Euro-Atlantic security one year after 11 September

  • 12 Sep. 2002 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 03 Nov. 2008 20:37

Exactly one year after NATO invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the first time in its history, Lord Robertson was invited by l'Institut français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) in Paris, to address the question of "Euro-Atlantic security one year after 11 September".

In his speech, the Secretary General stated that the first lessons to be drawn from these tragic events was that NATO needed to acquire new capabilities, build new relationships with non-member countries, as well as with other international organisations to maximise the efforts of the international community in fighting terrorism. These attacks, he stated, "... called into question political relations and ways of doing business that had assured our security for decades. And they created a sense of insecurity in everyone throughout the civilised world".

NATO not only contributed direct practical assistance through a number of initiatives, but provided, he continued, another fundamental element: "Decades of joint training and of developing interoperable military capabilities, makes it possible for NATO forces to integrate and cooperate with each other seamlessly and quickly. These operations show how important that remains".

Lord Robertson took the opportunity of speaking to this prestigious think-tank to congratulate France on having taken the decision to increase its defence budget, underlining that "NATO works politically because it can work militarily".

IFRI was set up in 1979 to contribute to debates and provide information on major international issues. It also runs research programmes touching on political, strategic, economic and regional issues.