by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at Massey College, Toronto (Canada)

  • 15 Jul. 2019 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 16 Jul. 2019 16:49

(As delivered)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg delivering a speech at the Massey College, University of Toronto

Good evening dear friends. First of all, let me thank the Canadian NATO Association and the NATO Defense College and also the Massey College for hosting us all here today. It is really a great honour for me to be here, and to meet you all and to be able to have a discussion with you. Because what I’m going to do now is only to give you some brief introductory remarks, so we can start discussion, have some interaction, and then address the main challenges NATO is facing as we celebrate our 70th anniversary this year.

But first of all, I would like to say that I am very pleased to be in Toronto in Canada. I always feel very much at home in Canada, for different reasons. One reason is actually that my mother lived in Canada for many years and studied here, so I was raised on a kind of diet of pancakes and maple syrup and gender equality. And, yeah, I think that she learned a lot of that in Canada.

Second, I feel at home in Canada because I’m a Norwegian, and as you all know it was a Norseman who was the first European to set foot . . . so why you laugh? That’s a very serious historical fact, which few people are aware of. Actually, 500 years before Christopher Columbus and we still discuss with Iceland whether he was Norwegian or Icelandic, but he was from somewhere over there.

And then, I also feel at home in Canada for the fact that, the reason, the fact that I’m living in Brussels. And in Brussels I’m very close to some of the battlefields where Canadians have fought and paid a very high price. Flanders Fields is just one hour from where I live now. And Flanders Fields is a famous battlefield for many reasons, but not least for a poem written by a Canadian officer during the First World War. And not so far from where I live, or three hours with a car, three or four hours with a car is Normandy beaches, and there also Canadian soldiers fought during the Second World War.

And then I feel at home in Canada because Canada is a founding member of NATO. And the main purpose of NATO was to make sure that what we saw during the First and the Second World Wars should never happen again. And one of the architects, one of the politicians that were instrumental in creating NATO back in 1949 was Lester Pearson, at that time the Canadian Foreign Minister. So Canada has been a key, highly-valued Ally, since the foundation of this Alliance.

And then, since the Alliance was founded 70 years ago, NATO has been the most successful alliance in history. And there are many reasons for that, but there are two main reasons why NATO has been, and still is, the strongest and most successful alliance that mankind has ever seen. The two reasons are: our unity and our ability to adapt, to change when the world is changing. And therefore, I would just briefly reflect on those two reasons why we have succeeded.

First our unity. We are an Alliance of 29 different nations, 29 democracies from both sides of the Atlantic with different political culture, different political parties in government, different views on many issues. But despite all these differences, we have always been able to unite around our core task. And that is ‘one for all and all for one’ – to protect each other. And by doing that we have been able to preserve the peace. And we have to remember that the main task, the main purpose of NATO is to prevent war. We do that by standing together and sending a clear message to any potential adversary or aggressor that if one Ally is attacked it will trigger a response from the whole Alliance. ‘One for all, all for one’. And by doing that in 70 years, over a period of 70 years, we have been able to prevent any NATO Ally from being attacked. And if you look at the history of Europe, that is unprecedented. It is not possible to find a longer period in European history where you have no major conflict between the countries which are now members of the NATO Alliance. And none of them have been attacked.

Then I admit that we now see that there are differences between NATO Allies. And there are some serious disagreements between NATO Allies on issues such as trade, climate change, the Iran nuclear deal and other issues. And these are serious disagreements about serious issues. But the paradox is that, despite all these disagreements and differences, we see that actually as NATO, NATO Allies are doing more together now than we have done for many, many years. So what we see is that, yes, questions are being asked, on both sides of the Atlantic about the strength of our unity. But when you look at the actions, what we actually do together, we actually do more together than we have done for many years.

North America, US and Canada, you are not reducing your presence in Europe. You’re actually increasing your presence in Europe, with more troops, more investments than we have seen for many, many years. And that’s the case both for Canada and for North America, not withdrawing forces from Europe but actually adding forces to the NATO presence in Europe. And European Allies are also stepping up, investing more and stepping up in different NATO missions and operations.

So the paradox is that we see people questioning the unity, the strength of the transatlantic bond. But when you look at the facts on the ground, that bond is stronger and filled with more content now than it has been for many, many years. So, the first reason for our success is our unity. And as long as we are able to maintain that unity, we maintain the main reason for the strength of our Alliance.

