HomeMEDIA RESOURCES20038 November - ORLANDO, Florida, PRESS COMMUNIQUE
8 November - ORLANDO, Florida, PRESS COMMUNIQUE
More than 300 parliamentarians from 19 NATO member states and 20 associate states gathered in Orlando, Florida today (Saturday) to debate the impact of the war in Iraq and its aftermath on transatlantic relations and the new type of terrorist threats.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) began its 49th Annual Session at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC),North Complex with a presentation by General Richard Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff on policy-making challenges for the alliance.
General Myers later told reporters the purpose of his "study seminar" to the parliamentarians was to stimulate discussion as to whether NATO's decision-making processes were "adequate to today's task" of counter terrorism and threats posed by weapons of mass destruction.
Much of the question and after session which followed the General's presentation centred on the need for intelligence on potential terrorist threats to be shared among different member states.
Mr Ian Brzezinski, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for European and NATO Affairs, also presented a paper to the NATO-PA's Defence and Security Committee entitled "The US Vision of the Future of Iraq". Mr Brzezinski asserted that despite recent attacks on US forces progress had been made in moving towards a stable and democratic Iraq.
He also had cautionary words concerning the evolution of Europe's own security initiative - European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).
Describing the EU and NATO as two supertankers he said "it was important to reduce the competitive dynamics and ensure they were on the same, not divergent, vector."
Other than the impact of the Iraq crisis on the US and European members of the Alliance, issues under discussion throughout the five day session will include the war against terrorism and the threat from weapons of mass destruction (WMD), NATO's new role in Afghanistan, and the reform of NATO's command structure.
A Plenary Session will be held on Tuesday November 11 at which the keynote speakers will include the NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, Mr Marc Grossman US Under Secretary for Political Affairs and Gen. John Gordon, Asst. to the President and Homeland Security Advisor - all of whose presentations will be followed by question and answer periods, Mr Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida and Mr Doug Bereuter (USA), President of the NATO PA.
Contact Mr Keith Williams at the press service of the NATO PA on the following numbers: +1 407 685 6158 and +1 407 685 6159. E-mail: email@example.com