Generálny tajomník NATO Jens Stoltenberg vystúpil 3. novembra 2021 na 73. zasadnutí Severskej rady v Kodani. V svojom vystúpení zdôraznil význam silných medzinárodných inštitúcií pri budovaní dôvery a mieru medzi národmi. V svojom prejave okrem iného kritizoval politiku Ruska a Číny, hovoril o problematike Afganistanu a o spolupráci EÚ a NATO. Venoval sa aj klimatickým zmenám, ktoré označil za „multiplikátor kríz“.
Severská rada bola založená v roku 1952. Je oficiálnym orgánom pre formálnu medziparlamentnú spoluprácu v celom severskom regióne. V súčasnosti má 87 členov a jej činnosť zahŕňa celý rad oblastí vrátane legislatívy a spravodlivosti, udržateľného rozvoja, digitalizácie a inovácií a podobne.
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Translated transcript of the speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the Nordic Council in Copenhagen, Denmark
03 November 2021
Thank you, Bertel.
It is a pleasure to be back in Denmark, and a great honour to speak here at the Nordic Council.
I am always happy to be in Copenhagen.
In the “King’s City”.
Admittedly, to meet the Queen.
It is also a pleasure to discuss security policy.
For many years, we did not do that in this Council.
But now we do.
Bertel mentioned my father, Thorvald, in his introduction.
If he had known I was standing here talking about security policy, he would have been so happy.
Because he contributed to putting security and defence issues on the Nordic Council’s agenda – a long journey.
I am glad to be back here, and meet the Nordic Council.
I have contributed to strengthening Nordic cooperation for several decades – 25 years to be precise.
As a parliamentarian, as a Minister and as Prime Minister.
I remember – at times – being a little frustrated that the decisions made did not always lead to very concrete outcomes.
I am sure this is something you have resolved. Governments are more “on the ball” now than they were in my time.
After ten years as Norwegian Prime Minister,
and many years in NATO,
I have become an even stronger supporter of politicians meeting in international institutions – such as the Nordic Council.
Because it builds trust, peace and friendship.
We need that at a time when nations must cooperate even more.
We live in peace here in the Nordic countries.
But historically, cooperation was not a given for us.
We fought against each other from the Viking Age, through the Nordic wars –
both the great Nordic war and all the small ones.
But now we live in peace.
This is not only thanks to the Nordic Council.
But you certainly have a part to play in providing stability in the region.
Our institutions play an important role when it comes to security.
If we look to the rest of Europe, it was also war-ridden.
But now it is at peace.
This can be attributed to institutions established after World War II – including NATO and the European Union.
I am fully aware that not all Nordic countries are members of both organisations, but we all benefit from the stability that these institutions create.
This means, for example, that countries like Iceland and Norway, that are not EU-members, also benefit from the friendship, trust and peace that Europe has helped build between countries such as Germany and France.
And it means that countries like Finland and Sweden, that are not members of NATO, benefit from NATO providing the political framework for security between the North America and Europe.
So all the Nordic countries benefit from the strong institutions built after the War in order to safeguard peace.
I have had an excellent meeting with Denmark’s Prime Minister, Mette Fredriksen.
We discussed how we could further strengthen NATO.
I see that the Norwegian prime minister is here.
For many years, he was minister for Foreign Affairs in Norway,
and I remember he thought us one thing, namely that in the Nordic countries and in Europe, we live in so-called ‘deep peace’.
It means that we cannot even imagine war, because we have been living in peace for so long.
But, it’s also risky, as Jonas told us.
Because it could be easy to forget how dangerous, how brutal war is. War is horrifying.
As countries we must work together. Peace is the basis for everything.
Our task is to maintain this ‘deep peace’, to secure it in our part of the world.
This is NATO’s mission: to safeguard peace and to prevent war.
And it is what we have done since 1949, when NATO was established.
We have successfully done so because we have been able to change as the world around us changed.
For the first forty years, NATO had a single mission: to deter the Soviet Union.
That lasted from 1949 until 1989.
Then, after the Cold War, we put an end to two brutal ethnic wars in the Balkans – in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Following the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, we have been fighting international terrorism.
And after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, we carried out the largest reinforcement of our collective defence.
Today, we use far fewer resources and have far fewer soldiers outside NATO borders.
At the same time, we are stepping up defence spending and increasing military presence on our own territory, notably in the Baltic region.
NATO is the most successful alliance in history.
Mainly because of two things: our ability to unite, and our ability to change.
We will need more of both in the years to come.
Because we live in turbulent times.
Moscow continues its pattern of aggressive behaviour on several fronts.
It has invested significantly in new, advanced military capabilities,
shown a willingness to use military force against neighbours,
and interfere in other countries‘ affairs.
It is particularly concerning that Russia is deploying new, advanced nuclear weapons.
This has resulted in the collapse of the INF Treaty – one of the most important disarmament agreements.
NATO’s approach to Russia has two tracks: strong defence and credible deterrence, combined with dialogue.
For the first time in our history, we have deployed battle groups to the east of the Alliance,
and increased the readiness of our forces.
And all NATO countries are investing more in defence.
At the same time, our door remains open for political dialogue.
