NATO Summit paves way for renewed Alliance
The Lisbon Summit concluded on 20 November with decisions that will mean profound changes for the way NATO does business, making the Alliance more effective, more efficient and more engaged with the wider world.
During the two-day meeting, Allies decided to develop new capabilities necessary to defend against modern threats such as ballistic missile and cyber attacks. They made a fresh start in relations with Russia, with the aim of building a true strategic partnership and decided to reach out to partners around the globe.
Allies also agreed to streamline the Alliance’s military command structure and to make NATO more efficient, so that taxpayers get maximum security for the money they invest in defence. Finally, they launched a process by which Afghan security forces will increasingly take the lead for security operations across the country.
During the Summit, NATO leaders adopted a new Strategic Concept that will serve as the Alliance’s roadmap for the next ten years, reconfirming the commitment to defend one another against attack as the cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security.
Allies agreed that promotion of Euro-Atlantic security is best assured through a wide network of partner relationships with countries and organizations around the globe, such as the United Nations and the European Union, and that they will be open to consultation with any partner country on security issues of common concern.
NATO leaders reiterated their commitment to ensure that the Euro-Atlantic Alliance has the full range of capabilities necessary to deter and defend against any threat to the safety and security of the populations of member countries. To this end, they decided to develop the capability to defend European territory and populations against missile attack as a core element of collective defence and to extend an offer to Russia to cooperate with NATO in this regard.
Together with Russia, NATO Allies agreed at the NATO-Russia Council Summit meeting to a joint review of 21st century security threats that all countries face in common in a document that will serve as a foundation for further cooperation. Allies also agreed with Russia to jointly expand support for Afghanistan, including by broadening transit arrangements, extending training of counter narcotics officials and providing equipment to Afghan security forces.
Finally, the 28 NATO Allies were joined during the Summit by the 20 partners who are contributing forces to the mission in Afghanistan, as well as representatives of the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Together, they launched the process by which Afghan security forces will increasingly take the lead for security operations across the country, starting early 2011.
The NATO Secretary General also signed an agreement with President Karzai on a long-term partnership between the Alliance and Afghanistan that will endure beyond the combat mission. With this partnership, NATO will stay as long as necessary to support Afghanistan until it can no longer become a safe haven for terrorism.
With the new Strategic Concept and the decisions taken in Lisbon, NATO has adopted an action plan which sets out concrete steps it will take in order to put in place a renewed Euro-Atlantic Alliance, ready to meet the threats of the 21st century.