by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken
Secretary Blinken, dear Tony. Welcome back to the NATO Headquarters. And it's great to receive you here on such an historic day for NATO. Because the Washington Treaty, NATO's founding Act, was signed on the fourth of April 1949. And today, we are welcoming Finland as the 31st member of the Alliance and I can hardly think about any better way to mark our anniversary than having a new member coming into our Alliance.
We will have the meeting with the foreign ministers today, and address many different and important issues. Of course, Ukraine is top of the agenda. We'll meet with Minister Kuleba in the NATO-Ukraine [Commission], and thank you so much for the steadfast strong support from the United States to Ukraine and, and we will discuss how to sustain and step up our support to Ukraine.
We will also meet with our Asia Pacific partners, and that reflects that the security is not regional, security is global. And in a world where Russia and China stand more and more closely together, it is even more important that we stand together as NATO Allies, but also together with our partners in Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.
We will also address how to ensure that Allies are investing enough in defence. And we will start with preparations for the summit in Vilnius where we expect our Allies to agree a more ambitious pledge, to regard 2% of GDP for defence not as a ceiling, but a floor, a minimum, that we should all meet.
And then let me just end by saying thank you once again, Tony, for your personal commitment, your leadership in this Alliance for the transatlantic bond, and everything the US, the Biden administration, are doing every day to ensure that we all are safe and secure in NATO as a transatlantic Alliance. So welcome.