Deputy Secretary General stresses the importance of Alliance partnerships

  • 13 Jun. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 13 Jun. 2016 16:23

In a keynote speech at the International Security Forum in Geneva on Monday (13 June 2016), NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow discussed NATO’s response to current security challenges, the agenda for the Warsaw Summit, and the significance the Alliance attaches to partnerships with non-NATO members.

Ambassador Vershbow underlined the important contributions Switzerland is making to the Alliance, including to the NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo, to capacity building in the Republic of Moldova, and to efforts by other NATO partner countries to demilitarize. Switzerland has also been a driving force behind the development of NATO’s policy on wide range of human security issues. Ambassador Vershbow noted that “as a result of its partnership with NATO, I believe that Switzerland has profoundly enhanced its influence on, and contribution to, international security”.

Regarding the current security challenges, Ambassador Vershbow said that the biggest challenges we face are “the actions of a more aggressive and assertive Russia, and the tide of violence and instability which has swept across the Middle East and North Africa”. NATO’s Deputy Secretary General noted that two themes will define the upcoming Summit in Warsaw. “NATO has taken the view that we must protect our nations by strengthening our collective defence and we must project stability beyond our borders”, Ambassador Vershbow said.

Deputy Secretary General also noted that at the Warsaw Summit Alliance will take next steps to enhance partnerships, especially with the European Union: “Closer cooperation between the two - on hybrid threats, cyber defence and maritime security, among many other things - is frankly, a no-brainer”.