Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec attended the NATO Leader's meeting in London, 4.12.2019
Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec attended the NATO Leader's meeting in London, the final event of the marking of this year’s 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
In his address, the Prime Minister first noted that this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the alliance and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, should remind us of the importance of freedom and democracy, of our strong bonds and shared values, and our unity and solidarity. These were the very reasons that Slovenia joined the alliance 15 years ago.
He said that we will only succeed by facing the challenges together, and that NATO’s flexibility must remain one of its advantages. “We need a strategic concept for expanding NATO’s political dimension, which could help to unify us. It’s true that we sometimes bring a lot of different viewpoints to the discussion, but overcoming these divisions gives us strength.”
With regard to sharing of responsibilities, the prime minister said that Slovenia is aware that our collective security means solidarity: “Not just if our security were threatened, but also solidarity during times of peace. This is why we are taking our share of the responsibility. Slovenia’s contributions to NATO’s international operations and missions are well known within the alliance and in the countries in which the operations and missions take place. Slovenia is aware of the commitments it has made, and particularly of its responsibility for its own security. Therefore in the last few years we have managed to halt and reverse the negative trend of reductions in spending on security, and have increased them significantly in nominal terms. We will ensure that the positive momentum we have achieved is maintained. Our efforts are also reflected in our contributions to the operations and missions, where Slovenia, with its above-average level of commitment, is recognised as a reliable and responsible partner.” He mentioned the long-term presence of Slovenian soldiers in the Western Balkans, whose operations help maintain regional stability and security in our neighbourhood. Members of the Slovenian armed forces also serve in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia and international operations and missions from the Near East and Africa to Afghanistan. He said that Slovenia will continue to contribute to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund in 2020 and to the corresponding support mission as long as necessary.
He also emphasised NATO’s important role in the broader efforts of the international community in the fight against terrorism: “A safe and stable neighbourhood is crucial for a safe and stable alliance.” Slovenia also contributes to these efforts by helping Iraq develop its own defence capacities.
He additionally noted the importance of NATO’s presence in the Western Balkans, which has had a significant effect on the development of the region and led to several successes, most recently that of North Macedonia, which is expected to join NATO shortly.
At the end of the Leader's meeting, the leaders adopted a political declaration, in which in addition to their clear confirmation of the commitments set out in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty made note of the strong transatlantic bonds and the importance of solidarity and unity within the alliance, based on its deterrent and dissuasive capacities and shared values. In the declaration, the world leaders emphasised their common viewpoint regarding the sharing of responsibilities, the development of their own national and joint capacities, adjusting the alliance to the changed strategic environment and the importance of new technologies. The declaration also emphasises the firm commitment of NATO and all its members to the full implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to strengthening NATO’s role in the area of human security.