During the NATO Summit Simulation Game 2013 students from the Baltic States and Russia drafted Chairman’s Statement regarding the NATO partnerships, Afghanistan after 2014 and NATO Defence Capabilities. We encourage you to get acquainted with the proposals and positions from our future leaders!
Meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the Level of Heads of State and Government Held in Riga on June 13, 2013
Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance gathered in Riga to renew their commitment to the Washington Treaty; to reconfirm their support for Afghanistan in light of the upcoming transition from ISAF to Resolute Support; to ensure the Alliance has the capabilities it needs to deal with the various threats it faces and will face; and to strengthen partnerships with countries and organisations. They affirmed that NATO is the transatlantic framework for an effective and robust collective defence and the key forum for security consultations and decisions amongst Allies, ensuring interoperability and solidarity.
Allies concurred that the core tasks for the Alliance are collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security.
Heads of State and Government commended the brave men and women from Allied and partner nations serving in NATO-led missions and operations, and expressed deep appreciation for their dedication. They extended their sympathy to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives or been injured during the course of fulfilling their duties.
In light of recent cyber-related incidents, Allies engaged in a discussion on the importance of cyber-security, and agreed to work together on further developing NATO’s capabilities in this area. Allies felt that a clear signal should be sent to countries which have a demonstrated offensive cyber-capability to ensure responsibility and accountability. Further attacks may compel Allies to consider developing cyber-capabilities which are not merely defensive.
Allies discussed other emerging challenges including those posed by global warming and generally agreed that NATO must monitor the evolving situation in the High North.
Heads of State and Government supported the idea of systematically developing strategic communication capabilities with special attention to its usefulness for NATO’s operations and missions.
They endorsed the validity of Smart Defence and agree that further decreases in defence spending should be avoided.
The transfer of authority and responsibility from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is on track for completion by the end of 2014. While transitioning to Resolute Support, a new mission which will emphasize military training and assistance, Allies have made a long-term commitment to a stable and secure Afghanistan. While agreeing that training is essential, there was support also to continue to assist the ANSF with certain military elements of ISAF, including drones, but discussions on this will continue.
Taking into account a comprehensive approach, and that challenges cannot be met through military means alone, NATO will be encouraging the EU, the UN, and other international organisations to join NATO in a revolutionary program of development for Afghanistan, reminiscent of the Marshall Plan in scope and objectives, which will emphasize education for all the residents of Afghanistan regardless of gender or ethnicity as well as stimulation for self-sustaining business and industry.
While they are optimistic about Afghanistan’s steady progress, the Heads of State and Government could not fail to note that good governance, honesty, and tolerance are goals yet to be fully realized. Upcoming elections will be a litmus test and Allies expressed the hope that a well-supervised electoral process will be cause for increased confidence of the international community and the Afghani people in the government of Afghanistan. If on the other hand, the fairness and inclusiveness of the electoral process is called into question, it will have a corresponding impact on the level of both internal and external support. In line with common values represented by NATO member states, Allies felt it incumbent upon them to encourage implementation of legislation on human rights and fundamental freedoms to all citizens of Afghanistan, including with respect to the equality of men and women and the active participation of both in Afghan society.
NATO Allies understand that reconciliation and reintegration have a role in long-term stability. And, in this regard, they are open to negotiations that may include representatives of formerly opposing militant forces which wish to reintegrate and agree to reintegrate in a peaceful manner for the sake of a united Afghanistan.
Allies agreed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations can never be justified, and that through threat awareness, and responsiveness, safe havens for terrorism must be prevented.
Heads of State and Government also recognised that security and stability in the “Heart of Asia” is interlinked across the region. And NATO will, within its means, support a high-level dialogue with Afghanistan’s neighbours, to further mutual interests.
The countries in the region, particularly Pakistan, have important roles in ensuring enduring peace, stability and security in Afghanistan. Allies welcomed the transit arrangements with Central Asian partners and Russia that facilitate Afghanistan’s connectivity through a multimodal transportation infrastructure reaching west to Europe and eastward to countries on Asia’s Pacific Rim.
NATO and the EU share common values and strategic interests. Broad support was voiced at the meeting of Heads of State and Government in Riga for the strengthening of this strategic partnership. NATO recognises the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence.
Allies are fully committed to the stability and security of the strategically important Balkans region. Heads of State and Government applaud the continuing progress made in developing the Kosovo Security Force, under NATO’s supervision and commend it for its readiness and capability to implement its security tasks and responsibilities.
In accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, NATO’s door will remain open to all European democracies which share the values of the Alliance including Georgia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership, which are in a position to further the principles of the Treaty, and whose inclusion can contribute to security in the North Atlantic area. NATO’s enlargement has contributed substantially to the security of Allies; the prospect of further enlargement and the spirit of cooperative security continue to advance stability in Europe more broadly.
Allies are carefully examining new opportunities for cooperation and security assistance with countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East, and remain concerned about the existence of porous borders.
NATO-Russia cooperation is of strategic importance as it contributes to creating a common space of peace, stability and security. Cooperation with Russia is and has been of great practical importance in the context of Afghanistan. Allies remain determined to build a lasting and inclusive peace, together with Russia, in the Euro-Atlantic area. Allies wish to see a true strategic partnership between NATO and Russia, and will act accordingly with the expectation of reciprocity from Russia.
Allies continue to be deeply concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD), as well as their means of delivery.
Given a less predictable global security situation, and taking into account assymetrical threats from non-state actors, resource constraints and environmental issues, including health risks, climate change, water scarcity, demographic realities, and energy needs, Allies discussed preparedness to address these and other variables that affect the shape of the security landscape in ways that have the potential to significantly affect NATO planning and operations.
Heads of State and Government tasked the Council to explore work in several fields: to discuss the possibility of creating a tripartite council including NATO, Russia, and Georgia; to reach out to China, India, and Pakistan in the mutual interest of establishing a tailor-made long-term partner relationship; to discuss how research and development can be encouraged and to consider additional funding and effort in this regard; and, to consider, amongst other things, the advantages of military “specialization” for maintenance of defence capabilities.
Allies expressed their appreciation for the hospitality of the Government and people of Latvia, and the City of Riga, and conveyed their confidence that the conversations and decisions taken at their Summit in Riga will strengthen the Alliance; ensure NATO is sensitive to current risks; successfully engaging in its existing missions; and ready to meet unexpected challenges as they arise.
 Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.