We regret Russia’s reluctance to meet in the NATO-Russia Council,
and its decision to close down the two NATO offices in Moscow,
and also to withdraw Russian personnel from the NATO mission in Brussels.
The more difficult the relationship between us, the more important it is that we talk to Russia.
Not least on arms control and disarmament.
We welcome the agreement between Russia and the United States earlier this year to extend the New Start treaty limiting long-range nuclear weapons.
Work on arms control must continue, and include new weapons and more countries.
Another challenge is the rise of China.
We see it in the Arctic, in Africa and in cyberspace.
China will soon have the world’s largest economy.
It already has the world’s largest navy,
and the world’s second largest defence budget.
And it is investing heavily in new, long-range nuclear weapons.
NATO does not consider China an adversary.
But China is a growing superpower that does not share our values.
A great power that oppresses, monitors and controls its own people.
Suppresses democracy and human rights.
And persecutes ethnic and religious minorities.
China is openly threatening Taiwan,
and hampering freedom of navigation, as we have seen in the South China Sea.
I was Prime Minister of Norway when the independent Nobel Committee,
appointed by the Norwegian Parliament,
presented the Nobel Peace Prize to the Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiabo.
China responded immediately.
It stopped all political contact,
boycotted Norwegian exports,
and made it clear that it would do everything to oppose Norway.
Denmark had a similar experience when the Dalai Lama was invited here for a visit.
Also in Sweden, we have recently seen how the Chinese embassy has threatened journalists who were writing negatively about China.
These are just some examples of how China is trying to dominate other countries.
As China grows, we must not become dependent on it.
Beijing invests heavily in critical infrastructure in our countries,
and in some areas today, supplies from China are vital to our societies.
We must never take for granted the international world order we are used to.
A peaceful, free and rules-based world order.
And we must stand together, as democratic countries, to continue to defend the values we believe in – and which NATO is built on.
Democracy and freedom.
Another challenge we face is the continued threat of terrorist attacks.
NATO has ended our military presence in Afghanistan,
but the fight against terrorism continues.
It was a difficult decision to pull out.
We faced a dilemma.
Stay – and risk more fighting and civilian casualties.
Or leave – and risk the Taliban coming back to power.
After extensive consultations, NATO Foreign and Defence Ministers decided in spring this year to leave.
Our mission was long, demanding, and costly – in blood and treasure.
Hundreds of thousands of soldiers have served in Afghanistan over the past two decades.
Many paid the ultimate price.
Among them, a total of 60 Nordic soldiers.
Many were seriously injured.
Even more Afghan civilians and military were killed.
I honour them, and thank them for their sacrifices.
But our efforts in Afghanistan were not in vain.
We have made important progress in the fight against terrorism.
We degraded al-Qaeda.
And for 20 years, no terrorist attacks have been launched on NATO countries from Afghanistan.
Now, we must preserve what we have achieved,
prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for international terrorism,
and continue the global effort against terrorism.
We do this, notably, through our efforts in Iraq.
Where we train and assist the Iraqi security forces in the fight against IS.
This is a NATO mission led by Denmark.
Another example of how Denmark, as a NATO ally, makes important contributions to our common security.
There are also several other challenges, but I have promised to leave time for questions.
Therefore I will only briefly mention cyber, what we call hybrid attacks, the spread of nuclear weapons. And, what we discussed in Glasgow yesterday, climate change and its implications for our security.
Climate change is a crisis multiplier.
All these challenges have to be discussed within the same framework.
Although they are different challenges, they share one common ground:
North America and Europe together can overcome them.
Divided, we will fail.
The most important message I have for you today is that we need to continue to maintain the historic cooperation which was established after WWII.
We have an historical opportunity.
We have a US administration, a US President, which strongly supports transatlantic cooperation – and wants more cooperation with Europe.
We also see that the US has increased its presence in Europe. It’s not just words, it is also deeds.
One thing that I’m quite proud of during my time as Secretary General at NATO is that we, as allies, are working even closer than before.
Many of you in this room know I am a big supporter of the European Union.
Twice I have tried to convince the Norwegian people to become a member – both times I failed.
But I have a kind of personal membership in the EU, because the EU often invites me as the NATO Secretary General. So I am a proud personal member of the EU.
NATO and the EU are different organisations, with different members, different roles and different tools.
But more than 90 percent of the EU citizens live in a NATO country.
We have the same neighbours.
We face the same security threats.
And we share the same values.
So we are now cooperating more closely than ever before.
And I have repeatedly told the EU that I welcome its increased efforts on defence.
More resources can benefit both NATO and the EU.
But what we must avoid is creating parallel structures,
that would tap into the same, limited, pool of resources we already have.
We are talking about the same soldiers, the same member countries.
We will not be safer if we develop new structures that compete for the same capabilities.
That would only create duplication, and it would weaken NATO instead of strengthening NATO.
I would like to end simply by saying that I do not believe in Europe alone.
I don’t believe in North America alone.
I believe in Europe and North America together.
And in cooperation with key partners.
By remaining united and continuing to adapt to a changing world, we will keep the ‘deep peace’ here in the Nordic region and in Europe.
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Source and image: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_188345.htm