Allies agree budget package
NATO Defence Ministers began their informal talks in Istanbul with a focus on resources and defence transformation at a working dinner on 4 February.
Ministers agreed on a package of measures to ensure that the Alliance’s books are balanced. They decided that as a basic principle NATO must sufficiently fund Alliance operations and missions and make essential strategic investments. Ministers also committed to inject additional resources into the budget this year, as well as to modernise how NATO does its budgeting and looks for savings where it can.
'Making savings includes doing more together, and that will deepen the solidarity between Allies', stressed the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
He pointed out that the package of measures agreed 'will ensure that our soldiers get the support they need in the field and that we can make the other strategic investments we still need. Solidarity in NATO means on the front line: but it also includes the bottom line. We have seen that solidarity here in Istanbul'
In that regard, NATO Defence Ministers decided to focus on three priorities: countering improvised explosive devices, improving medical care for our soldiers by making sure they get the best support possible and fielding more mission-capable helicopters.
During the meeting, NATO's Supreme Commander for Transformation General Stéphane Abrial presented his proposals for how we could improve NATO allies techniques, training and technologies, to better protect the soldiers in the field.
Allied ministers agreed on the need to improve medical care for the Alliance soldiers, by making sure the capabilities they need are in the field.
They also pledged in favour of fielding more mission-capable helicopters, by tying together countries that have the helicopters, with those that have the money for moderisation and deployment, and the training for personnel.