future in dealing with new challenges as
we were in the past. We are charting NATO's course as we enter the
21st century: an Alliance committed to collective defence, capable
of addressing current and future risks to our security, strengthened
by and open to new members, and working together with other
institutions, Partners and Mediterranean Dialogue countries in a
mutually reinforcing way to enhance Euro-Atlantic security and
NATO embodies the vital partnership between Europe and North America.
We welcome the further impetus that has been given to the
strengthening of European defence capabilities to enable the
European Allies to act more effectively together, thus reinforcing
the transatlantic partnership.
We remain determined to stand firm against those who violate human
rights, wage war and conquer territory. We will maintain both the
political solidarity and the military forces necessary to protect
our nations and to meet the security challenges of the next century.
We pledge to improve our defence capabilities to fulfill the full
range of the Alliance's 2lst century missions. We will continue to
build confidence and security through arms control, disarmament and
non-proliferation measures. We reiterate our condemnation of
terrorism and our determination to protect ourselves against this
Our Alliance remains open to all European democracies, regardless of
geography, willing and able to meet the responsibilities of
membership, and whose inclusion would enhance overall security and
stability in Europe. NATO is an essential pillar of a wider
community of shared values and shared responsibility. Working
together, Allies and Partners, including Russia and Ukraine, are
developing their cooperation and erasing the divisions imposed by
the Cold War to help to build a Europe whole and free, where
security and prosperity are shared and indivisible.
Fifty years after NATO's creation, the destinies of North America
and Europe remain inseparable. When we act together, we safeguard
our freedom and security and enhance stability more effectively than
any of us could alone. Now, and for the century about to begin, we
declare as the fundamental objectives of this Alliance enduring
peace, security and liberty for all people of Europe and North