NATO Deputy Secretary General stresses importance of Alliance at Halifax Forum

  • 23 Nov. 2013 -
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  • Last updated: 24 Nov. 2013 18:44

NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow stressed the importance of the Alliance’s role in an increasingly volatile world during a debate at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday, (23 November 2013). Recalling the Beatles' "When I'm 64," the Deputy Secretary General said the transatlantic community still "needs" NATO and must "feed" the alliance by ensuring it has the capabilities and political tools to shape the security environment. This calls for more U.S. leadership, a readiness by European allies to shoulder more responsibility, and efforts by all allied leaders to make the case to their publics for continuing to invest in defence.

"Our ability to act has made a difference; our political tools have made a difference," Ambassador Vershbow said. The Alliance can continue to play its role as a force for peace in the future. Ensuring that NATO remains strong and fit for purpose will be the overriding goal as NATO looks ahead to its Summit in the United Kingdom next September. The Ambassador said that all Allies had to ensure that NATO has the right tools to deal with the threats of the future: "part of keeping NATO fit for the future is preserving the capacity to project power and to protect innocent civilians," and retaining the ability "to export stability through military capacity building, training local forces, helping regional institutions," especially for countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Deputy Secretary General participated together with other international personalities in a panel discussion which focused on global security responsibility. The Halifax conference is held on a yearly basis.