by NATO Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller at the OSCE Ministerial Council in Vienna, Austria

  • 07 Dec. 2017 -
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  • Last updated: 07 Dec. 2017 17:53

(As delivered)

Thank you, Mr. Secretary General.

Two days ago in Brussels, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Report of the Council on the Future Tasks of the Alliance – better known as the Harmel Report, after its main author the Belgian diplomat and then Foreign Minister, Pierre Harmel.

While reasserting NATO’s basic principles of military security – deterrence and defence – it also introduced the policy of détente through political dialogue. This dual-track approach, adopted by NATO 50 years ago, has served us well ever since.

Today’s security environment is fundamentally different than the one we faced during the Cold War. The principles that guide us, however, still ring true.

The decisions coming out of the Warsaw Summit on NATO’s dual-track approach are consistent with the Harmel Report and with the enduring principles outlined therein.

NATO is a defensive alliance, an organization that understands the importance of deterrence and defence and the role they play in providing for stability and peace. The needs for deterrence and dialogue are intertwined – complementary, not contradictory.

It is my hope, in the context of the global challenges we are discussing this afternoon, that NATO and its dual-track approach can serve as a beacon to others who share these goals – deterrence and defence, stability and peace.

I want to stress in saying this that while we recognize NATO is a Euro-Atlantic organization and will remain one, our approach may serve as a model well beyond our region.

It is important that we have this discussion today because the peace and security that many of us are working to preserve is at risk.

Right here in the Euro-Atlantic region, the rules-based international order is being undermined by the illegal annexation of Crimea and the ongoing destabilization in eastern Ukraine.

Fundamental principles of the OSCE are being challenged –principles enshrined in the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, the Paris Charter of 1990, the Istanbul Charter of 1999, the Astana Declaration of 2010, and most recently, the Hamburg Declaration from last December.

And this challenge to international order, unfortunately, has contributed to a lack of trust.

Trust is key. And I want to applaud the OSCE’s Structured Dialogue initiative for its role in addressing this problem. Agreed only one year ago at Hamburg, it has been serving as a forum for discussing threats as well as near and long-term challenges to European security. 

NATO Allies attach a great deal of importance to the role of the OSCE in fostering dialogue, building trust, and upholding the rules-based international order.