From Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO: I have been looking very much forward to this day, the presentation of the Report on the New Strategic Concept from the Group of Experts under leadership of Secretary Albright. …
This Report is not the Strategic Concept itself, but it is a very important first step in preparing the new Concept. The Report is now on our website, and I’m sure it will stimulate quite some discussion. I will follow the debate closely, and take both the Report and the discussion into account when I prepare the first draft of the Strategic Concept itself, as you know it which will be approved by Heads of State and Government in Lisbon this November. …
"[L]et me touch briefly for you some of what I consider to be some of the highlights.
First: the report confirms that NATO’s foundations are as important as ever, and should only be reinforced: the transatlantic link; the commitment to collective defence; the openness to new members. NATO’s core purpose was, is, and will remain to provide for the security of its members.
But the Report is equally clear that, these days, providing for the security of our members means doing many things differently. Among many important points:
It means taking on new challenges, such as cyber-attacks and missile attacks.
It means broadening our political consultations within NATO, and making fuller use of Article 4 of the Washington Treaty.
It means engaging much more intensely and more broadly with global partners. As the Report says, Partnerships will be a central part of our daily work. I fully agree.
In the execution of operations it means a comprehensive approach that combines military and civilian elements. These are the lessons learnt from Afghanistan.
It means working for a real partnership with Russia – based on shared interests and reciprocity.
And it means reforming this organisation. The Report is very clear that NATO reform is not just a nice slogan; it is essential. And I fully share this view.
Excerpts from remarks by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at joint press conference with Madeleine Albright. (photo: NATO)