Deputy Secretary General to young professionals: NATO must continue to adapt for the future

  • 02 Oct. 2020 -
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  • Last updated: 02 Oct. 2020 19:48

Addressing an audience of young professionals at the Atlantic Forum’s virtual conference “Transatlanticism 2020” on Friday (2 October 2020), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană said that in order to deal with an increasingly complex security environment, the Alliance has to continue adapting to future challenges.

Our Alliance is the most successful one in history because of our ability to adapt,” said the Deputy Secretary General. He noted that compared to the past when NATO faced a single threat, the Soviet Union, the Alliance now faces a much wider range of challenges – from conventional threats to terrorism, cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns, and climate change. He further pointed to Russia’s “disturbing pattern of behaviour” as a concern for NATO, and stressed that the Alliance must fully understand how the rise of China affects our security.

The Deputy Secretary General stressed that peace and the transatlantic bond between Europe and North America should not be taken for granted. “Just because we have not had a major war in Europe for 75 years, does not mean that peace is the natural state. Historically, this is an aberration,” he said. “Peace takes hard work. And our peace is based on our common values, and on the transatlantic bond between the nations of Europe and North America.”

Deputy Secretary General Geoană noted that Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has launched a “NATO 2030” reflection process that aims to examine how the Alliance can adapt to meet the challenges of the future. "Adaptation will make our strong transatlantic alliance even stronger," he said.