Updated: 23 April 1999 NATO Speeches

At the
of the 50th

23 Apr. 1999


of Prime Minister of Norway, Kjelle Bondevik

Mr. Secretary General,
Mr. President Clinton,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The founding fathers could hardly foresee the importance of the historic decision they took when signing the North Atlantic Treaty in this very room 50 years ago. In establishing NATO, they founded a security community of true and lasting value, which has guaranteed peace in our part of the world throughout the post-war era. It will continue to do so in the years to come, in a new security setting, with new challenges.

Since its foundation, NATO has guaranteed my country the freedom and security upon which we have built our prosperity, and developed our democracy, human rights and the rule of law. There is strong and enduring support for NATO in Norway.

We must see to it that NATO continues its success into the next Century. We must do this by safeguarding the traditional strengths of the Alliance, and build on them as we adapt to new challenges.

  • We must continue to recognise that the security of Europe and that of North America remains indivisible, and maintain the political solidarity and military capability to ensure the core purpose of collective defence.

  • We must consult closely and coordinate our efforts, strengthening NATO as the essential transatlantic forum for consultations on security and defence, and continue to use the Alliance to promote security cooperation and stability in the entire Euro-Atlantic area.

  • We must continue to engage the Alliance in crisis management and peacekeeping, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

  • We must reaffirm our commitment to the openness of the Alliance, build a strong, stable and enduring partnership with Russia, and further enhance the Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

  • We must work towards greater responsibility for the European nations for security and defence in Europe, vitalising and reinforcing the transatlantic link.

Norway will continue to do its part, so that NATO can ensure the defence of the Allies and contribute to stability and common security in the new, undivided Europe.

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