by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Heads of State and Government
Good morning ladies and Gentlemen,
Our 28 countries are united in a commitment to common values: freedom, democracy and the rule of law. And we are bound by an ironclad commitment to defend one another against attack.
All for one. One for all.
Europe and North America together.
This is what NATO is all about.
For 65 years, our Alliance has played a unique role in ensuring our common defence and security. Today, NATO protects almost one billion citizens, on both sides of the Atlantic. It helps manage crises. And working with partners, it remains an essential source of stability in an unpredictable world.
As we meet today, the principal foundations of global security are being challenged in a way we have not seen since the end of the Cold War. By Russia’s actions against Ukraine. Instability and violent extremism across the Middle East and North Africa. And newer threats, such as cyber and missile attacks.
In a dangerous world, we must continue to respond to these multiple challenges with unity and with strength. We must ensure that NATO remains ready, able and willing to defend all Allies against any threat.
Today, we will ensure that we have the right forces and equipment in the right place, for as long as required. And commitment to reverse the decline of our defence budgets. To share responsibilities for our security. And to enhance the vital transatlantic bond at the core of our Alliance.
We will also strengthen our partnerships with countries and organisations around the world. We will continue to work closely in times of peace so that we can go into action together in times of crisis. We will help partners strengthen their defence and security sectors if they require our support. And for those who are willing and able to meet the responsibilities of membership, we will keep our door open.
So we have work ahead. But NATO always rises to every challenge. We stand ready to act together and decisively to ensure the common security of North America and Europe.
I now invite Prime Minister David Cameron to make his welcoming remarks.