Last update: 12-Nov-2003 16:56 NATO Update

4-9 Nov. 2003

The ATA holds its 49th General Assembly

06/11/2003 - NATO
NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, to attend ATA Conference in Edinburgh
07/11/2003 - NATO
Speech by NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson at the Atlantic Treaty Association's 49th General Assembly, Edinburgh
Website of the Atlantic Treaty Association
From 4 to 9 November, delegates attending the Atlantic Treaty Association's (ATA) 49th General Assembly in Edinburgh debated issues around the theme: "After Iraq - a new Transatlantic Consensus? NATO at a crossroads".

"So what is my view of long term reality? It is that those who argue that Europe and North America have separate destinies, conflicting interests or incompatible world views are taking a blinkered, short term approach to the transatlantic relationship on which NATO is based", stated Lord Robertson in his speech.

The NATO Secretary General was among one of the many high-level participants invited to this event. Among them were the Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt. Hon. Geoff Hoon, MP, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General James Jones, who addressed the issue of NATO's military transformation, representatives from defence industry and think-tanks, academics and other high-level NATO officials.

As well as addressing NATO's new challenges such as the future of Afghanistan and the usability of forces of NATO member countries, delegates also discussed ways of engaging public opinion. The role of the ATA is to help explain NATO policies and missions to public opinion to create a better understanding of the Alliance. This role has become very important at a time when the security environment is changing so quickly. One of the ideas raised during the sessions was to give greater attention to youth and education.

The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association was also invited to Edinburgh and held its General Assembly at the same time. This was also the occasion on which the ATA officially nominated its new Secretary General, Dr Troels Froling, Denmark, replacing Dr Antonio Borges de Carvalho, Portugal, and its new President, Ambassador Robert Hunter, the United States, replacing Professor Alan Lee Williams, the United Kingdom.