The Bureau of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) met today to review preparations for the Assembly’s 66th Annual Session, to be held online for the first time on 18-23 November.
“In just two weeks, we will hold our largest annual meeting online for the first time. At this critical time, it is essential that the Assembly continues to function normally,” stated NATO PA President Attila Mesterhazy (Hungary).
“Over the six days of our meeting, we will review our responses to COVID-19 and the important role our armed forces have played in this crisis. We will also discuss the many security challenges which continue to affect our security: Russia’s aggressive actions; China’s rise; the ongoing terrorist threat, which we have seen at play most recently in France and Austria; instability in our neighbourhood; and emerging and disruptive technologies. We will also play our part in the NATO 2030 initiative and help shape a vision for NATO’s future.”
The NATO PA Annual Session is expected to bring together over 200 members of parliament from the 30 member countries of NATO as well as some 30 partner countries. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will address Allied legislators on 23 November. The Session will also feature high-level officials and experts from Greece, which was due to host the Assembly in Athens before the pandemic forced the Session to move online.
At their meeting today, NATO PA leaders also reviewed political developments in Georgia following the first round of the 31 October parliamentary elections. A NATO PA delegation participated in the observation of these elections alongside the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Just two days after the US elections, NATO PA Bureau members took the opportunity to congratulate Vice-President Mike Turner (R-OH) and Head of the US delegation Gerry Connolly (D-VA) on their re-election to the United States Congress and looked forward to the reconstituted US delegation’s participation in the upcoming online Session.
The Bureau also took the opportunity to congratulate Vice-President Philippe Folliot on his election to the French Senate at the end of September.
The NATO PA Bureau consists of the President, Vice-Presidents and Treasurer. The Secretary General, the Head of the United States delegation, and members of the outgoing Bureau also participate in its meetings.