by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Heads of State and Government (2022 NATO Summit)
Okay, good morning, then I think we are ready to start.
It is good to see you all.
And welcome to this NATO Summit, graciously hosted by Spain.
This Summit will take important decisions to strengthen NATO in a more dangerous and competitive world where authoritarian regimes like Russia and China are openly challenging the rules-based international order.
We will agree NATO's new Strategic Concept, the blueprint for our future security.
We will further strengthen our deterrence and defence.
With more forces, increased readiness, and stronger capabilities.
We will make sure that our Alliance is properly resourced to face new security challenges.
And we will strengthen our partnerships in our close neighbourhood and across the globe.
We will demonstrate that NATO's door remains open by inviting Finland and Sweden to join our Alliance.
We will adopt a more comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine.
And sustain our unprecedented support for the country's self-defence to ensure that Ukraine prevails.
I am glad that President Zelenskyy is joining us today.
The bravery of the Ukrainian people and armed forces have inspired the world.
NATO Allies continue to stand with Ukraine.
We meet at a pivotal moment and our Madrid Summit will be transformative.
The decisions we take will define our security for the decade ahead.
And will enable Europe and North America to keep our Alliance strong, our people safe, and our partners close.
Let me now invite our host to say a few words.
So Prime Minister Sánchez, dear Pedro, please you have the floor.
Prime Minister Sánchez:
Thank you Jens.
It is an honor to welcome you to Madrid in such a relevant occasion.
[translated from Spanish]
It is a pleasure to welcome the 30 NATO Allies, its partners, the European institutions, and the eight guest countries at this Summit.
And moreover seven other countries will participate in events on the side-lines of this Summit.
And this evening we will be accompanied by European Union countries even if they are not members of NATO.
They share our vision and our determination to ensure our common security.
The decisions we will take over the next two days will shape the future of our Alliance for the next decade, as well as our capacity and means to successfully address the challenges in front of us.
It is time to strengthen our Alliance.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Presidents of Türkiye and Finland and the Prime Minister of Sweden for the agreement they reached yesterday.
It will open the door to the accession of two important democracies into our Alliance having met the security concerns of all Allies.
I would also like to thank Secretary General of NATO for his role in this process, dear Jens.
The entry of Sweden and Finland in NATO is an opportunity, an important milestone, and I am convinced that it will make us stronger.
[translated from Spanish]
For Spain, dear friends, it is a great responsibility to host the NATO Summit, but it is also a source of great pride.
I am convinced that our debate will be very fruitful and that we will prove that we are going to live up to the expectations of this Summit.
The world is looking at us.
Let us show them our unity and our cohesion.
Gracias. Thank you very much, Jens.
Thank you so much Pedro.
And also thank you for your leadership and strong commitment to NATO, to our transatlantic Alliance, and all the contributions of Spain to our deterrence and defence.
Many thanks to you.
With that let me thank the media for being present at the beginning of the meeting and we will continue in just a moment.