The other reason for our success is our ability to adapt to change when the world is changing. And then we have to remember that for 40 years NATO did actually only one thing: and that was to deter the Soviet Union in Europe. And we were able to end the Cold War without a shot being fired.

Then, after the Cold War NATO went into a very different task, so we started to do very different things. We started to project stability beyond NATO territory, beyond our borders. First we helped to end ethnic wars, or wars in the Balkans, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia Kosovo and also, actually, in North Macedonia.

Then we helped to spread peace and democracy throughout Europe by enlargement of NATO with former members of the Warsaw Pact, Central and Eastern European countries.

And then we also played, and we are still playing, a key role in fighting terrorism, especially after the 9/11 attacks, where we actually have to remember that the first and only time we have invoked our Article 5 clause, the collective defence clause, was not to protect a small Ally, but it was actually to protect our biggest Ally, the United States. And hundreds of thousands of soldiers from Europe, from Canada, partner nations, have served shoulder-to-shoulder with US soldiers in Afghanistan since then. So, what we saw was an ability for NATO to change after the end of the Cold War, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to change totally from deterring the Soviet Union to engaging, projecting stability beyond our borders, fighting terrorism, spreading democracy in Europe through enlargement and helping to end wars in the Balkans. So NATO changed because the world changed.

Now we are changing again, because after the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, after the rise of Daesh, we saw Daesh in Iraq, Syria, in 2014, we realised that we need to step up our efforts, both when it comes to fighting terrorism, projecting stability beyond our borders, managing crises beyond our borders, but also when it comes to collective defence, deterrence – our core task in Europe. And the good news is that that’s exactly what we have done. We have implemented the biggest reinforcement to our collective defence since the end of the Cold War. And Canada is very much part of that. Canada is now leading a battlegroup in Latvia. I met some of the soldiers there earlier today. And Canada is leading some of our maritime operations. Canada is contributing planes to our air policing, and Canada is really stepping up, also investing more in defence.  After years of cutting defence budgets, Canada is now investing more, as all other NATO Allies are doing, investing more in defence. So, after years of reducing, building down collective defence, we are now investing more and building up, because we live in a more unpredictable and more challenging security environment.

And we know that when the world is more uncertain, when we are faced with more threats and challenges, then we need strong international institutions, we need multilateral institutions. NATO is one of those, which is extremely important to strengthen our response to the increase in uncertainty we are faced with.

We are also stepping up our fight against terrorism, mainly by training local forces, because we strongly believe that training local forces is one of the best weapons that we have in the fight against terrorism. And again, Canada is playing a key role by leading our training mission in Iraq.

So, my message today is that NATO is the most successful alliance in history, because we have been able to unite, despite the differences, and what we see today is that we continue to unite around our core task, to defend and protect each other, despite differences. And as long as we continue to do that, at the same time as we are able to change and adapt, then we will continue to be the strongest and most successful alliance also in the future, and Canada is an important part of that adaptation and that unity.

That was my introduction, thank you so much for having me, and then I’m ready to answer your questions, thank you.

MODERATOR: We’re going to take to questions at a time for the Secretary General. I’ll ask you to introduce yourself, tell very quickly where you’re from, who you’re representing, and then make your question as concise as possible, so that we can get as many going today. So the first one is here. So we have the two mics here, and the second question, if can come over here, that’d be great. Or come down here, that’d be great. Go ahead.

PAUL SMITH [NATO Council of Canada]: Hi Secretary General, thank you for that. My name is Paul Smith, I’m with the NATO Council of Canada. The question is, much has been made in the press about President Trump wreaking havoc on the Alliance. More fundamentally though, going back all the way to President Reagan, I believe, the Americans have lamented the . . . the investments by the Allies which have been below what they feel is appropriate. How do you manage that, and what more colour can you give us?

QUESTION: Hello.  My question is that there is also pending conflict is going in Middle East recently. As you said in past, NATO get involved into Afghanistan, and now we have as fighting back against the terrorism which is, NATO is doing. Now the many officials around the world, especially in the United States and other Western countries, they recognise the two parties Hezbollah and IRGC, Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as also terrorism . . . terrorist organisations. So my question is: is there a possibility in the future that NATO gets involved fighting back against those type of also terrorist organisation recognised recently?

JENS STOLTENBERG: Thank you. First, on the United States and President Trump. Well, the United States and President Trump has expressed again and again that they are committed to the NATO Alliance. And I think it illustrates exactly what I said, that there are differences. And President Trump, he has a different style than many other political leaders, but that doesn’t change the fact that the United States, also with President Trump in the White House, is committed to NATO.

