Istanbul, 21 November 2016 – Italian lawmaker Paolo Alli was elected Monday as new President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly for at least one year at the organisation’s Annual Session in Turkey, taking over at the helm from US Congressman Michael R. Turner.
An electronic engineering graduate with an esteemed record in local, national and international politics, Alli was endorsed by acclamation, as the NATO PA was winding up its 62nd Annual Session in Turkey’s bustling commercial hub of Istanbul.
“I am proud and humbled at being entrusted with such a great responsibility and let me assure you that I am acutely aware of the difficult and challenging times we are facing,” he told the lawmakers; part of the body linking the world’s biggest military alliance to the citizens of member and partner countries.
“I shall need the help of all of you,” he said, adding that “dialogue is crucial for our Assembly.”
In his final speech presiding over the NATO PA, Turner said he takes “comfort in the knowledge that members of the Assembly understand the scale of the challenge. I have every confidence my successor will be a tireless advocate for NATO and for our trans-Atlantic bond.”
I will continue to make the case for NATO in the United States, as will your friends in the United States delegation. But we will only succeed if we can count on all of you to do the same with your own governments and constituencies, Turner said.
Tchetin Kazak from Bulgaria, Joseph A. Day from Canada, Rasa Jukneviciene from Lithuania, Sverre Myrli from Norway, and Metin Lufti Baydar of Turkey were elected to serve as the Assembly’s five vice-presidents.
Alli has strong business credentials having managed multinational companies in the energy and environment sectors, but also technical expertise as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the European Policies Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
He launched his political career in 1993 as a member of the Legnano municipal council, and went on to be made deputy mayor of the town from 1997 until 2000, when he began work with the Lombardy regional government and rose to Undersecretary of the Governor.
In March 2013, Alli was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies. At NATO PA he has been a long time Vice Chair of the Italian Delegation, and was elected Assembly Vice President two years ago.
The NATO PA brings together members of national parliaments from the Allies as well as partner countries, observers and organisations. It is an essential link between the Alliance and member parliaments – and therefore to citizens in the Euro-Atlantic area.