Last update: 05-Nov-2003 18:49 NATO Update

3 Nov. 2003

New missions require more usable forces
says NATO Secretary General

31/10/2003 - NATO
NATO Secretary General to visit Berlin
03/11/2003 - NATO
The Role of NATO in the 21st Century - Speech by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson at the " Welt am Sonntag Forum" in Berlin

Speaking in Berlin during a farewell visit on 3 November Lord Robertson said that NATO's taking on of new missions has highlighted the shortfall in rapidly deployable forces.

The Secretary General's visit was part of his farewell tour of NATO and partner countries before he steps down in December this year.

During his visit, he met with Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and Defence Minister Peter Struck, as well as members of the Parliamentary Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees.

Today, NATO is a problem solver. It must go where the trouble is. In today's world, if we don't go to the trouble, the trouble will come to you , Lord Robertson said in a speech at a security conference organized by the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Lord Robertson said that while NATO is successfully transforming to take on new security threats, several key challenges remain.

We need to enhance the "deployability" of our forces. We need to speed up decision-taking. And we also know that we need to get the NATO-EU relationship right , he stressed.

The Secretary General pointed out that these challenges are particularly important as NATO takes on new missions, such as the leadership of the international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan this summer.