The message is that the United States is committed to NATO, to the transatlantic bond, but at the same time that the United States want fairer burden-sharing in the Alliance. And the good news is that not only the United States ask for fairer burden-sharing, but also all NATO Allies agree that we need fairer burden-sharing, meaning that it’s not fair, that the United States, which has a GDP almost exactly as big as the GDP of all the rest of NATO Allies, as Europe and Canada, pays roughly three times as much. And that’s the reason why we, in 2014, actually when President Obama was President of the United States, decided what we call the Defence and Investment Pledge, calling on those Allies that spend less than 2 percent to increase defence spending, to invest more in defence. Partly because we saw a need for investing more in defence, because we saw the rise of Daesh, we saw Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine, so we saw that the policy of reducing defence budgets, which had gone on, actually, since the end of the Cold War, could not continue. But also, we needed to increase defence spending among those Allies that spend less than 2 percent, to have a more balanced burden-sharing within the Alliance.

The good news is that since we started to do that, all NATO Allies have started to increase, including Canada, significant increase in defence spending. More Allies meet the 2 percent guideline. Back in 2014, it was only three, this year we expect eight. And the majority of NATO Allies have in place credible plans to reach 2 percent within a decade, which was the pledge we made. I visited Washington, the White House, in April. I met with President Trump, I spoke to the Congress and the message there from both sides is that they recognise the progress. They recognise that we are moving towards fairer burden-sharing. But, of course, they expect more. Because that’s what we have decided, what we have promised, and they expect us to make good on the promises we make.

Then I would just like to add that I understand that it is difficult to invest in defence. Most politicians they would like to spend money on something else than defence. They would like to spend money on health, on education, on science, on infrastructure instead of defence. And that’s also the reason why we as Allies, Canada, Norway, European Allies, reduced defence spending when tensions went down after the end of the Cold War. But if you’re reducing defence spending when tensions are going down, we have to be able to increase them when tensions are going up, and now they’re going up. So that’s the brutal reality.

So, my message is that … and this is a very long answer, but I will add one more thing. And that is that it is not only something that the United States and President Trump says that are in favour of NATO. They are actually doing it. We see it in deeds. Because the United States is increasing its military presence in Europe as we speak. After the end of the Cold War, the United States and Canada gradually reduced their military presence in Europe, for natural reasons. No one criticised you [Canada] for that. But now the last years we have seen a significant increase of presence of Canadian troops and US troops. Canada with a battlegroup in Latvia, US with a battlegroup in Poland but also with a full new armoured brigade. And now there will also be some more troops in Poland. So the reality is that, not only in words but also in deeds, we see the US commitment to NATO.

Then on the Middle East. First of all, NATO our approach is that we strongly believe that we have to help to stabilise our neighbourhood because when our neighbourhood is more stable, we are more secure. We have done that in many different ways, sometimes through combat operations, as we have seen in Afghanistan and all NATO Allies have also been involved and part of, and NATO is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh. And, of course, the only way to defeat Daesh was a major combat operation, more than 30,000 airstrikes, some troops on the ground from NATO Allies. NATO has been part of that and supported those combat operations, because they were necessary to defeat Daesh.  And we have made enormous progress in the fight against Daesh, because the territory they controlled, we have to remember that Daesh controlled territory as big as the United Kingdom and eight million people, not so many months ago. Now they have lost the control of that physical caliphate. I’m not saying that Daesh is not . . . it’s still a danger, it’s still a challenge, but they don’t control territory as they did recently.

But as I also said in my introduction, is that we need to be able to do big combat operations also in the future. But more importantly, we need to help to stabilise our neighbourhood by training local forces, enable them to stabilise their own country. And I think that’s the lesson we have learned from Afghanistan, from Iraq, from Libya and elsewhere.

And therefore, prevention is better than intervention, training local forces is a lot more sustainable than deploying our own forces in big combat operations. And that’s also a reason why I so strongly support the training mission we now have in Afghanistan. We don’t do combat operations in Afghanistan anymore, we do train, assist and advise with Afghan forces and the Canadian-led training mission in Iraq.

All NATO Allies are concerned about the destabilising activities of Iran in the region, their support for different terrorist groups, and all Allies agree that Iran should not be able to develop nuclear weapons. But there’s been no discussion about any NATO deployment. We, NATO Allies, discuss whether they should do more to protect freedom of navigation, but that’s as NATO Allies. We discussed this issue at the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting in June in Brussels, but that was more a discussion about what NATO Allies can do as Allies, not within the NATO framework.

