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Volume 35--Number 17
Pages 705-771
Week Ending Friday, April 30, 1999
Remarks at the Opening Session of the North Atlantic Council Summit

April 24, 1999

    Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary General.
    Yesterday, we recalled NATO's history, embraced our new members, 
deepened our unity and our determination to stand against ethnic 
cleansing in Kosovo and to build a broader transatlantic community that 
respects human rights of all ethnic and religious groups and offers all 
Europeans the chance to build better lives together.
    I want to begin by thanking the Secretary General for his 
leadership. I thank all of you for your leadership and your unity, the 
foreign and defense ministers, General Naumann and General Clark and all 
the people in our governments who worked so hard to support our efforts. 
I know I speak for all of us when I say we are very proud of our men and 
women in uniform in the Balkans. And we remember today, especially, the 
three who are being held prisoner by Mr. Milosevic and who still have 
not received the Red Cross visits required by the Geneva Convention, 
even though he is on television in the United States saying they will 
receive them.
    The crisis in Kosovo has underscored the importance of NATO and the 
imperative of modernizing our alliance for 21st century challenges. 
Today we will embrace a comprehensive plan to do just that, so that NATO 
can advance security and freedom for another 50 years by enhancing our 
capacity to address conflicts beyond our borders, by protecting our 
citizens from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, by deepening 
our partnerships with other nations and helping new members enter 
through NATO's open

[[Page 717]]

doors. In preparing NATO for the 21st century, we will make our alliance 
even stronger.
    Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 9:21 a.m. in the Mellon Auditorium. In his 
remarks, he referred to Secretary General Javier Solana of the North 
Atlantic Treaty Organization; Gen. Klaus Naumann, chairman, NATO 
Military Committee; Gen. Wesley K. Clark, Supreme Allied Commander, 
Europe; President Slobodan Milosevic of the Federal Republic of 
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro); and the three U.S. Army infantrymen 
in custody in Serbia: Staff Sgt. Andrew A. Ramirez, Staff Sgt. 
Christopher J. Stone, and Specialist Steven M. Gonzales. The transcript 
made available by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the 
remarks of Secretary General Solana.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 717-718]
Monday, May 3, 1999
Volume 35--Number 17
Pages 705-771
Week Ending Friday, April 30, 1999
The President's Radio Address

April 24, 1999

    Good morning. Tomorrow in church services all across America, we'll 
be thinking of those who lost their lives in Littleton, Colorado. This 
is a time for all Americans to pray for their families as well as those 
who were injured and their loved ones and all the people of the schools 
and the community.
    It's also a time for all Americans to ask what we can do, as 
individuals and as a nation, to turn more young people from the path of 
violence, how we can take responsibility, each and every one of us, for 
the future of our children. We've seen far too many tragedies like the 
one at Columbine High School. It's striking that these violent assaults 
on human life often illuminate the best of the human spirit. We marvel 
at the bravery of the fatally wounded teacher who led 40 students to 
safety. We look with admiration at the medics and the police officers 
who rushed to the scene to save lives; the clergy, the counselors, the 
local leaders who immediately began the painful process of helping 
people to heal; and the parents and students who, in the face of hatred, 
refuse to return it.
    At a moment of such terrible, terrible violence, these people didn't 
turn away, and we can't either. Instead, every one of us must take 
responsibility to counter the culture of violence. Government must take 
responsibility. Next week I'll send to Congress two new bills to keep 
our children safe. First, we must do more to keep guns out of the hands 
of violent juveniles. My bill will crack down on gun shows and illegal 
gun trafficking, ban violent juveniles from ever being able to buy a 
gun, and close the loophole that lets juveniles own assault rifles.
    Second, we must do more to prevent violence in our schools. My safe 
schools bill will help schools pay for more counselors and conflict 
resolution programs, more mentors, and more metal detectors. It also 
includes $12 million for emergency teams, to help communities respond 
when tragedy strikes. And Government can help parents take 
responsibility. It's harder than ever for parents to pass on their 
values in the face of a media culture that so glorifies violence.
    As Hillary pointed out in her book, the more children see of 
violence, the more numb they are to the deadly consequences of violence. 
Now, video games like ``Mortal Kombat,'' ``Killer Instinct,'' and 
``Doom,'' the very game played obsessively by the two young men who 
ended so many lives in Littleton, make our children more active 
participants in simulated violence.
    A former Lieutenant Colonel and psychologist, Professor David 
Grossman, has said that these games teach young people to kill with all 
the precision of a military training program but none of the character 
training that goes along with it. For children who get the right 
training at home and who have the ability to distinguish between real 
and unreal consequences, they're still games. But for children who are 
especially vulnerable to the lure of violence, they can be far more.
    Vice President Gore has led the fight to give parents the tools to 
limit the exposure of their children to excessive violence, from a 
television rating system to new ways of blocking inappropriate material 
on the Internet to the V-chip. By this July, fully half of all new 
televisions will have the V-chip; so will every new television in 
America by the year 2000.
    Years ago, Tipper Gore sounded the first alarm about the damaging 
effects on our children of excessive violence in movies, music, and 
video games. Today, she is still drawing attention to mental illness. 
This June, she will host the first ever White House Conference

