Session Summary: NATO 2030: How to Get There?

Expert's insights by:

Amb. Christopher Heusgen, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations

Katrina Mulligan, Acting Vice-President, National Security, Center for American Progress, Washington, D.C.

Amb. Baiba Braže, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, North Atlantic Treaty  Organization

Led by: Rachel Rizzo, Adjunct Fellow, Center for a New American Security, Washington, D.C.

Followed by a panel discussion:

H.E. Jaroslav Naď, Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic 

H.E. Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence of Canada

H.E. Radmila Šekerinska, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia 

Led by: Kim Dozier, CNN Global Affairs Analyst, Washington, D.C.


Beyond the pandemic, the world order changes. Great power competition between the West, China, and Russia intensifies.  New threats emerge. In such an environment, the cooperation of NATO Allies will be ever more crucial. The 2021 NATO Summit reassured of the standing NATO values and of the commitment of the Allies. Although NATO consensus-rooted decision-making is cumbersome at times, a united decision and commitment of thirty sovereign states bear a remarkable power. 

Although the agreement lacks its exact form, it is likely a new black swan event will occur in the future. The represented nations agreed that cyber and hybrid threats, exacerbated by the rapid progress of artificial interference, are of grave concern. Cyber-attacks on infrastructure or political and state institutions already happen in many parts of the world. NATO should thus develop and strengthen its cyber defence and offence. Ambassador Baiba Braže earlier recognized that security threats become further challenging as they take on the global and intersectional character. Madam Ambassador further added that NATO recognizes the distinct threats Russia and China poses and reiterated that NATO takes a firm stance to protect but always remains open for dialogue. 

A key aspect of the collective ability to face future challenges is resilience. As NATO introduces its first Innovation Accelerator, Canada can provide valuable experience with public-private sector cooperation on the development of technologies. As His Excellence Harjit Singh Sajjan stressed, talent is central. NATO and nation-states should pay attention to utilising the quality and diversity of talent they have available. They should equally think about efficient and effective procurement for all their activities.   

Nevertheless, the western international community also faces the threat of erosion of public trust in both the national and international institutions. NATO, the UN, nation-states, and civil society all play a crucial role in strengthening the confidence of the people they represent and protect.