Updated: 28-Jan-2002 Week of 21-27 January 2002

21 Jan. 2001

The future direction of the transatlantic link

"… NATO is the world's most effective military organisation. It will not be in the lead in every crisis. But it has a vital role -in my view the vital role- to play in multinational crisis prevention and crisis management". Lord Robertson was in Sälen, Sweden, on 21 January, giving a speech on NATO's transatlantic link.

He stated that NATO did not take the lead in the campaign against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and that "legitimate and important questions about the future direction of the transatlantic relationship" had been raised by the events of 11 September 2001. He explained NATO's role in the Balkans was an illustration of what could be achieved through cooperation, but emphasised that the questions of "greater burden-sharing" and the need for Europeans to improve their defence capabilities were the key issues.

The Secretary General was in Sweden to give a speech at the annual conference of the Central Defence and Society Federation. During his trip, he also met with the Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh, the Defence Minister, Björn von Sydow, and the leader of the Opposition, Bo Lundgren.

Additional information:

  • "The Transatlantic Link" - Speech by the Secretary General at the Annual Conference of the Defence and Society, Salen, Sweden - 21 January 2002