by NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană at the signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding on Land Battle Decisive Munitions

  • 13 Feb. 2020 -
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  • Last updated: 13 Feb. 2020 08:25

(As Delivered)

MIRCEA GEOANĂ [NATO Deputy Secretary General]: Merci. Bonsoir.Madame la ministre. Dear ministers, I will split my intervention in English and French, the two official languages of our great Alliance. Good evening and thank you so much for coming to witness the signing of an amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding for Land Battle Decisive Munitions. I welcome Lubomír Metnar, Defence Minister from the Czech Republic. Welcome, sir. And Peter Hultqvist, Defence Minister from our close and dear partner, Sweden, whose countries both join this initiative today. I also want to especially thank Florence Parly, la ministre des Armées de la République française, which took over from Belgium as the lead nation last month. To keep our people safe, Allies and partners train together, exercise together, and when necessary, they must be able to fight together. A central part of NATO has always been about making this as easy and as efficient as possible, with common standards and common ways of working. And this includes munitions. Today, munitions are often highly technical, sophisticated and expensive. So it makes sense for Allies and partners to pool their resources to acquire high quality munitions and to store them in the most appropriate places, ready to use should the time come. This project, by taking full advantage of economies of scale, is enabling us to get the most of every penny, cent or euro from our rising defence budgets. I would also like to thank our colleagues from our division, Camille et tous tes collègues, all your colleagues, you’ve done a great job. Like always. Congratulations for this ceremony.

Madame la ministre, messieurs les ministres, lorsque cette initiative a été lancée au Sommet de Bruxelles en 2018, 16 Alliés et un partenaire ont signé le mémorandum d’entente. Aujourd'hui, avec l'ajout de la République Tchèque et de la Suède, un total de 23 Alliés et Partenaires travailleront ensemble. Les premières livraisons de munitions acquises dans le cadre de ce programme ont été livrées six mois seulement après la signature et d'autres sont en cours cette année. Aujourd'hui c’est une étape très importante pour cette initiative, pour la coopération multinationale et pour notre Alliance. Et sur ce, en remerçiant la France pour son leadership dans cet effort, je voudrais inviter la ministre des Armées à dire quelques mots. Madame la ministre, Florence, je vous en prie.