Allies move forward on enhancing NATO’s resilience
Officials and experts from NATO member countries met today (21 September 2016) in Warsaw (Poland) to exchange views and follow up on the commitment made by Allies at the Warsaw Summit to continue enhancing NATO’s resilience against any form of armed attack, including by bolstering civil preparedness. The Seminar on “Achieving the NATO Baseline Requirement for Continuity of Government” is taking place just over two months after the NATO Summit in Warsaw, during which Allies undertook to improve civil preparedness by achieving the NATO Baseline Requirements for National Resilience. These focus on the following areas: continuity of government, continuity of essential services, security of critical infrastructure, and support to military forces with civilian means.
Mr. Patrick Turner, Assistant Secretary General for Operations, opened the seminar alongside Ms. Beata Kempa, Head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland. Mr Turner stressed that “the Alliance today is confronted with an unprecedented range of security challenges. We need to invest in capable military forces, but we must also reduce vulnerabilities in the civilian sector, in our energy infrastructure, in our civilian transportation and communications systems, our health services, in our food and water; and crucially we must ensure the continuity of government functions and services.” He added that at the Warsaw Summit, “Allied leaders made a commitment to enhance our resilience against the full spectrum of threats, including hybrid threats; and they vowed to achieve the so-called baseline requirements for national resilience, including continuity of government functions and services.” “Today’s seminar was an important step towards making good on a key element of that commitment," Mr Turner said.
Mr. Turner highlighted three priority areas: “First, the ability to make decisions, to communicate them, and to enforce them lies at the heart of functioning societies and prosperous economies. Without effective constitutional government and without essential governmental services, disorder and chaos can quickly take hold. This is even more true in crisis situations. Second, NATO is an Alliance of democracies, committed to freedom, individual liberty, and the rule of law. This means that we must not only ensure the ability to govern, but we must ensure that we can do so in a lawful, effective, and accountable manner, even in situations of crisis. Third, the ability to reach consensus and make decisions among Allies is NATO’s centre of gravity. NATO makes decisions by consensus. Continuity of government protects our centre of gravity and it is perhaps the most fundamental of all NATO resilience requirements.”
The Seminar on “Continuity of Government” in Warsaw is jointly organized by NATO, Poland and the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency. It will take place on the 21st and 22nd of September 2016. It features the participation of government officials and civil preparedness experts from Allied nations and three partner countries Finland, Montenegro, and Sweden.