NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday (18 May 2021) told allied defence chiefs that the NATO Summit in June ”will be a unique opportunity to future-proof our Alliance, reinvigorate the transatlantic bond and demonstrate our commitment to transatlantic solidarity. Not just in words, but in deeds”.
Mr Stoltenberg set out the eight core proposals that should form the core of the Summit agenda. These proposals, which are being negotiated in the North Atlantic Council, are aimed at reinforcing the unity between Europe and North America, broadening NATO’s approach to security, and safeguarding the rules based international order. They range from closer political consultations and a renewed commitment to collective defence, to concrete measures to step up work on resilience, climate change and new technologies, as well as to better coordinate with democracies around the world. Mr Stoltenberg underlined that the Summit will be a unique opportunity to reinforce NATO as the enduring embodiment of the bond between Europe and North America.
On Afghanistan, Mr Stoltenberg acknowledged that withdrawing international forces from the country entails risk, but that the alternative would have been an open-ended military commitment. Mr Stoltenberg welcomed that Allies are now looking into how they can continue to support to the Afghan forces, including with funding and training.
During the one-day meeting, allied chiefs of defence will focus on Alliance modernisation, military planning, NATO operations as well as relations with Ukraine and Georgia. Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, presides over the sessions.