On Tuesday 2 September, the UK delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly hosts a conference entitled 'Approaching the Summit 2014'. This is an opportunity for parliamentarians from across the Alliance to meet key decision-makers to discuss the themes of the NATO Summit, which will be held in Wales on 4-5 September.
The Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, will address these themes in his speech to the conference, which is being held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Delegates will also hear from the UK Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen Sir Nicholas Houghton, who will speak on NATO reassurance and deterrence. Estonian Defence Minister, Sven Mikser, will provide a European perspective on the NATO Summit, and the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow will discuss defence capacity building. Other topics under consideration will include relations with Russia and Ukraine and the draw-down in Afghanistan.
Hugh Bayley MP (Lab, York Central), President of the NATO PA, will post a summary of the event outlining topics discussed and questions raised to NATO Parliamentary Assembly on the morning following the conference.
The leader of the UK delegation, Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell MP, said:
“This conference is a unique opportunity for parliamentarians to have a dialogue with representatives of NATO governments in the run-up to the NATO Summit. It is designed to be a two-way exchange of views and ideas, and I hope that it will inform the discussions at the Summit as well as enhancing wider debates across the Alliance.”
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly is the consultative inter-parliamentary body for NATO. It provides a link between NATO and the parliaments of its member nations. At the same time, it facilitates parliamentary awareness and understanding of key security issues and contributes to a greater transparency of NATO policies. Crucially, it helps maintain and strengthen the transatlantic relationship, which underpins the Atlantic Alliance.