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STATEMENT ON SUPPORTING A SHARED APPROACH TO CAPABILITIES IN CHICAGO

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Issued by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly's Standing Committee in Ljubliana, Slovenia, on 31 March 2012

1. On 20-21 May 2012, NATO Heads of State and Government will meet in Chicago to discuss how the Alliance can deliver on the commitments set in the 2010 Strategic Concept and the Lisbon Summit Declaration. In particular, they will outline how to provide the defence capabilities needed to meet the security challenges of the 21st century, despite the severe and unprecedented constraints placed on defence budgets by the ongoing financial and economic crisis

2. The Alliance must therefore seek collective solutions to enable nations to acquire capabilities jointly which they could not afford individually. They must also better coordinate their decisions on national defence to maintain effective collective capabilities.

3. We therefore welcome and support the NATO Secretary General’s Smart Defence agenda, and the multinational projects currently envisaged under this initiative, including the Allied Ground Surveillance capability, the arrangements for air policing missions and NATO’s Missile Defence capability.

4. We also call for the Chicago Summit to produce a coherent, joint and long-term approach to smart defence which will:

a. prevent the further degradation of defence capabilities;
b. address the current over-reliance on certain United States assets;
c. fill existing capability shortfalls, and promote continued investment in new capabilities to avoid future gaps;
d. define priorities collectively;
e. complement NATO defence and force planning processes through broader consultations among Allies on national policy and budgetary decisions with an impact on the Alliance collectively;
f. encourage synergy between the Alliance’s smart defence projects and the European Union’s pooling and sharing initiatives to ensure their efforts are co-ordinated and complementary;
g. foster cooperation in defence research, development and procurement;
h. encourage the greater use of NATO common funding for joint projects;
i. propose ways of ensuring guaranteed access to shared assets;
j. involve Alliance partners based on their valuable support for NATO-led operations and the successful model of the strategic airlift capability.

5. To achieve this, we call upon all NATO nations to ensure that the impact on collective capabilities is fully taken into account when national decisions are to be made.

6. As Members of Parliament, we authorize the resources allocated to national and collective defence and we have a key responsibility for explaining these decisions to our publics. This task is more challenging than ever and can only succeed if the Alliance can demonstrate that it is taking the collective decisions and actions needed to preserve NATO’s capacity to provide security for our citizens now and for the future.

 

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