12 November 2009 - INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATORS TO DISCUSS KEY SECURITY ISSUES AT NATO PA SESSION IN EDINBURGH
The 55th NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session will start tomorrow, Friday 13 November in Edinburgh.
Over 350 legislators from all 28 members of the Alliance and more than twenty non-member countries - ranging from the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Georgia, to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Australia, and South Korea - will meet to discuss and express their opinions and concerns on a wide range of security issues.
The main discussions will take place within the Assembly’s five committees (Defence and Security, Political, Economics and Security, Science and Technology, Civil Dimension of Security), based on Reports prepared by Assembly members and on briefings by international security experts.
NATO-led operations in Afghanistan feature prominently on the agendas and relations with Russia will also be a key focus of attention. Other issues include preparations for NATO’s new Strategic Concept, the situation in Pakistan, Iran, piracy, cyber-security, climate change, energy security, WMD proliferation, terrorism, nuclear power, defence budgets, and food security.
At the end of the Session, the Assembly will focus on six of these themes which by making policy recommendations – “resolutions” - which will be circulated to NATO and partner nation governments and parliaments. The topics will be: NATO’s Enduring Commitment to Afghanistan, Reinforcing the Global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime; Enabling Pakistan; Reaffirming NATO’s Open Door Policy; A Comprehensive and Coordinated Response to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia; and Moving Beyond the Global Economic Crisis.
Guest speakers at the Committee meetings include General Sir Peter Wall, Commander in Chief of the Land Forces; Baroness Taylor of Bolton, Minister for International Defence and Security; Bruce Mann, Head of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Cabinet Office; Ali Ansari, Professor of Iranian History and Paul Wilkinson, Professor of International Relations and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews; Jim Sumberg, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton.
The Plenary Session on Tuesday 17 November will be addressed by NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Rt Hon. David Miliband MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, former NATO Secretary General, Rt Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James Stavridis.
Detailed information on the Session can be found in the press programme and on our web site