Statement on the occasion of NATO's 70th Anniversary

Issued by the NATO Foreign Ministers, Washington D.C., 3rd-4th April 2019

  • 04 Apr. 2019 -
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  • Press Release (2019) 041
  • Issued on 04 Apr. 2019
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  • Last updated: 04 Apr. 2019 17:00

  1. Seventy years ago, NATO’s founding treaty was signed in Washington D.C.  Today, our Alliance is the strongest in history, guaranteeing the freedom of our almost one billion citizens, the security of our territory, and the protection of our values, including democracy, individual liberty, human rights, and the rule of law.  We reaffirm the enduring transatlantic bond between Europe and North America, our adherence to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and our bedrock commitment enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty that an attack against one Ally shall be considered an attack against us all.  We are determined to improve the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of our indivisible security.  We remain committed to all three aspects of our 2014 Wales Defence Investment Pledge, including the spending guidelines for 2024, planned capabilities, and contributions to missions and operations.  We have made considerable progress but we can, must, and will do more.

  2. NATO is a defensive alliance, which has constantly adapted to meet new threats to our security and keep our people safe.  Alliance unity and purpose helped bring an end to the Cold War, and stability to the Balkans.  Accession of new NATO members brought security to millions more Europeans.  In response to the 9/11 attacks, NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in solidarity with and support of the United States.  We pay tribute to all who have been part of NATO’s seventy years of success.  We honour those who have sacrificed their lives to keep us safe.

  3. Today, we face an unpredictable and challenging security situation, including a more aggressive Russia and a persistent threat of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  The rules-based international order is under challenge.  Instability beyond our borders is contributing to irregular migration.  We face cyber and hybrid threats.  Rapid and profound technological change requires new approaches.

  4. As an Alliance, we will face these challenges together.  Since 2014, we have been strengthening our collective defence and capabilities, our deterrence and defence posture, and our resilience.  We are standing firm and working together as Allies and with international partners to fight terrorism. We have built strong partnerships in our neighbourhood and beyond, with the United Nations, the European Union, and other organisations, to address the threats and challenges we face.  We are committed to NATO’s Open Door policy because it strengthens the Alliance and contributes to Euro-Atlantic security.  And we are committed to taking whatever measures we must to protect our territory and people.  Our continuing adaptation will allow us to face any threat, at any time, from any direction.  With the strength of our values, our people, and our unity and solidarity, we will make the Alliance ever stronger.