Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 110 Part 4.djvu/337

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PUBLIC LAW 104-208—SEPT. 30, 1996 110 STAT. 3009-174 available the resources necessary to supplement efforts prospective new members are themselves undertaking. (10) New members will be full members of the Alliance, enjoying all rights and assuming all the obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, signed at Washington on April 4, 1949 (hereafter in this Act referred to as the "Washington Treaty"). (11) In order to assist emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe that have expressed interest in joining NATO to be prepared to assume the responsibilities of NATO membership, the United States should encourage and support efforts by such countries to develop force structures and force modernization priorities that will enable such countries to contribute to the full range of NATO missions, including, most importantly, territorial defense of the Alliance. (12) Cooperative regional peacekeeping initiatives involving emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe that have expressed interest in joining NATO, such as the Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion, the Polish-Lithuanian Joint Peacekeeping Force, and the Polish-Ukrainian Peacekeeping Force, can make an important contribution to European peace and security and international peacekeeping efforts, can assist those countries preparing to assume the responsibilities of possible NATO membership, and accordingly should receive appropriate support from the United States. (13) NATO remains the only multilateral security organization capable of conducting effective military operations and preserving security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic region. (14) NATO is an important diplomatic forum and has played a positive role in defusing tensions between members of the Alliance and, as a result, no military action has occurred between two Alliance member states since the inception of NATO in 1949. (15) The admission to NATO of emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe which are found to be in a position to further the principles of the Washington Treaty would contribute to international peace and enhance the security of the region. Countries which have become democracies and established market economies, which practice good neighborly relations, and which have established effective democratic civilian control over their defense establishments and attained a degree of interoperability with NATO, should be evaluated for their potential to further the principles of the Washington Treaty. (16) Democratic civilian control of defense forces is an essential element in the process of preparation for those states interested in possible NATO membership. (17) Protection and promotion of fundamental freedoms and human rights is an integral aspect of genuine security, and in evaluating requests for membership in NATO, the human rights records of the emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe should be evaluated according to their commitments to fulfill in good faith the human rights obligations of the Charter of the United Nations, the principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and the Helsinki Final Act. (18) A number of Central and Eastern European countries have expressed interest in NATO membership, and have taken