Updated: 19-Dec-2002 December 2002

18 Dec. 2002


End of year message
from NATO Secretary General,
Lord Robertson

2002 has been a momentous year for NATO. A year in which the Alliance transformed to deal with the dramatically different security risks and threats of the 21st century. A year in which NATO invited seven countries to join the Alliance, launched a new partnership with Russia, and engaged all its partners into closer cooperation. And a year in which NATO’s continuing strong commitment to peace, stability and cooperation in the Balkans started to show very concrete results.

In Prague at the end of November, NATO’s Heads of State and Government took far-reaching decisions in all these areas, and set the Alliance firmly on course for the future. Our Prague Summit will result in an Alliance that is well prepared to deal with the complex new security environment, including the threat posed by terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. An Alliance that is at the heart of a vibrant and dynamic Euro-Atlantic community of nations, in which shared values and principles form the basis for ever-closer cooperation. And an Alliance in which Europe and North America remain strongly committed to working together, in order to strengthen and extend peace and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area, and to be able to deal with challenges to their security from wherever they may come.

All this fills me with enormous pride, and with great confidence. As we enter the year in which NATO will celebrate its 54th anniversary, I am convinced that the Alliance is as strong and as relevant as ever. It remains a key instrument for addressing current and future security challenges. And it will continue to play a crucial role in spreading peace, security, democracy and tolerance in this new century.