Statement by the North Atlantic Council

on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the invocation of article 5 on 12 September 2001

  • 12 Sep. 2011
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  • Press Release (2011) 109
  • Issued on 12 Sep. 2011
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  • Last updated: 12 Sep. 2011 10:54

Ten years after the horrendous terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 in the United States, we remember and pay tribute to the many that have lost their lives or loved ones in terrorist attacks around the world. Terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, will never be tolerated and can never be justified. It must be prevented and its perpetrators brought to justice. NATO remains determined to fight terrorism with unwavering resolve.

Commemorative address by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

On 12 September 2001, Allies responded by invoking, for the first time in NATO’s history, Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, the Alliance’s collective defence mechanism.  This decision was a powerful expression of transatlantic solidarity and unity - as was demonstrated by Alliance operations in the air over the United States and in the Mediterranean Sea.

NATO and our partner nations from across the world can be proud of what we have achieved, individually and collectively, to reduce the threat of terrorism.  In Afghanistan, Allies and partners have continued to display the strength and resolve needed to defeat terrorism, including by training local forces to fight terrorism themselves.

Our actions demonstrate that the spirit of solidarity today reaches beyond our Atlantic Alliance.  They highlight the resilience of our communities and of our fundamental values in the face of terrorism, which continues to pose a direct threat to the security of our citizens, and to international stability and prosperity more broadly.

Vigilance, prevention, resilience and commitment to our fundamental values remain our best response.  We will continue to fight the scourge of terrorism in accordance with international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter.  NATO is determined to fight terrorism, drawing on its unique tools, capabilities and capacities.  Cooperating with partner nations and other international organisations will further strengthen our ability to combat terrorism effectively.  In light of the evolving terrorism threat, Heads of State and Government will review NATO’s approach to counter terrorism at the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago.

We honour all victims of terrorism through our enduring commitment to safeguard peace and the freedom and security of our citizens.