NATO delivers at Chicago Summit

  • 20 May. 2012 -
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  • Last updated: 21 May. 2012 01:52

NATO leaders reached agreements in Chicago that will enable the Alliance to provide security for the decade to come and beyond.

US President Barack H. Obama during his welcome remarks

At their first working session, NATO Heads of State and Government approved a concrete package of multinational projects that will allow Allies to share the burden of security as they share the benefits.

They agreed to embrace a new culture of cooperation, with Smart Defence at the heart of the new approach.

Smart Defence is a vital principle. We have agreed to make it the new way NATO does business, and we are putting it into practice. Today, we approved a robust package of more than 20 multinational projects, to provide the capabilities we need, at a price we can afford “, the Secretary General said.

NATO leaders agreed to find new ways to cooperate more closely towards modern, tightly connected forces that are equipped and trained, so that they can operate together and with partners in any environment. They agreed to step up exercises, training and education and to preserve the skills mastered in operations.

Our goal is NATO Forces 2020 – an Alliance that deals with today’s economic challenges, and is prepared for the security challenges of the future,” the Secretary General said. "These decisions show that despite the economic challenges, Allies are committed to acquire, develop and maintain the capabilities and the skills we need to ensure that our Alliance remains fit for purpose and fit for the future.

At their meeting in Chicago, NATO leaders also declared an interim missile defence capability, that will allow the Alliance to respond to missile threats in a coordinated way and that will link together missile defence assets from different allies.

"This is true trans-atlantic teamwork: the United States and European Allies investing in our common security. And it is an excellent example of the renewed culture of cooperation which we call Smart Defence: countries working together to develop capabilities which they could not develop alone", the Secretary General said.

NATO Heads of State and Government also approved the results of the review of the Alliance’s overall posture in deterring and defending against the full range of threats to the Alliance, as decided at the Lisbon Summit in 2010. Taking into account the changes in the evolving international security environment, the review has shown that NATO currently has the appropriate mix of capabilities to meet the security challenges of an upredictable world. At the same time, Allies agreed that NATO will continue to adjust its strategy and capabilities in line with trends in the security environment.

At the Alliance’s Summit in Lisbon in 2010, NATO leaders outlined an ambitious agenda including creating a NATO-based missile defence system. And at the Summit in Chicago, NATO leaders are delivering on what they set out to achieve.