Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the North Atlantic Council meeting at the level of NATO Defence Ministers

  • 14 Jun. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 14 Jun. 2016 16:02

(As delivered)

Good afternoon, I think we’re ready to start. Good afternoon and welcome to this meeting of Defence Ministers in the North Atlantic Council.

We will focus on deterrence and defence, one of the two main themes of the Warsaw Summit.

Defending our territory and protecting our people – that is NATO’s primary responsibility. 

For the last two years, we have taken decisive steps to strengthen our deterrence and defence.

We have done what we decided to do at the Wales Summit.

We have implemented the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War.

Not because we want a return to the Cold War. But in response to a changed and evolving security environment. With great challenges from the east and the south.

Today, we will take decisions about the next steps.

We will enhance our forward presence in the eastern part of our Alliance.

We will establish a framework to deal with threats and challenges from the south.

And we will recognise that we have made the first steps to implement our pledge to  gradually increase our defence budgets.

That is good news but there is still a long way to go.

That concludes the public part of this meeting. So then I thank the media for being present and taking nice pictures of all of us. And then we can continue with the rest of the meeting in a moment.