MODERATOR: OK so we’ll take one here. And then one there. If you can just come down to the . . . and please a reminder, state your name and where you’re from. You first.

KRISTIAN KENNEDY [NATO Association of Canada]: Hi Secretary General, Kristian Kennedy, from the NATO Association of Canada. With respect to the suspension of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, you stated that NATO has no intention of reciprocating like-with-like with theatre-range nuclear missiles. I’m curious, if Russia were to continue, Secretary General, to deploy battalions of the 9M729 missile, the missile that both NATO and the United States claim is a violation of that treaty, what are some of the options that are open to the NATO Alliance?

JENS STOLTENBERG: Our main focus is still to try to get Russia back into compliance. I admit that the likelihood of that to happen is not very big and the time is running out. Because Russia has deployed for several years now the new intermediate- range missile, which is in clear violation of the INF Treat.  And, therefore, all NATO Allies agreed when the United States announced, in the beginning of February, that they will start a withdrawal process from the treaty unless Russia comes back into compliance. So far Russia has shown no sign of coming back into compliance and the deadline ends on the 2nd of August, in two weeks from now. But since there is still some time, we are still calling on Russia to come back into compliance, because we strongly believe that the INF Treaty has served us all well.

The INF Treaty has been and still is a cornerstone for arms control. Because it didn’t only reduce the number of intermediate-range weapons, it banned them all. And that’s the reason why it is so extremely serious that Russia is now violating this treaty, and the demise of the treaty will be extremely serious for all of us.

As you know, the challenge with the intermediate-range weapons is that they are – the Russian, the new Russian missile – is that they are mobile, hard to detect, nuclear- capable, can reach European cities within minutes and by doing so they also reduce the threshold for any potential use of nuclear weapons in an armed conflict. And that’s the reason why we take this extremely seriously - the fact that Russia has now deployed these weapons for some time.

If Russia doesn’t come back into compliance, we will respond. I will not be specific today exactly on how we will respond. But we made some decisions at the Defence Ministerial Meeting in June in NATO. What we will do, it will be measured, it will be coordinated, and we have said that we will not mirror what Russia is doing. We don’t have any intentions of deploying land-based nuclear missiles in Europe.  But, of course, we have other options. We have conventional, we have the readiness of our forces, we have exercises, we have missile defence. There are other options for NATO and we will do what is necessary to make sure that in a world without the INF Treaty and with more Russian nuclear-capable intermediate-range missiles, we will make sure that NATO continues to provide credible and effective deterrence. So we will respond, but we will respond in a measured and balanced way.

MODERATOR: So I’ll take a question here, somebody from this side? Yes, please come forward. Go ahead.

 ANVESH JAIN [NATO Association of Canada]: Anvesh Jain, Program Editor with the NATO Association of Canada. So I think a lot of us here are familiar with the famous Canadian Clause of the North Atlantic Treaty, which stresses economic and cultural linkages between the member states of the Alliance. In an Alliance that is facing increased threats to its internal unity through the rise of democratic illiberalism in some of its member states and the threat to interoperability through trade protectionism between member states, such as, you know, Brexit,  the UK and the EU member states. Do you think there is a future for the Canadian Clause and for the values which it represents?

JENS STOLTENBERG: Yes, I think so, because I am very much aware that Article 2 is about not only that NATO is more than a military alliance.  It’s about NATO as a political alliance, and NATO is an alliance which should try to also promote and support integration of all Allies, also when it comes to, for instance, economy and trade. And sometimes it’s often referred to as the Canadian Clause, because it was something which Canada pushed very much for, Pearson pushed for it back in 1949.

Then I’m, of course, I’m aware that we have also serious disagreements on some trade issues. Having said that, I think we have to remember that despite this, disagreements on the tariffs and some other challenges also related to Brexit and so on, we are still our closest trading partners. And there is an enormous amount of trade taking place between Europe and North America. So trade, economic integration is, despite Brexit, is despite the tariffs we have seen, and despite the problems we see in trade policy, economic integration is still huge between North America and Europe and within Europe and within North America. And you know that there have been some challenges, with NAFTA and the new trade agreement and all that, but you trade a lot with the United States.

