Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană delivered a virtual address to the Jagello Security Conference on Thursday (25 June 2020) and commended the Czech Republic for its generous support to Allies during the COVID 19 pandemic, including with donations of medical equipment to Italy, Spain, and North Macedonia.
He also thanked the Czech Republic for its continued commitment to NATO deployments from Afghanistan to Iraq, and to the Alliance’s multinational battlegroups. He was speaking at the 7th Czech National Security Conference «Our Security Cannot Be Taken for Granted», organized by the Jagello 2000 association.
Mr. Geoană said that Allies need to ensure that the health and economic downturn caused by the COVID 19 pandemic “does not become a security crisis”. He said that NATO solidarity is what will help to overcome the crisis and to stand ready respond to new waves in the spread of the virus. Referring to the NATO Defence Ministers meeting held last week, Mr. Geoană highlighted that the NATO Secretary General welcomed donations from Allies of medical equipment to a stockpile that the Alliance agreed to establish, as well as contributions to a new fund that will enable Allies to quickly acquire medical supplies and services.
The Deputy Secretary General said that NATO has to remain ready to defend all allies against any threat, today and tomorrow. He stressed that cyber threats and disinformation are on the rise, while at the same time other threats that existed before the pandemic have not disappeared.
“Around the world, terrorism continues, authoritarian regimes challenge liberal democracies, nuclear weapons are proliferating. The security situation in Afghanistan and Iraq remains fragile. And we see a continued pace of Russian military activity”, he said.
Mr. Geoana stressed that “NATO’s job is to remain ready to defend all Allies against any threat” and said that “to adapt our policies and strategies, we have to continue to invest in our armed forces and in modern military capabilities” and to “bring all the issues that affect our security to NATO’s table.”
“I am confident – as somebody who knows and cares about our region – that the Czech Republic and the Visegrad countries will join in this effort to make our strong Alliance even stronger”, he said.