“Reflections and Lessons from NATO’s past: Visions for NATO’s Future” – online conference with key expert speaker, former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, as a part of the series of webinars ATA-YATA TALKS”, was held on 2 June 2021, organized by ATA and YATA, supported by NATO PDD.

 

The conference was chaired by Amb. Baiba Braže, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy and hosted by David Hobbs, CEO of the ATA UK, with closing remarks made by ATA Secretary General Monika Begovic PhD and Juxhina Sotiri Gjoni, President of YATA. David Hobbs stressed that ‘ATA TALKS’ series of webinars is having leading experts to share their experience and expertise on current and emerging security issues that the world of today faces. Topics that were discussed were focused on NATO Summit, visions for NATO future and the Initiative NATO 2030.

Lord Robertson reflected on NATO’s role in the future, with the accent on NATO 2030, and new challenges and threats, such as: role of Russia and rise of China, threat of terrorism, cyber-attacks, climate change and importance of resilience of societies. Lord Robertson highlighted the importance of the Alliance that comes from shared values and historic achievements, essential for Allies to defend their future together.

The overarching goal of the project was to increase NATO visibility and to raise awareness on the new wider tasks, as outlined by the NATO. The project has proved that NATO is an active and leading contributor to peace and security on the international stage. As Monika Begovic PhD stressed, “NATO is an alliance that becomes stronger military, but also politically and it’s the most important alliance in the world”.

Amb. Baiba Braže started by mentioning that, “NATO guarantees peace and security in member countries”. In the same line, Lord Robertson said that “the Article 5 is a remarkable article, since all the members commit to protect each other and it is setting a spirit of solidarity within the Alliance in a case one country is attacked by another one”.

NATO’s 72 years of existence shows that NATO continues to adapt to keep the world safe and that it is ready today to meet tomorrow’s challenges. According to Ms. Braze, “investment in defence has been growing, but we have also to look to emerging defence and disruptive technologies and how NATO adapts to the new reality and ability to defend and protect, that is why resilience is the second biggest pillar of NATO”. Amb. Braze stressed that ‘we need much more global approach in terms of understanding and supporting global values in which democratic societies are based. So, through political consultation, and through regular dialogue with our partners not only we will raise the strength and understanding within the Alliance but also will help us to address challenges like China, emerging distractive technologies and space”.

What is positive for the future is NATO’s Open-Door Policy, which gives an opportunity for NATO to establish and acquire new allies. According to Lord Robertson, “Balkans is a priority region”.

Participants, with their questions, showed their special interest in how NATO 2030 Initiative will contribute to strengthening NATO global role in military and political aspect. Lord Robertson pointed out: “NATO is a Euro-Atlantic organization and its an obligation of NATO for security and defence”, adding: “NATO adapts and moves and changes all the time and now the pandemic showed we have new vulnerabilities, and the security of our countries is not simply based on guns and planes but can be something much more subtle and NATO had to adapt very quickly to it. When it came to dealing with the pandemic and medical necessities our forces that used to be instruments of war became instruments of medical necessities.”

Ms. Amb. Braze added that “the training on crisis responses and the resilience shows that we have systems and people that know how to respond and have sufficient supplies and are able to deal with these difficulties”, saying that NATO 2030 agenda addresses future recommendations in dealing with different challenges.

In closing remarks Juxhina Gjoni said that “YATA informs youth, educates on security and defence about NATO’s mission and NATO’s core values, raising awareness of young generation on these issues”.

In its additional role as a think tank, that gathers experts in the field of international security, ATA will continue in organizing online conferences and webinars and discussions on similar issues, promoting transatlantic values and importance of NATO, while observing developments in security area.

 

The video of the whole event can be found in the link below: https://fb.watch/6WkYq4PR1T/