NATO after the Wales Summit conference2 September 2014
Two days before the NATO Summit on the 4-5 September, Cardiff University hosted a major academic conference entitled NATO after the Wales Summit. I was delighted to welcome 150 leading international thinkers and decision makers in international security and defence to the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay. The aim was to discuss the objectives and functions of the Alliance against the backdrop of a rapidly changing security landscape. First Minister, the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, gave a thoughtful and warm welcome, stressing the commitment of the Welsh Government to NATO and to the success of the summit. Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, said that the conference gave practitioners and academic experts a forum for joint discussion, helping NATO rethink issues of global concern and helping shape future actions. I am grateful to NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division for their co-sponsorship of the conference. The opening keynote speaker was Professor Stephen Krasner from Stanford University. He delivered an outstanding address, arguing that the greatest challenge facing NATO is “contested sovereignty”, as failed states threaten world peace and security. The day consisted of a series of panels made up of policy makers, leading thinkers and academics and concluded with an agenda setting speech from the Deputy Secretary General of NATO Ambassador Alexander Vershbow. For further details of the programme and how the day went see http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/wales-summit/home.