Meeting of NATO Defence Ministers with non-NATO ISAF Contributing Nations

Opening remarks by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

  • 23 Oct. 2013 -
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  • Last updated: 23 Oct. 2013 11:41

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This past June, Afghan soldiers and police took the lead for security across Afghanistan.  Their first summer in the lead has not been easy. They have taken casualties and they have faced challenges.  But they have risen to the challenge every day. And they have shown great courage, and growing professionalism.  The people of Afghanistan can be proud of the progress of the Afghan forces.  And we can be confident in their ability to assume responsibility for securing their own country at the end of next year. 

At that time, our transition will be completed -- as planned.  But we remain committed to Afghanistan’s stability.   And today we will take forward the planning for a new mission to train, advise, and assist the Afghan security forces after 2014.

Afghanistan’s security transition goes hand in hand with the political transition.  At our Chicago Summit last year, ISAF contributors pledged continued support to Afghanistan politically, practically and financially after 2014.  In exchange, Afghanistan made its own commitments. And it is vital that we now see delivery on those commitments to improve governance and ensure respect for human rights.  And that preparations continue for inclusive, transparent and credible elections next year.

Over the past ten years, we have come a long way. But there is more to do to reach our shared goal: an Afghanistan that delivers stability to its people, and that enables security abroad.

This morning, we will also take stock of the recent review of the practical implications of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 for the conduct of NATO-led operations and missions.  This review is a demonstration of our commitment to the role of women in peace and security.

Together, the men and women of our NATO forces, those of our ISAF partners, and of the Afghan National Security Forces, have all made a considerable investment in the future of Afghanistan.  And we must build on that investment together.

And with that, I would like to conclude the public part of our session, and I thank the representatives of the media for their attendance.