[[Page 718]]

on Mental Health, where we'll talk about how to recognize mental illness 
in young people before it's too late.
    These are steps the National Government is taking to protect our 
children. But it is not a job Government can or should do alone--parents 
come first. They should turn off the television, pay attention to what's 
on the computer screen, refuse to buy products that glorify violence. 
Make sure your children know you care about what they're doing.
    And to the media and entertainment industries, I say just this: You 
know you have enormous power to educate and entertain our children. Yes, 
there should be a label on the outside of every video, but what counts 
is what's on the inside and what it will do to the insides of our young 
people. I ask you to make every video game and movie as if your own 
children were watching it.
    In the days ahead, as we continue the process of healing, we must 
pledge ourselves to the task of putting an end to the culture of 
violence and building in its place a culture of values we can be proud 
to pass on to all our children.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 8:30 a.m. on April 24 in the Map Room 
at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. In his address, the 
President referred to Columbine High School teacher David Sanders; and 
gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. The transcript was made available 
by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 24 but was embargoed for 
release until the broadcast.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 718-727]
Monday, May 3, 1999
Volume 35--Number 17
Pages 705-771
Week Ending Friday, April 30, 1999
Washington Summit Communique

April 24, 1999

An Alliance for the 21st Century

    1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of 
the North Atlantic Alliance, have gathered in Washington to celebrate 
the 50th anniversary of NATO and to set forth our vision of the Alliance 
of the 21st century. The North Atlantic Alliance, founded on the 
principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law, remains 
the basis of our collective defence; it embodies the transatlantic link 
that binds North America and Europe in a unique defence and security 
    2. Fifty years ago, the North Atlantic Alliance was founded in 
troubled and uncertain times. It has withstood the test of five decades 
and allowed the citizens of Allied countries to enjoy an unprecedented 
period of peace, freedom and prosperity. Here in Washington, we have 
paid tribute to the achievements of the past and we have shaped a new 
Alliance to meet the challenges of the future. This new Alliance will be 
larger, more capable and more flexible, committed to collective defence 
and able to undertake new missions including contributing to effective 
conflict prevention and engaging actively in crisis management, 
including crisis response operations. The Alliance will work with other 
nations and organizations to advance security, prosperity and democracy 
throughout the Euro-Atlantic region. The presence today of three new 
Allies--the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland--demonstrates that we 
have overcome the division of Europe.
    3. The Alliance takes the opportunity of this 50th anniversary to 
recognise and express its heartfelt appreciation for the commitment, 
sacrifice, resolve and loyalty of the servicemen and women of all Allies 
to the cause of freedom. The Alliance salutes these active and reserve 
forces' essential contributions, which for 50 years have guaranteed 
freedom and safeguarded trans-Atlantic security. Our nations and our 
Alliance are in their debt and offer them profound thanks.
    4. The NATO of the 21st century starts today--a NATO which retains 
the strengths of the past and has new missions, new members and new 
partnerships. To this end, we have:
    approved an updated Strategic Concept;
    reaffirmed our commitment to the enlargement process of the Alliance 
      and approved a Membership Action Plan for countries wishing to 
    completed the work on key elements of the Berlin Decisions on 
      building the European Security and Defence Identity within the 
      Alliance and decided to further enhance its effectiveness;
    launched the Defence Capabilities Initiative;

