HL Deb 07 December 1994 vol 559 cc95-6WA
Lord Colnbrook

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the outcome of the conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe Summit in Budapest.

Viscount Cranborne

The Prime Minister represented the United Kingdom at the Summit meeting of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in Budapest on 5th–6th December, accompanied by the Foreign Secretary.

The meeting adopted the Budapest Summit Declaration; and separate declarations on the 50th Anniversary of the termination of World War II, and on Baltic issues. It also adopted 10 decisions on different aspects of the CSCE's work.

These decisions embraced strengthening the CSCE; regional issues; further development of the capabilities of the CSCE in conflict prevention and crisis management; code of conduct on politico-military aspects of security; further tasks of the CSCE forum for security co-operation; principles governing non-proliferation; a common and comprehensive security model for Europe for the 21st century; the human dimension; the economic dimension; and the Mediterranean.

Copies of all of these documents will be placed in the Library.

The CSCE is no longer just a conference. Its role has widened since the end of the Cold War. Under the Budapest decision on strengthening the CSCE, its title will change from 1st January 1995 to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). This change of title has been accompanied by some structural changes which are set out in the relevant decision.

Among its other decisions, the Summit:

  • —initiated planning for a CSCE-led peace-keeping operation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Deployment of a multinational CSCE peace-keeping force will WA 96 depend on progress towards a political settlement, on United Nations Security Council backing, and on the requisite military preparation;
  • —adopted measures to strengthen the CSCE in its central role of conflict prevention;
  • —reinforced (as a result of a British initiative) the CSCE's arrangements for dealing with the problem of minorities and other human rights questions;
  • —set out standards for the democratic control of armed forces, in a new code of conduct;
  • —added to military confidence building measures, including provisions for the exchange of information on all conventional forces.

At a separate ceremony in Budapest on 5th December, Ukraine acceded to the non-proliferation treaty. On behalf of the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister extended to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine the nuclear security assurances which we have given in the past to other non-nuclear weapon states. Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin extended the same assurances on behalf of the United States of America and the Russian Federation.

In the margins of the conference, the Prime Minister had discussions with many of the CSCE heads of government, including the presidents of the Czech Republic, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and the United States; the German Federal Chancellor; and the Prime Ministers of Hungary, Norway and Turkey.

The future development of the North Atlantic Alliance was one of the subjects mentioned in many speeches to the conference, and also during bilateral meetings. It was a point of particular concern to the Russian delegation. The Prime Minister explained to President Yeltsin that the United Kingdom's aim, which was widely supported by our partners in NATO and the European Union, was to extend to the East the prosperity and stability which members of the European Union and NATO now enjoy. That was why both organisations were developing their links with the countries of central and eastern Europe. NATO had commissioned a study of the principles of enlargement, but had taken no decisions yet on which countries might join the organisation or when. It was very important for NATO to build up its relationship with Russia, and we therefore hoped that the Russian Government would soon sign its agreement with NATO on the partnership for peace programme. It was common ground that there should be no new dividing line across Europe.

The dominant political issue at the Summit was the conflict in Bosnia. CSCE decisions are adopted by consensus, and because of differences of view between certain participants a draft declaration on Bosnia was not adopted. However, the chairman of the conference spoke for many delegations in issuing, in his personal capacity, a call on all warring parties in Bosnia, and particularly in Bihac, to end the fighting, declare a ceasefire and allow free access of humanitarian assistance throughout Bosnia.