NATO:n pääsihteeri: Toivotamme Suomen tervetulleeksi liittymään allianssimme 31. jäseneksi.


Good morning. 
Today is an historic day. 

Because in a few hours, we will welcome Finland as the thirty-first member of our Alliance. 
This will make Finland safer and NATO stronger.

And on this very day, in 1949, the Washington Treaty, NATO’s founding Treaty was signed in Washington.

And it is hard to imagine a better way of celebrating our anniversary than to have Finland becoming a full member of the Alliance.

NATO’s Foreign Ministers meet at a pivotal time for our security.  

We see that President Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine grinds on. 

We will meet in the NATO-Ukraine Commission with the Foreign Minister Kuleba, where we will address how to sustain and ramp up support from NATO and NATO Allies to Ukraine. 

Both the urgent needs but also, I expect that Allies will start to develop a more long-term and multi-year programme to assist and support Ukraine. 

To help them develop interoperability with NATO Allies. 
Move from Soviet era standards, doctrines to NATO standards and then move closer to the Euro-Atlantic family. 

We will, tomorrow in our session, address a wide range of different security challenges, including those emanating from the Middle East and North Africa, including the fight against terrorism. 

We will discuss how to invest more in defence.
And I expect that when Allies meet at the Summit in Vilnius later on, Allies will agree to have a more ambitious defence investment pledge where we regard 2% of GDP for defence not as ceiling but as a floor, a minimum that we need to spend more in a more dangerous world on our security. 
And then, we will also meet with our Asia-Pacific partners –New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

Security is not regional, security is global. What happens in Europe matters for the Indo-Pacific, for Asia. 
And what happens in Asia matters for Europe. 

And the war in Ukraine really demonstrates that with all its global ramifications. 
And also when you see that China and Russia are coming more and more closely, that they stand together, work together, it makes it even more obvious that we need to stand together with our partners in the Indo-Pacific. 

With that I am ready to take your questions. 

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