NATO Secretary General lauches first-ever "Annual Report 2012" - an Overview of achievements in 2011.
Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen launched the first ever Annual Report on NATO, which "gives a brief overview of NATO's principal achievements and challenges in 2011. This assessment of Alliance activities focuses on four areas: NATO operations, emerging security challenges, the modernization of NATO - its structures and capabilities - as well as NATO's growing partnerships. These areas are examined against the backdrop of the financial crisis and are preceded by a forward from the Secretary General."
View the Secretary General delivering the Annual Report on NATO Channel TV
From the Foreward:
"Many will remember 2011 as a year of austerity. But it has also been a year of hope. The international community united in its responsibility to protect. Much of the Arab world took a new path forward. And the European Allies showed they were willing and able to lead a new NATO operation.
For NATO, 2011 was one of the busiest years ever. From Libya to Afghanistan and Kosovo, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean, the Alliance was committed to protecting its populations and active in upholding its principles and values. We enabled the Afghan security forces to start taking the lead for security for over half of the Afghan population. We successfully concluded our training mission which has contributed to improving Iraq’s security capacity. 2011 was also a benchmark year for reforms. We took significant steps to further streamline our structures, enhance our effectiveness and reduce our costs. At the same time, we strengthened our capabilities in many areas, including the prevention of cyber attacks. And we enhanced our connectivity by increasing cooperation with our partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area, the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf, as well as with many other countries across the globe. This is a transatlantic Alliance that, despite the economic crisis, has once again demonstrated its commitment, capability and connectivity.
In 2011, our new Strategic Concept was put to the test. This report – the first of its kind – shows that we successfully met that test.
At the start of the year, few would have imagined NATO would be called to protect the people of Libya. But on 31 March, NATO took swift action on the basis of the historic United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. We saved countless lives. And seven months later, we successfully completed our mission. When I visited Tripoli on 31 October, Chairman Jalil of the National Transitional Council told me, “NATO is in the heart of the Libyan people.”
Operation Unified Protector was one of the most remarkable in NATO’s history. It showed the Alliance’s strength and flexibility. European Allies and Canada took the lead; the United States provided critical capabilities; and the NATO command structure unified all those contributions, as well as those of our partners, for one clear goal. In fact, the operation opened a completely new chapter of cooperation with our partners in the region, who called for NATO to act and then contributed actively. It was also an exemplary mission of cooperation and consultation with other organizations, including the United Nations, the League of Arab States, and the European Union. Throughout, NATO proved itself as a force for good and the ultimate force multiplier.
These achievements give me great confidence as I look forward to 2012. Clearly, economic challenges are likely to remain a dominant factor and decisions taken today may shape our world for decades to come. Our task is to make sure we emerge stronger, not weaker, from the crisis we all face. But we can draw great strength from an enduring source: the indivisibility of security between North America and Europe. NATO is a security investment that has stood the test of time for over six decades and continues to deliver real returns for all Allies, year after year.
2012 will be marked by our Chicago Summit in May. This will be an opportunity to renew our commitment to the vital transatlantic bond between us and to redouble our efforts to share the burden of security more effectively. We will take important decisions to keep NATO committed, capable and connected.
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