NATO Agrees On New Strategic Concept

Statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Heads of State and Government (2022 NATO Summit)

(As delivered)

Good afternoon.

NATO leaders have just taken decisions to transform and strengthen our Alliance at this pivotal time for our security.

President Putin’s war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe. And has created the biggest security crisis in Europe since the Second World War.

NATO has responded with strength and unity.
And President Zelenskyy’s leadership and courage are an inspiration to all of us.
I am pleased that he could join our meeting today.

President Zelenskyy made clear that Ukraine relies on our continued support.
And our message to him was equally clear.
Ukraine can count on us.
For as long as it takes.

Allies will continue to provide major military and financial help.
And today, leaders agreed to strengthen our support by agreeing a Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine.
This includes secure communications, fuel, medical supplies, and body armour.
Equipment to counter mines and chemical and biological threats.
And hundreds of portable anti-drone systems.

Over the longer-term, we will help Ukraine transition from Soviet-era equipment to modern NATO equipment.
Boost interoperability. And further strengthen its defense and security institutions.

All of this shows our commitment to Ukraine’s future, and that our commitment is unshakeable.
A strong, independent Ukraine is vital for the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.

Today, NATO leaders decided a fundamental shift in our defense and deterrence to respond to a new security reality.
We will strengthen our forward defenses.
We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance, up to brigade level.
We will transform the NATO Response Force.
And increase the number of high readiness forces to well over 300,000.

We will also boost our ability to reinforce, including with:

More pre-positioned equipment, and stockpiles of military supplies.
More forward-deployed capabilities, like air defense.
Strengthened command and control.
And upgraded defense plans, with forces pre-assigned to defend specific Allies.
This is the first time since the Cold War that we have these kind of plans with pre-assigned forces.
They will work with home defense forces, and become familiar with local terrain, facilities, and pre-positioned stocks.
So that we can reinforce even faster.

Doing more will cost more.

Today, Allies recommitted to the pledge we made in 2014 to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence.

Since 2014, European Allies and Canada have spent an extra 350 billion U.S. dollars.
Nine Allies now reach – or exceed – the 2% target.
Nineteen Allies have clear plans to reach it by 2024.
And an additional five have concrete commitments to meet it thereafter.
Two percent is increasingly seen as a floor, not as a ceiling.

Allies are also investing more in modern capabilities.
Contributing more to NATO deployments and exercises.
And we have agreed to increase NATO’s common funding.
To finance the facilities we need for reinforcement. As well as more training and more exercises, command and control, and engagement with partners.

We face a radical change to our security environment.
And strategic competition is rising around the world.

So today, leaders have endorsed NATO’s new Strategic Concept.
And it is published as we speak.
This is the new Strategic Concept. The current one was agreed in 2010 and this is very different from what we agreed back then.
It makes clear that Russia poses “the most significant and direct threat” to our security.
In the current concept, we state that Russia is a “strategic partner”.
In the current concept, we do not mention China with a single word.
In this, Allies state that China’s coercive policies “challenge our interests, security and values”.
The Concept also sets out our joint position on countering terrorism, as well as cyber and hybrid threats.

Today, we took other important steps to continue our adaptation.
We are launching the NATO Innovation Fund.
Backed by Allies, it will invest 1 billion euros in start-ups and funds developing dual-use emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.
Together with NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic – or DIANA – the new fund will harness the best new technology for transatlantic security.

Climate change is a defining challenge of our time. And NATO is committed to playing our part in mitigating the impact on our security.
Today, we agreed a new methodology to map military greenhouse gas emissions. And we agreed concrete targets to cut NATO emissions.
Our aim is to cut emissions by NATO bodies and commands by at least 45% by 2030. And move towards Net Zero by 2050.
This is an important step for our Alliance.
We cannot choose between having green militaries or strong militaries. They must be both.
So we must maintain our operational effectiveness and readiness as we continue to adapt.

In a more dangerous and competitive world, we must work even more closely with like-minded nations and organizations.
This afternoon, our Indo-Pacific partners Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea will take part in a NATO Summit for the first time.
We will also be joined by the European Union, Finland, Georgia, and Sweden.

Today, NATO leaders took the historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO.
The agreement concluded last night by Turkey, Finland and Sweden paved the way for this decision.

I would like to thank Turkey, Finland and Sweden for accepting my invitation to engage in negotiations to find a united way forward.
This has been hard work over many weeks, with multiple contacts at many different levels.
Senior officials have had two rounds of talks in Brussels under my auspices.
And last night, we met, President Erdogan, President Niinistö, and Prime Minister Andersson, and we were able to reach the final agreement.

This is a good agreement for Turkey.
It is a good agreement for Finland and Sweden.
And it is a good agreement for NATO.

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