Twenty years ago today, at the Brussels Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government took a far-reaching decision: to create a Partnership for Peace with the countries of the Euro-Atlantic area. Their vision was of a partnership that would reach across borders and ideological divides of the past; a partnership that would build peace and security through consultation, cooperation, and common action based on shared values of democracy, fundamental freedoms and human rights.
Today, we can proudly say that vision has become reality. The Partnership for Peace has successfully contributed to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. Partners have joined our operations, working alongside NATO Allies to protect security in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond. Allies and partners join in exercises and training activities every year to promote reforms, build capabilities, and improve our capacity to work together on shared security challenges. Twelve of the original partners from Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe have become NATO Allies.
Partnership for Peace will continue to foster peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and help develop NATO’s growing network of partnerships. As our Strategic Concept makes clear, cooperative security is one of NATO’s core tasks. In September, when we gather for the NATO Summit in Wales, we will mark an Alliance whose partnerships are broader, deeper, and richer than ever before.