by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Summit flag ceremony
Heads of State and Government,
Men and women of our armed forces,
Welcome to the Brussels Summit.
NATO is an Alliance of 29 countries.
Stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea.
And from the Arctic to the Mediterranean.
29 nations bound together by common history and common challenges.
Committed to standing together.
And protecting each other.
Together, we have achieved an unprecedented period of peace and security. And we are here today so that future generations can enjoy that same peace and security.
We owe our success to our unity.
To our resolve.
To our ability to change as the world has changed.
And, above all, to the men and women of our armed forces.
Who put themselves in harm’s way, to keep us safe.
Some have made the ultimate sacrifice.
So to the thousands of our soldiers, sailors and aircrew serving on operations around the world, let me say:
We owe you and your families a huge debt of gratitude.
You embody what NATO is.
You are what makes peace and security possible.
You allow us to look to the future with confidence.
We honour you here today.
And thank you for your service.