[[Page 719]]

    intensified our relations with Partners through an enhanced and more 
      operational Partnership for Peace and strengthened our 
      consultations and co-operation within the Euro-Atlantic 
      Partnership Council;
    enhanced the Mediterranean Dialogue; and
    decided to increase Alliance efforts against weapons of mass 
      destruction and their means of delivery.
    5. As part of the Alliance's adaptation to the new security 
challenges, we have updated our Strategic Concept to make it fully 
consistent with the Alliance's new security environment. The updated 
Concept reaffirms our commitment to collective defence and the 
transatlantic link; takes account of the challenges the Alliance now 
faces; presents an Alliance ready and with a full range of capabilities 
to enhance the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area; 
reaffirms our commitment to building the ESDI within the Alliance; 
highlights the enhanced role of partnership and dialogue; underlines the 
need to develop defence capabilities to their full potential to meet the 
spectrum of Alliance missions, including forces which are more 
deployable, sustainable, survivable and able to engage effectively; and 
provides guidance to the NATO Military Authorities to this end.
    6. To achieve its essential purpose, as an Alliance of nations 
committed to the Washington Treaty and the United Nations Charter, the 
Alliance performs the following fundamental security tasks:
        To provide one of the indispensable foundations for a stable 
            Euro-Atlantic security environment, based on the growth of 
            democratic institutions and commitment to the peaceful 
            resolution of disputes, in which no country would be able to 
            intimidate or coerce any other through the threat or use of 
        To serve, as provided for in Article 4 of the North Atlantic 
            Treaty, as an essential transatlantic forum for Allied 
            consultations on any issues that affect their vital 
            interests, including possible developments posing risks for 
            members' security, and for appropriate co-ordination of 
            their efforts in fields of common concern.
    Deterrence and Defence:
        To deter and defend against any threat of aggression against any 
            NATO member state as provided for in Articles 5 and 6 of the 
            Washington Treaty.
And in order to enhance the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic 
    Crisis Management:
        To stand ready, case-by-case and by consensus, in conformity 
            with Article 7 of the Washington Treaty, to contribute to 
            effective conflict prevention and to engage actively in 
            crisis management, including crisis response operations.
        To promote wide-ranging partnership, cooperation, and dialogue 
            with other countries in the Euro-Atlantic area, with the aim 
            of increasing transparency, mutual confidence and the 
            capacity for joint action with the Alliance.
    7. We warmly welcome the participation of the three new Allies--the 
Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland--in their first Alliance Summit 
meeting. Their accession to the North Atlantic Treaty opens a new 
chapter in the history of the Atlantic Alliance.
    We reaffirm today our commitment to the openness of the Alliance 
under Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty and in accordance with 
Paragraph 8 of the Madrid Summit Declaration. We pledge that NATO will 
continue to welcome new members in a position to further the principles 
of the Treaty and contribute to peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic 
area. This is part of an evolutionary process that takes into account 
political and security developments in the whole of Europe. Our 
commitment to enlargement is part of a broader strategy of projecting 
stability and working together with our Partners to build a Europe whole 
and free. The ongoing enlargement process strengthens the Alliance and 
enhances the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic region. The 
three new members will not be the last.

[[Page 720]]

    At the Summit in Madrid we recognised the progress made by a number 
of countries aspiring to join the Alliance in meeting the 
responsibilities and obligations for possible membership.
    Today we recognise and welcome the continuing efforts and progress 
in both Romania and Slovenia. We also recognise and welcome continuing 
efforts and progress in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Since the Madrid 
Summit, we note and welcome positive developments in Bulgaria. We also 
note and welcome recent positive developments in Slovakia. We are 
grateful for the co-operation of the former Yugoslav Republic of 

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