• Summit meetings of Heads of State and Government Bucharest, Romania, 2 to 4 April 2008

2 Apr. 2008

Opening Remarks

by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
at the Summit exhibition on
“Securing our Future/Defence against terrorism”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to open this exhibition here in this impressive House of Parliament.  It provides us with a perfect setting for what is actually a true “premiere”: it is the first time ever that NATO illustrates and visualises key aspects of its agenda through a range of multimedia exhibition tools.  It is also the very first time that we do this on the occasion of a NATO Summit. 

What you see here is, in fact, a twin exhibition, as it combines two sets of presentations.  The first, entitled “Securing our Future”, has been on display for the past two weeks at the National History Museum here in Bucharest, and it managed to attract much interest, both by the public and the Romanian media. The exhibition demonstrates that "securing our future" is the collective effort of many, aimed at ensuring the security of many more. 

We have now moved this exhibition from downtown Bucharest to these distinguished halls, and we are combining it with another one, namely on NATO’s role in the defence against terrorism.  I very much support this merger.  Because I believe that NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism is crucially important and if our Alliance takes its obligation to defend our populations seriously, we must confront this scourge.

We have already achieved a lot.     But still, NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism is often under-appreciated by our broader public. 

            But I am not blaming our publics.  We ourselves need to do a better job in explaining why NATO is indispensable in this effort.  Today’s exhibition will help us do that.  The panels, videos and touchscreens highlight NATO’s role in responding to existing and emerging security challenges. They also display the broad range of NATO’s efforts in operations, in particular Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as capabilities, and the role of partners.  With this twin exhibition, one can get a comprehensive picture of NATO today.

            In closing, let me add that this exhibition is situated in a very busy location, between our meeting rooms and the media centre.  This is entirely intentional.  Because it is part of our philosophy that as many people as possible – including our Heads of State and Government – should see this display and the associated audiovisual materials .  And I am sure that they will value it just as much as we all do.

Thank you very much.