At the start of a pivotal year for NATO, over 150 members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) signed up to meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Permanent Representatives to the North Atlantic Council to discuss NATO’s priorities ahead of its 2021 Summit of Allied Heads of State and Government.
In his opening remarks, President Connolly thanked the Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council for its long-standing, comprehensive and constructive cooperation. He noted this year’s exchange was particularly important as NATO stands at a critical juncture and reassured them that the Assembly will continue to support NATO’s important adaptation for the future.
The meeting was part of the Assembly’s Joint Committee Meetings, which normally take place in Brussels but was held online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These annual meetings are key opportunities to engage with NATO leaders, national officials and key experts. This year, topics of discussions included:
- the NATO 2030 reflection process, including the expected revision of NATO’s Strategic Concept;
- rededicating the Alliance to its democratic foundations;
- resilience, including the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic;
- the ongoing multifaceted challenge from Russia;
- the implications of the rise of China;
- NATO’s approach to other global challenges; and
- the continued importance of investment in defence (including for innovation) and fair burden sharing.
The meetings are not open to the public. However, a more in-depth overview of discussions will be posted on our website tomorrow.