Ahead of the Assembly’s annual, early-spring Standing Committee meeting, the Bureau of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) came together to discuss and prepare key items on the agenda.
Most importantly, the Assembly’s President Gerald E. Connolly (United States), Vice-Presidents, Treasurer and ex officio members of the Bureau deepened their ongoing discussions on how to rededicate the Alliance to its democratic foundations and the role the NATO PA must play in this important process.
“The democratic values upon which NATO was founded and which have kept it together for over 70 years are our best response and our strongest weapon against attempts to undermine our democracies – both from within and from without,” said President Connolly after the meeting.
“At our upcoming Standing Committee meeting, I hope delegations will support a range of concrete proposals to take the next steps and demonstrate our concrete commitment to the Alliance’s democratic foundations. This includes refining the concept for a Democratic Resilience Center within NATO, an idea I proposed in 2019 and which the Assembly as a whole has since supported.”
Meeting the day after the first NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in 2021, the Bureau members also addressed the meeting’s key outcomes, including the NATO 2030 reflection process, Afghanistan, Russia and relations with the Middle East and North Africa among others.
President Connolly condemned North Korea’s resumption of testing of ballistic missiles earlier in the day.
“North Korea’s nuclear arsenal poses a serious security threat to NATO and its partners. We must be firm in our condemnation and support international efforts to curb the dangerous proliferation of nuclear weapons, including through deterrence and clear-eyed diplomacy on arms control,” said President Connolly.
The Bureau also discussed other important Assembly priorities, including:
- further advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda,
- the ongoing political crisis in Georgia and;
- strengthening the Assembly’s support to Ukraine.