Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to be here at Chatham House. This august institution has become a by-word for free and open debate. It is full of history, yet focused on the future.
For nearly nine decades, speakers from around the globe have come to Chatham House to discuss their vision for shaping international affairs. So I can think of no better place to set out my vision for the future of NATO. These days, it’s not easy to be an optimist. Indeed, we appear to be surrounded by professional pessimists. In the newspapers. On our television screens. In the blogs. We see speculation that the euro could unravel and Europe could break up. Fears that the world is slowly but surely passing Europe by. And that as Europe looks inwards, our neighbours are turning away, and North America is looking elsewhere for friends and partners. We see turmoil and uncertainty across the Middle East and North Africa. We witness the emergence of new powers — economically, politically, and militarily. And we hear many commentators predict the decline of the West as we know it. Undoubtedly we live in a time of momentous shifts, in a world that is increasingly unpredictable, complex and interlinked. But I strongly disagree with the vision of doom and gloom. Europe and North America still have tremendous resources, resolve, and ideas. And when we work together, there is no greater force for positive change.
Source: Chatnam House