So, I’m not underestimating the challenges, but we should not be blinded by those challenges, and start to believe that we are not economically integrated. We are extremely economically integrated. And I would like to see more of that. And therefore I hope, of course, that the disagreements on trade it’s possible to solve. And I think it’s possible to solve them. I welcome all efforts to solve them. But as long as they are unsolved, I need to make sure that NATO is delivering our core tasks: defence and security cooperation. And the good news is that we are delivering on that core task.

QUESTION: We threw a party at the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, one of the best parties that I’ve ever attended, but that’s off-the-record please. Secretary General,  if you could please reflect on enlargement, considering that adaptation is one of the key elements that you began your speech with, I’d be very much appreciative if you could just elaborate a bit more. Thank you.

JENS STOLTENBERG: Thank you. It’s good to know that you are good at hosting parties in . . . it was in Bulgaria or in Toronto?

QUESTION: It was in Bulgaria but it branched out.

JENS STOLTENBERG: And we’re still seeing the consequences. No, okay. No, enlargement . . . NATO’s door is open and enlargement has been a very important part of the success story of NATO. Because when we started we were only 12 members. And then, for many years, it was 16 and then, until the end of the Cold War we were 16. And then from then end of the Cold War, from the beginning of the 1990s up til today, we have gone from 16 to  . . . we will soon be 30, because North Macedonia is now in the process of joining. So we have almost doubled the number of members since the 1990s. And that has been extremely important, because it has helped to spread democracy, rule of law, throughout Europe, former or Eastern and Central European countries. NATO’s door remains open, because we welcomed Montenegro. I think that was in 2017? No?


JENS STOLTENBERG: That’s good, that was a test.

MODERATOR: Perfect.  

JENS STOLTENBERG: And then, as I said, we have signed the accession protocol with North Macedonia. And as soon as all parliaments have ratified it, then they will be a full member and that will most likely happen within months.

And then there are other countries aspiring for membership. And what we have said many times when it comes to Georgia, Ukraine, Bosnia- Herzegovina, is that it is for the NATO Allies and those countries to decide. Because the idea that Russia, for instance, has any right to deny membership is violating a core principle for NATO and that is that every nation has the right to choose its own path, including what kind of security arrangements it wants to be part of. So membership for these countries depends on their ability to meet the NATO standards, and decisions taken by the 29 or soon to be 30 NATO Allies. It’s not for any other nation to deny any nation to be a member of NATO, it’s for members and the applicant country to decide.

MODERATOR: Okay, Sir, we’re going to take two last questions. So, the gentleman that’s been waiting here and we’ll go right here into the centre.

QUESTION [NATO Association of Canada]: Good evening Mr Secretary General. Thank you so much for coming to the University of Toronto. I’m a volunteer for the NATO Association. My question for you is that, between Turkey and the United States, which member state do you think poses more of a threat to the integrity of the Alliance, considering the recent purchase of the S-400 missiles by Turkey from Russia. And I like you to elaborate at the American administration’s reluctance to contribute its share to the Alliance. Thank you so much again.

MODERATOR: And right here.  

JEFF HULL [NATO Association of Canada]: Hi, Jeff Hull, Director here at the NATO Association of Canada. If you could just address a little bit about the commitment from NATO in regards to the ongoing invisible war of cyber and the cyber threat, whether it’s harming targets, AI, quantum computing, really just overview of the cyber threat and what NATO is doing to help prevent some of the current issues that’s ongoing. Thank you.

JENS STOLTENBERG: First, Turkey and United States. Turkey and the United States are both highly-valued NATO Allies. The United States, of course, because by far the biggest Ally and extremely important for all the Alliance. I mean, NATO will not function without the United States, so the United States is, of course, fundamental, of fundamental importance for this Alliance. And, as I said, the United States shows, by what they do, that they remain committed to NATO, to our collective security, to European security.

Turkey is key for the Alliance for many reasons, but not least because Turkey is bordering Iraq and Syria. And the progress we have been able to make in the fight against Daesh, liberating the territory, the people Daesh controlled, and stopping the violence, the terror we saw against the people in the caliphate, not least against women, that has been possible not least because we have been able to work with Turkey. Use infrastructure bases in Turkey to conduct our operations against Daesh. So Turkey is important for NATO and for the fight against terrorism, not least because it’s bordering all the instability in Iraq, Syria and Middle East.

Then, I agree that it is a serious . . . this agreement now on the S-400 issue, the Turkish decision to buy the Russian air defence system, S-400. It is for each and every NATO Ally to decide what kind of equipment they buy, they acquire. But I am concerned about the consequences of the Turkish decision. And, of course, for NATO what matters is interoperability, meaning that the systems can be integrated and work together. And the Russian system cannot be integrated into the integrated NATO air and missile defence system.

