by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Prime Minister António Costa of Portugalat the inauguration of the NCI Academy

  • 26 May. 2021 -
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  • Last updated 31-May-2021 08:29

(As delivered)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg : Prime Minister Costa.
General Manager, dear Kevin.

It's a great honor and pleasure to be here today and to take part in this official opening inauguration of the NATO Cyber Academy. And I will say, in 2018, and then this was only a building site and now it's a full-fledged Academy which is of great importance for our Alliance.

NATO is the most successful Alliance in history for different reasons, but one of the most important reasons is that we have always been able to change, adapt and to maintain our technological edge. And this cyber academy is helping to do exactly that also for the future. It helps to train, educate personnel in different cyber skills - the future personnel that our alliance is so dependent on.

It helps us to maintain our technological edge, and helps us to be able to operate also under very difficult circumstances, because we know that in everything we do there will be a cyber dimension - in peace, in conflict and crisis.

We also know that we are faced with more and more frequent and sophisticated cyber-attacks. So, to improve and strengthen our cyber skills it's not least important to be able to defend our networks, to respond and defend against cyber-attacks.

So cyber is at the core of what NATO does. Training, educating our personnel in cyber skills is of great importance for us. That's the reason why this academy is so important. And that's also the reason why it's such a great honor to be here and to be able to see the new building and officially take part in the opening of the academy.

I know that you have been working here for some time already. But because of the pandemic, we had to postpone this official visit, actually a couple of times. But now we are here, and it's really a great honor.

So many thanks to Portugal, to the Prime Minister for hosting the Cyber Academy and also many many thanks to you, Kevin for really overseeing and being the driving force for this. So this is standing as a landmark of your efforts and your leadership and your strong commitment to making a difference in NATO in many many different ways but not least by making this NATO Cyber Academy a reality. So many thanks and congratulations.

Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa [interpreted]

Mister Secretary General. My dear Jens.
Mister General Manager of NCI Agency Kevin Scheid.
Dear Directors of the NCI Academy.
Major General Göksel Sevindik.
Acting Director of the NCI Academy, Garry Hargreaves.
Dear guests.
Dear Mayor.
Dear Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Dear Ladies and gentlemen.

Let me start by saying how significant it is for Portugal to be hosting NATO Communication and Information Academy whose official opening will celebrate today for all the staff in this challenging project.

Congratulations on a tough job. Well done.

It is indeed an honor for Portugal to host such a cutting edge learning and training facility, which plays a crucially important role not only in digitally enabling the NATO workforce but also in driving NATO’s digital transformation.

We all know this is symbolized in this statue which is offered by Portugal through the agency and academy.

We all know how the world is facing a growing demand for cyber security, I know related kind of learning and training that this academy provides. Directly this academy contributes to the […] of critical infrastructure and planning information systems which our modern societies increasingly […] rely.

Digital transformation has been also a priority for Portugal. It is in fact a key element of the national recovery and resilience plan that we submitted to the EU […] a month ago.

We understand the Academy’s primary focus must be […] across NATO, the agency’s vision of the school as an innovation hub that may provide opportunities and partnerships with different stakeholders, including the Portuguese academia and industry. For all these reasons let me reiterate Portugal’s commitment to make this school a hallmark of the Alliance’s response to the challenges of our time and to the new pending fights upon us.

Portugal is proud to be a founding member of NATO but also a contributing nation in all its operations and missions. And since the more complicated [inaudible] and complex missions whatever the operations […], the commitment from Portugal to NATO is permanent. Today, we’ll be involved in more than ten NATO operations. And we are very proud about the fact that […] during the crisis of Covid we maintain our participation and we are also very proud that our army could resume the command of one our naval operations we have in the Atlantic.

As the Prime Minister of Portugal I would like to conclude by saying that we would like that this academy in Oeiras could be more as a symbol of Portugal’s commitment on the values on which our Alliance is based for more than 70 years. Thank you.