At their Summit meeting in Lisbon, NATO leaders adopted a new Strategic Concept that will serve as the Alliance's roadmap for the next ten years and that reconfirms the commitment to defend one another against attack as the bedrock of Euro-Atlantic security.
The document lays out NATO's vision for an evolving Alliance that will remain able to defend its members against modern threats and commits NATO to become more agile, more capable and more effective.
"NATO is an unparalleled community of freedom, peace, security and shared values," the Secretary General said. “But the world is changing. We face new threats and new challenges. And this Strategic Concept will ensure that NATO remains as effective as ever in defending our peace, our security and our prosperity."
Stressing that the time has come for NATO to develop new capabilities and new partnerships, the new Strategic Concept paves the way for the Alliance to modernise its ability to carry out its core mission of collective defence, while continuing to promote international stability.
The new Strategic Concept urges Allies to invest in key capabilities to meet emerging threats and agree to develop within NATO the capabilities necessary to defend against ballistic missile attacks and cyber attacks.
"This is an action plan … which sets out clearly the concrete steps NATO will take," stressed the NATO Secretary General, as he presented the new Strategic Concept in Lisbon. “It will put in place an Alliance that is more effective, more engaged and more efficient than ever before.”
The new Strategic Concept offers partner countries around the globe more opportunities for dialogue and cooperation and commits NATO to reinforce cooperation with Russia. It also keeps the door firmly open to membership in NATO to European democracies.
The document highlights the need for NATO to remain ready to play an active role in crisis management operations, whenever it is called to act. Finally, it points to the need for the Alliance to remain cost-effective and makes continuous internal reform a key aspect of the way the Alliance will do business in the future.