Therefore, I also welcome the fact that there is still dialogue going on between the United States and Turkey on this issue. We had the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting, as I mentioned, in June and then this was an issue that was discussed between the US and Turkey. I’ve discussed it many times in Ankara and also in Washington, because we all realise that this is a serious issue and a challenge. I also welcome the fact that there are contacts, that there is dialogue going on between Turkey and United States on the possibility of buying a US system, Patriot system. And also that Turkey is in dialogue with Italy and France, looking into the possibility of buying a European system SAMP/T, Italian-French system, air defence system.

And we have to also remember the NATO actually augments the air defence of Turkey already. We have deployed one Patriot battery there, Spain is responsible for that, and one SAMP/T battery, Italy is responsible for that, to augment, to strengthen the air defence of Turkey.

So, I hope that these efforts can lead to something. But I agree that as the situation is now, it is difficult and it is a serious challenge.

Then on cyber. Well, cyber illustrates the importance of NATO being able to change, because there is no military conflict in the future without a cyber dimension. Cyber is totally integrated in everything we do. And if you add to that, as you mentioned, other disruptive technologies, disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, autonomous weapons systems and so on, I think we have to realise that new technologies, emerging technologies, they will change the nature of warfare as fundamentally as the Industrial Revolution.

It’s hard to imagine how fundamentally it changes the way wars and armed conflict will be conducted in the future, with autonomous weapons, with face recognition, with the swarms of drones, with really a different kind of warfare, also in cyberspace.

Therefore NATO is adapting. We have implemented big reinforcements of our cyber defences. We are exercising.  We recently had the biggest exercise in the world in cyber. We have a Centre of Excellence. We are increasing awareness, we are changing best practices. We have established a Cyber Centre at our Headquarters in SHAPE and we have established cyber as a domain, as a military domain, alongside air, land and sea and then we have cyber. And we help different Allies with protecting their cyber networks and, of course, we protect our own cyber networks.

And we have also decided that cyber can trigger Article 5. So when we speak about an armed attack in the Washington Treaty, that an armed attack on one Ally will trigger the response from all Allies, an armed attack is also a cyber attack. So a cyber attack can cause as much damage as a conventional attack. So, we do all this and we will continue to do more, to make sure that we are able also to respond, to respond but also deter attacks in cyberspace.

And we are investing … one of the reasons why the Defence Investment Pledge is so important is that that’s not only about spending more on capabilities we have, already know, but it’s actually about spending 20 percent of the defence budget on research, development and new capabilities. And by investing in new capabilities, we are also developing new technologies and we need to maintain what we call ‘the technological edge’. NATO has always had the technological edge, meaning our systems have been superior to the systems of any potential adversary. And one of the reasons why we need to invest more in defence is that it is costly to develop new technology and NATO and NATO Allies have to do that.

MODERATOR: Thank you Sir, unfortunately that’s all the time we have for the Secretary General.

ANNOUNCER: I’m pleased to introduce Nathalie Des Rosiers, she is the incoming Principal of Massey College, to give some thanks to the Secretary General. Natalie.

NATHALIE DES ROSIERS [Massey College]: Well, I think everybody agrees here about how great a talk and how great your presence has been here. I want to thank you on all of our behalf, to have given a frank assessment of the situation, very informative for all of us. And I think a very wise reminder that in times of uncertainty, we need strong multilateral institutions. And I think we thank you for that. I think I want to thank you as well because if, as you say, NATO is one of the most successful associations that has existed, it’s partly because it has good leadership. And I think we saw that again tonight. Merci.

ANNOUNCER: Thanks so much, Nathalie. And finally, I would like to invite to the stage our Vice Chair, Kathryn Langley Hope.  We had a bit of an email flurry last week, and we decided to bestow upon the Secretary General an honorary membership in the NATO Association.

JENS STOLTENBERG: Thank you so much.

KATHRYN LANGLEY HOPE:   So, may I say, as an attendee at University of Toronto, I think everybody can hear me all right? A member of the NATO Association, a member of Massey College. My next goal is to take a course at the NATO Field School. And since I’m a nurse, and Florence Nightingale changed the way we looked after our people, I think there is a place there. Sir, I would like to say vielen Dank, merci beaucoup, thank you very much, and recognising we are on indigenous lands, … [inaudible].

JENS STOLTENBERG: Thank you so much, thank you.