NATO Parliamentary Assembly
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2001 Ottawa Fall Session: Declaration on the Fight Against Terrorism

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1. We, the Members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, utterly condemn the terrorist attacks committed in the United States on 11 September 2001. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the American people and all those who lost relatives and friends in these atrocities.

2. These barbaric acts were an attack not only on the territory and people of the North Atlantic Alliance, but on the principles and values shared by all NATO nations and indeed the entire community of democratic nations.

3. We will not fall into the trap of the terrorists who want to lure us into a conflict between religions or cultures. We pledge to defend civilisation and culture against barbarism. All religions and cultural heritages stand together in this effort based on universal values.

4. As the representatives of parliamentary democracy within the Alliance and all partner countries, we declare our solidarity with our friends and colleagues in the United States Congress, and pledge to stand together in defeating this malevolent threat to our citizens, to our societies, and to our freedom.

5. We stress that Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations provides the right of individual or collective self-defence in case of armed attack against a member state, and we welcome United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368, which expresses its “readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001”.

6. We recall Article 24 of the NATO Strategic Concept, agreed by the Alliance at the 1999 Washington Summit, and in particular its statement that acts of terrorism constitute a threat to the security and stability of the Alliance.

7. We endorse our governments’ declaration of 12 September that collective defence under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty is an appropriate response to the acts of terrorism of 11 September.

8. We also endorse the agreement by the North Atlantic Council on 2 October, on the basis of clear and compelling evidence, that the attacks of 11 September were directed from abroad by the terrorist network of Al-Qaida, headed by Osama bin Laden and his key lieutenants and protected by the Taliban regime.

9. We urge the Allies to take the necessary step, either through a declaration by the North Atlantic Council or in a formal revision of the Strategic Concept, to state explicitly that military action, as well as a range of political and financial actions, is a legitimate response to acts of international terrorism if it is agreed by the Alliance that these acts fall under Article 5.

10. We will fully support our governments in providing the United States with the diplomatic, political and required military means in order to deal with the perpetrators of this outrage and to ensure that they are not able to carry out similar attacks in the future against our people and our territory. We therefore welcome the agreement on 4 October by the NATO Allies to take measures requested by the United States to expand the options available in the campaign against terrorism.

11. We agree with the statement made by the European Council at its extraordinary meeting on 21 September that “on the basis of Security Council Resolution 1368, a riposte by the United States is legitimate” and that “actions must be targeted and may also be directed against states abetting, supporting or harbouring terrorists” and support its call “for the broadest possible coalition against terrorism under United Nations aegis”.

12. We recognize the right of the United States, as the principal victim of the atrocities of 11 September, to define the response that it must take against the perpetrators, and we support the statement by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson that the United States has the lead role in this matter. At the same time, we stress that if a collective military response is required to directly address the terrorist threat, each of the participating Allies and partners will fully consult and coordinate with one another in defining, planning and overseeing the operation.

13. We therefore fully support the military action, based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368, that commenced on 7 October against Al Qaida terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and we welcome President Bush’s statement that “These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime”.

14. We are determined to fight against the sources of hatred, fanaticism, and confrontation that lay behind the terrorist attacks on the United States and all other acts of terrorism which cause certain nations, groups or individuals to lend their support to or sympathise with terrorists. We believe that the entire array of actions against international terrorism represents a defence of the universal values enshrined in the United Nations Charter that all civilised societies share.

15. We stress the role that parliamentarians must play in international efforts to combat terrorism and in mobilizing popular support for the means needed to deal with terrorism and in assessing and tackling the long-term causes of terrorism.

16. We urge NATO to consider what role the Alliance can play in the fight against terrorism, including preventive action, and how the forces and capabilities of its member nations could be better adapted for operations against the perpetrators of terrorism. This Assembly will consider what implications the attacks have for our understanding of “security”. It will make proposals for, and closely monitor, the Alliance’s consultation on these renewed approaches to security.

17. We call upon governments to redouble their efforts to meet all the goals of the Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI) adopted in March 1999 to modernise the forces and capabilities of member states. These capabilities are vital to strengthening the viability of Article 5, a need underscored by the current crisis brought on by the terrorist acts of 11 September. DCI calls upon each Ally to build forces that can successfully engage an adversary in a wide range of missions, from low- to high-intensity operations, and specifically to:

a. enhance the mobility and deployability of its forces;
b. ensure the sustainability of these forces in regions distant from the treaty area;
c. improve interoperability throughout the chain of command by acquiring compatible communications and information systems.

18. We welcome the strengthening of international anti-terrorism measures such as those agreed at the Extraordinary European Council meeting on 21 September, and we call for a co-ordinated, concerted and broad-based international effort to fight terrorism on all fronts using all tools available: legal, judicial, police, financial, diplomatic, political and military. Recognizing past limits to our cooperation in law enforcement and intelligence sharing, we believe that recent terrorist attacks underscore the central importance of our governments moving forward quickly in these areas.

19. We welcome the recent reinforcement of efforts for crisis prevention and conflict management by political means and urge all our governments to join in this endeavour. In particular, everything must be undertaken to facilitate a resumption of the Middle-East Peace Process. Perspectives of a peaceful resolution of conflicts of interest in Central Asia and the Caucasus must be opened in the same way. This is how we undercut extremist fanaticism.

20. We urge our Governments to implement, without delay, the measures contained in Security Council Resolution 1373, which contains critical tools for international action against terrorism. We undertake to ratify United Nations Conventions relevant to fighting against terrorism and to review our national legislation for dealing with terrorism and other trans-national threats, in order to better protect our citizens without diminishing their fundamental rights, and to consider whether greater funding is required for counter-terrorism efforts.

21. We urge our governments to assess the potential threat from terrorist use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and to adopt the appropriate measures to protect our nations and our armed forces against such weapons. We pledge to give favourable consideration to requests for additional funding for this purpose. We restate our commitment to enhancing non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and we endorse the international architecture of non-proliferation treaties and regimes.

22. We recognize that the fight against terrorism is multi-faceted and will be long and difficult, but that it is just and necessary.