NATO, Chicago Summit Declaration.

22 May 2012

Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Chicago on 20 May 2012 

 We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, have gathered in Chicago to renew our commitment to our vital transatlantic bond; take stock of progress in, and reconfirm our commitment to, our operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and elsewhere; ensure the Alliance has the capabilities it needs to deal with the full range of threats; and strengthen our wide range of partnerships.

20. NATO and the EU share common values and strategic interests. The EU is a unique and essential partner for NATO.  Fully strengthening this strategic partnership, as agreed by our two organisations and enshrined in the Strategic Concept, is particularly important in the current environment of austerity; NATO and the EU should continue to work to enhance practical cooperation in operations, broaden political consultations, and cooperate more fully in capability development.  NATO and the EU are working side by side in crisis management operations, in a spirit of mutual reinforcement, and in particular in Afghanistan, Kosovo and fighting piracy.  NATO recognises the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence.  NATO also recognises non-EU Allies’ ongoing concerns and their significant contributions to strengthening the EU’s capacities to address common security challenges. For the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU, non-EU Allies’ fullest involvement in these efforts is essential.   In this context, NATO will work closely with the EU, as agreed, to ensure that our Smart Defence and the EU’s Pooling and Sharing initiatives are complementary and mutually reinforcing; we welcome the efforts of the EU, in particular in the areas of air-to-air refuelling, medical support, maritime surveillance and training.  We also welcome the national efforts in these and other areas by European Allies and Partners.  We also encourage the Secretary General to continue his dialogue with the EU High Representative with a view to making our cooperation more effective, and to report to the Council in time for the next Summit.

 35.  An independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security.  Marking the fifteenth anniversary of the NATO-Ukraine Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, we welcome Ukraine’s commitment to enhancing political dialogue and interoperability with NATO, as well as its contributions to NATO-led operations and new offers made.  We note the recent elimination of Ukraine’s highly enriched uranium in March 2012, which demonstrates a proven commitment to non-proliferation. Recalling our decisions in relation to Ukraine and our Open Door policy stated at the Bucharest and Lisbon Summits, NATO is ready to continue to develop its cooperation with Ukraine and assist with the implementation of reforms in the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Annual National Programme (ANP).  Noting the principles and commitments enshrined in the NATO-Ukraine Charter and the ANP, we are concerned by the selective application of justice and what appear to be politically motivated prosecutions, including of leading members of the opposition, and the conditions of their detention.  We encourage Ukraine to address the existing shortcomings of its judicial system to ensure full compliance with the rule of law and the international agreements to which it is a party.  We also encourage Ukraine to ensure free, fair and inclusive Parliamentary elections this autumn.

 36. NATO-Russia cooperation is of strategic importance as it contributes to creating a common space of peace, stability and security.  We remain determined to build a lasting and inclusive peace, together with Russia, in the Euro-Atlantic area, based upon the goals, principles and commitments of the NATO-Russia Founding Act and the Rome Declaration.  We want to see a true strategic partnership between NATO and Russia, and we will act accordingly with the expectation of reciprocity from Russia.

37.  This year, we mark the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) and the fifteenth anniversary of the NATO-Russia Founding Act.  We welcome important progress in our cooperation with Russia over the years.  At the same time, we differ on specific issues and there is a need to improve trust, reciprocal transparency, and predictability in order to realise the full potential of the NRC.  In this context, we intend to raise with Russia in the NRC Allied concerns about Russia’s stated intentions regarding military deployments close to Alliance borders.  Mindful of the goals, principles and commitments which underpin the NRC, and on this firm basis, we urge Russia to meet its commitments with respect to Georgia, as mediated by the EU on 12 August and 8 September 2008 3.  We continue to be concerned by the build-up of Russia’s military presence on Georgia’s territory and continue to call on Russia to ensure free access for humanitarian assistance and international observers.

 38. NATO and Russia share common security interests and face common challenges and our practical achievements together reflect that reality.  Today, we continue to value the important role of the NRC as a forum for frank and honest political dialogue – including on subjects where we disagree – and for promoting practical cooperation. Our cooperation with Russia on issues related to Afghanistan – notably the two-way transit arrangements offered by Russia in support of ISAF, our joint training of counter narcotics personnel from Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Pakistan, and the NRC Helicopter Maintenance Trust Fund in support of a key ANSF need – is a sign of our common determination to build peace and stability in that region.  NATO-Russia counter-terrorism cooperation has expanded and all NRC nations will benefit from the lessons to be learned from the first civil-military NRC Counter-Terrorism exercise, and the capabilities available under the NRC aviation counter-terrorism programme which is now operational.  We also note with satisfaction our growing counter-piracy cooperation off the Horn of Africa.  We are committed to, and look forward to, further improving trust and reciprocal transparency in: defence matters; strategy; doctrines; military postures, including of non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe; military exercises; arms control and disarmament; and we invite Russia to engage with the Alliance in discussing confidence-building measures covering these issues.

 47.  With our vision of a Euro-Atlantic area at peace, the persistence of protracted regional conflicts in South Caucasus and the Republic of Moldova continues to be a matter of great concern for the Alliance.  We welcome the constructive approach in the renewed dialogue on Transnistria in the 5+2 format, and encourage further efforts by all actors involved.  With respect to all these conflicts, we urge all parties to engage constructively and with reinforced political will in peaceful conflict resolution, and to respect the current negotiation formats.  We call on them all to avoid steps that undermine regional security and stability.  We remain committed in our support of 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, based upon these principles and the norms of international law, the United Nations Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act.

48. The Black Sea region continues to be important for Euro-Atlantic security.  We welcome the progress in consolidating regional cooperation and ownership, through effective use of existing initiatives and mechanisms, in the spirit of transparency, complementarity and inclusiveness.  We will continue to support, as appropriate, efforts based on regional priorities and dialogue and cooperation among the Black Sea states and with the Alliance.

 52. A stable and reliable energy supply, diversification of routes, suppliers and energy resources, and the interconnectivity of energy networks, remain of critical importance.  While these issues are primarily the responsibility of national governments and other international organisations concerned, NATO closely follows relevant developments in energy security.  Today, we have noted a progress report which outlines the concrete steps taken since our last Summit and describes the way forward to integrate, as appropriate, energy security considerations in NATO’s policies and activities.  We will continue to consult on energy security and further develop the capacity to contribute to energy security, concentrating on areas where NATO can add value.  To this end, we will work towards significantly improving the energy efficiency of our military forces; develop our competence in supporting the protection of critical energy infrastructure; and further develop our outreach activities in consultation with partners, on a case-by-case basis.  We welcome the offer to establish a NATO-accredited Energy Security Centre of Excellence in Lithuania as a contribution to NATO’s efforts in this area.  We task the Council to continue to refine NATO’s role in energy security in accordance with the principles and the guidelines agreed at the Bucharest Summit and the direction provided by the new Strategic Concept as well as the Lisbon decisions.  We task the Council to produce a further progress report for our next Summit.

 Complete TextNATO – Chicago.

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