Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe

1996 Lisbon Summit, 2-3 December 1996


  1. We, the Heads of State or Government of the participating States of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, have met in Lisbon to assess the situation in the OSCE region and to establish a co-operative foundation for our common security.  As we approach the new century, it is more important than ever that we build together a peaceful OSCE region where all our nations and individuals feel secure.

  2. We today adopt the Lisbon Declaration on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for Europe for the twenty-first century to strengthen security and stability throughout the OSCE region.  We welcome the historic decision of OSCE participating States signatory to the CFE Treaty to begin negotiations in early 1997 with a view towards adapting the Treaty to the changing security environment in Europe.  We intend to realize our full potential for consolidating peace and prosperity in the entire OSCE region, as demonstrated by our combined efforts - through the OSCE and other relevant institutions - to forge a sustainable peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  3. We reaffirm the OSCE principles as set forth in the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE commitments.  We believe that observance of all these principles and implementation of all commitments need to be improved and constantly reviewed.  We recognize that serious risks and challenges, such as those to our security and sovereignty, continue to be of major concern.  We are committed to address them.

  4. Respect for human rights remains fundamental to our concept of democracy and to the democratization process enshrined in the Charter of Paris.  We are determined to consolidate the democratic gains of the changes that have occurred since 1989 and peacefully manage their further development in the OSCE region.  We will co-operate in strengthening democratic institutions.

  5. The OSCE has a key role to play in fostering security and stability in all their dimensions.  We decide to continue our efforts to further enhance its efficiency as a primary instrument for early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation capabilities. We ask the Chairman-in-Office to report on progress achieved to the 1997 Ministerial Council.

  6. The Lisbon Declaration on a Common and Comprehensive Security Model for Europe for the twenty-first century is a comprehensive expression of our endeavour to strengthen security and stability in the OSCE region; as such, it complements the mutually reinforcing efforts of other European and transatlantic institutions and organizations in this field.

  7. Arms control constitutes an important element of our common security.  The CFE Treaty, in particular, is and will remain key to our security and stability.  The Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC), the work of which is also important to our security, has adopted two decisions defining new directions for further work, "A Framework for Arms Control" and "Development of the Agenda of the Forum for Security Co-operation".  As an example of co-operative security, the Open Skies Treaty, covering the territory from Vancouver to Vladivostok, aims at increased transparency among all Parties.  Recalling the Budapest Decision of 1994, we once again strongly emphasize the significance of the entry into force and implementation of this Treaty. In addition, ending illegal arms supplies, in particular to zones of conflict, would make a major contribution to not only regional, but also global security.  



You all know that no progress has been achieved in the last two years to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the issue of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan.  I regret that the efforts of the Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Conference to reconcile the views of the parties on the principles for a settlement have been unsuccessful.

Three principles which should form part of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were recommended by the Co-Chairmen of the Minsk Group.  These principles are supported by all member States of the Minsk Group.  They are:

  • territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Republic;

  • legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination which confers on Nagorno-Karabakh the highest degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan;

  • guaranteed security for Nagorno-Karabakh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to ensure compliance by all the Parties with the provisions of the settlement.

I regret that one participating State could not accept this.  These principles have the support of all other participating States.

This statement will be included in the Lisbon Summit documents.

Armenian occupation transformed Nagorno-Karabakh into a wasteland

Property abandoned by fleeing IDPs