NATO’s most consequential summit to begin in Warsaw

A soldiers is seen walking with assault helicopters in the background during exercises Anakonda 16 held last month in Poland Photo: Flickr/com/Jfcbrunssum
A soldiers is seen walking with assault helicopters in the background during exercises Anakonda 16 held last month in Poland Photo: Flickr/com/Jfcbrunssum

On Friday and Saturday (8-9 July 2016), the leaders of the 28 NATO Allies and many partner nations will meet for a landmark Warsaw Summit. Together, they will take decisions to enhance the Alliance’s security by strengthening its deterrence and defence, and projecting stability beyond its borders.

Allies will agree to deploy four robust and multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, on a rotational basis. A multinational framework brigade in Romania will provide a tailored presence in south-eastern Europe. NATO will also take further steps to improve cyber defenses, civil preparedness and to defend against ballistic missile attack from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.

To project stability beyond our borders, leaders will agree to extend NATO’s training mission in Iraq and to broaden the Alliance’s role in the central Mediterranean. They will also approve the deployment of NATO’s AWACS surveillance aircraft to support the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. NATO will continue its military and financial support for Afghanistan and will strengthen political and practical cooperation with Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova.

Since NATO’s last summit in Wales in 2014, Allies have implemented the biggest increase in collective defence since the Cold War. Last year, Allies also increased defense spending for the first time in many years.  Today, NATO is faster, stronger and more ready for any challenge.  The decisions taken at the Warsaw Summit will help to ensure the safety of our citizens for years to come.

There have been 27 previous summits. The first one was in December 1957. The last one was in Wales in September 2014. This Summit is the first to be hosted in Poland and the first to be chaired by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Fifty-eight official delegations will participate in the Summit. This includes all 28 NATO Allies, Montenegro – whose accession to NATO is currently in the ratification process, 26 partner countries and representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.  About 2,500 official delegates and 2,000 media representatives will attend.

Last month, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow previewed the agenda of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, outlined the next steps in the Alliance’s adaptation and discussed NATO’s future at the Wrocław Global Forum.“The Warsaw Summit is shaping up as one of the most consequential in NATO’s history. We have to step up to meet security challenges from the East and the South,” Ambassador Vershbow said in front of an audience of policy-makers and entrepreneurs. “To respond, NATO has to be a full-spectrum alliance more than ever before. We have a 360-degree approach”, he said on 3 June.