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pd03my99 Acts Approved by the President...
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. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [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. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [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 partnership. 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 join; 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: Security: 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 force. Consultation: 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 area: 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. Partnership: 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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