A New Strategic Landscape for NATO and ATA

FWL_Galles2014 marks a year of significant importance to NATO and ATA. Our mission in Afghanistan is coming to an end, and we must avoid allowing the country to return a hub of international terrorism. To our East, we are once again facing direct conventional threats together with a new form of hybrid warfare. At the same time, rising tensions in Africa countries and the Middle East are challenging our Southern border.

As a result, we bear witness to the suffering of liberal-democratic values, while religious and civilian tolerance and the respect of basic human rights are being entirely neglected in different regions of the world.

In this new strategic landscape, we need an Alliance that is united, prepared, and ready to deliver the right responses to these arising threats. In this perspective, let me recall the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gaetano Martino, who in 1956 authored the Report on Non-Military Cooperation in NATO: “A sense of community must bind the people as well as the institutions of the Atlantic nations”. In this perspective, what the Alliance needs today is also an honest discussion over what to be an Ally actually means. And it means ensuring that each country meets its political and budgetary obligations.

To this end, the Atlantic Treaty Association is continuing its 60-year mission of linking the civil society with political, diplomatic, and military leaders, and of working united with scholars, young professionals, the media, and the wider public all over the world.

ATA’s active engagement in promoting the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty will lead soon to new important initiatives focused both on Ukraine and the Caucasus and the Mediterranean and Middle East.

In this framework, the role of YATA is fundamental to accomplish ATA’s mission and to foster a new generation of leaders. Therefore, I encourage all of you to join and support the 36 national YATA chapters by offering your own experiences, and to benefit from the activities that this unique network is able to provide. Through YATA your opinions and ideas have a voice. It is up to you to give your thoughts and suggestions a solid structure, and it is likely that they will become the objectives of actual NATO policies.

As a leader within the Atlantic Treaty Association, I am proud that ATA has been once again instrumental in connecting present and emerging leaders for a better future.

Address at the “Future Leaders Summit”, Cardiff, 4 September 2014.