NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was honoured by the Atlantic Council on Monday (5 June 2017) with a Distinguished International Leadership Award for his service both as Secretary General and as Prime Minister of Norway. At the awards ceremony in Washington DC, the Secretary General called on Europe and North America to ”keep our Alliance strong.”
Mr. Stoltenberg stressed the importance of the transatlantic bond in keeping Allies safe for almost seven decades: “That’s what NATO is all about. Our Article 5 commitment: one for all and all for one.” The Secretary General added that Montenegro had made that commitment earlier in the day, by joining NATO’s transatlantic family as the 29th Ally. He underlined that this unique bond cannot be taken for granted and welcomed that Allies’ commitment to NATO can be seen not only in words, but also in deeds. “The US is increasing its military presence in Europe, and Europe and Canada are investing more in defence. We may be an ocean apart, but we are also the closest of Allies,” he said.
The Secretary General also congratulated Admiral Michelle Howard, Commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples and US Naval Forces Europe and Africa, as well as the other honourees receiving the Distinguished International Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council this year: Her Royal Highness Haya Bint Al Hussein, William Ford Jr, and Renee Fleming.
Every year, the Atlantic Council hosts a distinguished international leadership award ceremony to honour leaders who serve as pillars of the transatlantic community. This award is the highest honour granted by the Atlantic Council. Previous recipients include Ban Ki-moon, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush,Tony Blair and Anders Fogh Rasmussen.