by the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the “Proud at NATO” online conference

  • 17 May. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 17 May. 2023 10:48

(As prepared)

Today is the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, and I want to take a moment to explain why this matters for me personally, and for NATO.

NATO is an Alliance of 31 nations united by values: Freedom, equality, human rights. We exist not only to defend and protect our lands, but also our people in all their infinite variety.

NATO’s strength is our diversity, so it is important that we reflect and celebrate the extraordinary diversity of our populations. This is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do: It makes us stronger.

I value every member of the LGBTQ+ community serving at the NATO headquarters and around the world. You deserve dignity and respect, and I am proud to call myself your ally.

NATO has made some impressive steps when it comes to inclusiveness and inclusion, but we always need to do more: To push forward with ambition, to uphold our values, and to ensure our Alliance truly reflects the one billion people we protect.