Updated: 08-Dec-2004 NATO Speeches


8 Dec. 2004


by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
at the Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding
on the New NATO Headquarters

08/12/04 - NATO
Agreement paves way for new NATO Headquarters
NATO New Headquarters
High resolution photos of the event
Audio file of the speech (.MP3/1045Kb)

Ladies and Gentlemen, Prime Minister, Ministers Karel De Gucht and André Flahaut.

Welcome all of you to NATO this evening. It gives me very great pleasure to welcome you here tonight because we are here to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between NATO and the Kingdom of Belgium handing over responsibility for the New NATO Headquarters project to the Belgian Government.

Le nouveau projet du Quartier Général est à mon sens essentiel pour l’avenir de l’Alliance. Dans quelques années, mon successeur présidera au transfert vers le bâtiment flambant neuf, de l’autre côté de la route. En adhérant au projet, les 26 Alliés ont réaffirmé l’importance qu’ils attachent à l’OTAN. Ils ont investi dans l’Alliance. Le nouveau bâtiment changera la façon dont nous travaillons, nous permettant ain

si d’être encore plus au service des Alliés. Le nouveau siège sera, je l’espère, le centre nerveux d’une coopération transatlantique encore accrue.

I believe that, by handing responsibility for this Project over to the Belgian Authorities, NATO is not only placing a big vote of confidence in the Belgian Government, but is putting the project on a new and faster track. I have full confidence in the Belgian Government and can now remove the New HQ from my 'to do' list.

This would not have been possible had it not been for the excellent work of the Belgian Government in responding to my request for them to consider taking on the project. The Belgian Government, at all levels, has worked incredibly hard to agree this MoU with NATO. I would like to give my thanks to all concerned, Ambassador Struye, General Jockin, Hugo Brauwers and all their team, for their magnificent efforts.

And with no further ado, I would now like to pass the floor to Prime Minister Verhofstadt.

Go to Homepage Go to Index