Preparing NATO and Allies to the Future
The NATO Deputy Secretary General, Mr Mircea Geoana and Rear Admiral John Tammen, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Policies (DCOS SPP) at NATO Headquarters, Supreme Allied Command Transformation took part in the international conference “Preparing NATO and the Allies to the future challenges” on 27 October 2020. This very prominent online conference was held by the CMDR COE in collaboration with Sofia Security Forum and Bulgarian Naval Academy and under patronage of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria. It was supported by the NATO's Public Diplomacy Division and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Foundation.
A range of topics were presented by key speakers across the Atlantic to the virtual participants. Conference’s panels covered issues of the ongoing covid pandemic and the importance of Allied solidarity in the present situation. All lecturers placed special emphasis upon the establishment of sufficient capabilities in order to meet further challenges, notably stockpiles of medical supplies; opportunities and risks deriving from the emergence of new technologies; and the imperative for the Allied militaries and societies to increase their resilience to cyber and hybrid threats, terrorism and climate change.
Turning to practical cooperation, Mr. Geoana stated that NATO has provided continued support in response to the COVID 19 pandemic, primarily with logistic of medical supplies and protective equipment. He highlighted that Allies are committed to continue supporting the countries outside NATO to deal with this crisis, responding to their requests for assistance to the Euro Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre. He pointed out the importance to keep strong unity between NATO Members and their societies inside as well as sharing responsibility.
Rear Admiral Tammen stressed attention to the combine work of Allies focused on adaptation in newly emerged realities worldwide. He emphasized that NATO should have a clear vision of the changes that occur and must adapt to them as collective defense will have to be provided under the circumstances caused by the rapid hi-tech development and virus pandemic implications.
All speakers pointed out that further challenges to NATO and Member States will require more efficient spending, enhanced sharing of knowledge and expertise, as well as cooperation between security sector, academia and industries. Furthermore, the current crisis shows that it is extremely important to improve the synergy between military and civilian capabilities as a prerequisite for improved efficiency.
On his turn to the conference, the CMDR COE Director, Colonel Nikolov referred as “The current pandemic possesses a serious challenge and a crucial test for all Allies. We are convinced that it is only through joint efforts that we will be able not only to deal with this crisis but also to come out of it more united. We highly appreciate the idea of developing the discussion on topic Preparing NATO and the Allies to the future challenges” based on the lessons learned. As we know, in the midst of every crisis lies an opportunity that we have to take advantage of, so that we are better prepared for similar situations in the future”.
The CMDR COE thanks all speakers, organisations and individuals who performed this prominent conference and added value to its success.
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