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29th International Workshop on Global Security

Rome, 16 July, 2012



Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is for me a great pleasure to address such a distinguished international audience at the 29th International Workshop on Global Security.

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, security challenges have become more transnational and not any longer contained within national boundaries.

This is mainly due to two major historical developments occurred during the last two decades.

The first one, represented by a new and broader concept of security emerged in the post Cold War security environment, encompassing new components other than the pure military ones.

The second one represented by globalization, that is characterized by increased inter-dependence of the world economy but also by a real revolution in the way in which people come together, through global ways of doing business and trade, new ways of working on a global scale and new ways of communicating instantly across the world.

Thomas Freedman wrote eloquently of the positive global impact of “world flatteners” with knowledge and resources connecting globally, and Alfred Thayer Mahan of the strategic significance of the “global commons”: sea, air, space, and cyberspace.

But a more interdependent world can also be a more fragile one.

One billion people, including about 340 millions of the world’s extreme poor, are estimated to live in states which are very fragile.

The interconnection of fragile states and globalization also points out at the link between economics, governance and security. Increasingly post Cold War conflicts occur within states; and largely within fragile states.

The tensions deriving from these security challenges have lead to crises that the members of our transatlantic community have been forced to address far from our borders, going to the crisis before the crisis came to our doorsteps.

With the end of the Cold War, we have seen Europe, United States and Canada, come together, through NATO, to organize the international management of the crises of Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya, to protect civilians.

With the end of the Cold War a new and broader concept of security has emerged, one no longer characterized by the defense of the borders of our countries from clear and predictable security threats but rather, one characterized by multifaceted and multidimensional security challenges and threats that are more difficult to predict.

This broader approach to security recognizes the importance of political, economic, social and environmental factors, in addition to the indispensable defense dimension.

The consequence is therefore that international security and stability depend on political, economic, social, and environmental elements, alongside military aspects.

The scourge of international terrorism; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means, accompanied by the erosion of the nuclear non-proliferation regime; failing and failed states; the protection of sea lanes of communication and energy supply routes; cyber security and environmental challenges; affect us all. Their global character is evident.

But while we have made good progress in intensifying our efforts to fight terrorism and to promote international cooperation on environmental issues, I have the feeling that much more needs to be done when we look at new security challenges, such as for example: energy security and cyber security.

The increasing globalization of the oil market has increased the pace of exploration and production, thereby highlighting the need for energy security.

Substantial new oil reserves are being exploited worldwide but much of the new production will continue to be in the Middle East, whose overall contribution to world energy supply is actually likely to grow during the next 20 years.

At present, about 70 percent of proven oil reserves are in the Middle East. With new exploration, this percentage will likely increase and so will the overall contribution of Middle Eastern supply to world trade.

The Middle East region accounts for about 30 percent of the 82.1 million barrels a day of oil produced across the globe. The Gulf region in particular is the most important oil transit channel in the world, with about 15.5 million barrels per day, about a third of all seaborne oil. This region also exports about 18 percent of the world’s Liquefied Natural Gulf (LNG) production, with Qatar being the world leader in LNG exports. Current estimates are that by the end of 2012 Qatar will produce 77 million tons of LNG annually.

About three quarters of the oil produced in this region is sent to Japan, India, South Korea and China. The rest goes to Europe and North America creating a common interest of producers and of consumers in securing the shipping lanes.

Russia and the Middle East together, will continue to account for roughly three quarters of world gas reserves. Oil reserves in the Caspian Sea, in North Africa and Latin America and their exploitation, while diversifying energy production will not reduce the global importance of the Gulf in the next twenty years.

New trends after the next two decades could, according to many analysts, bring a major rise of energy demand in China and India that could be met through imports from the Gulf region and less from Russia and the Caspian.

Access to oil in adequate amounts and at reasonable prices will remain the key variable in the energy security equation over the next decades but it will also be accompanied by increasing attention to the supply and transport of natural gas. Think for example to the pipeline which, going through Tunisia and Sicily, allows Algerian and Libyan gas to reach the rest of Europe. Gas consumption is, indeed, growing fast in Western Europe and in Asia. It is therefore not a surprise that for countries in these continents gas figures as well very prominently in their energy security concerns.

When looking at the gas trade, we need also to consider that because Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) cooled to – 162 degrees Celsius is shipped in high technology and specially designed vessels, security at LNG terminals and at sea are crucial factors for both producers and consumers.

Because half of the world’s oil and the majority of the Liquefied Natural Gas are shipped by sea, even a brief blockage of oil and gas supplies could cause high price increases likely to threaten global economic growth.

Transport routes for oil and gas in and around the Middle East and from the Maghreb to the Caspian Sea, will be an important new factor in the strategic environment. More and more energy security in the region will be crucial for the security of transport and transit countries, as well as for the security and stability of producing ones.

Therefore ensuring the free flow and security of critical energy supplies against attack and disruption must be one of the new security priorities of the transatlantic community.

Allow me now to look at another transnational and more global new security challenge that needs our attention, because it has a direct impact on our daily safety and security.

Starting with Kosovo in 1999, when during the NATO operation Allied Force the web site of the Organization and the websites of Allies came under cyber attacks, to the attacks against Estonia in 2007, cyber security has revealed the importance to secure the digital infrastructure upon our economies and our military security depend on.

The communications and information technology revolution has made the world the Global Village that Herbert McLuhan had predicted, through our daily interaction in the cyberspace by the use of Iphones, BlackBerries, lap tops and tablets.

From our cellular communications to hospitals, from schools to airports, from classified military and security infrastructures, to the World Wide Web, security in cyberspace is crucial to our public safety and to our national security alike.

There is therefore a growing need to prepare our societies for cyber emergencies and for our states to develop strategies to manage successfully cyber crises that will necessitate both technical and political responses and which will require coordination across states, as well.

We will need to develop our ability to absorb new concepts in our strategic thinking such as, for example, the one of “cyber resilience”, which will involve making our digital infrastructure more resistant to penetration and disruption.

And we will need to develop new capabilities to defend against sophisticated cyber threats and to deal quickly with cyber emergencies, developing research capabilities to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats.

But as members of a transatlantic security Alliance, we will also need to define minimum requirements for cyber defense of national networks critical to the performance of NATO’s core security tasks of collective defense and crisis management.

Cyber defense could even give a total different meaning to article 4 and article 5 of the Washington Treaty.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Managing the diversity of security challenges and threats facing the transatlantic community requires a broad approach to security. This is reflected in three mutually reinforcing elements of our Allied security: policy, dialogue, co-operation, and the maintenance of an effective collective defense capability.

Maintaining our collective defense capability effective and efficient at a time of financially constrained budgets must be achieved by increasing “multi-nationality” whenever possible, to facilitate acquisition of high-end capabilities, avoiding national duplications and creating economies of scale. Thereby maximizing practical ways to provide security while minimizing costs to all member countries of NATO.

In this new political and strategic international environment, the success of a policy aimed at preserving peace and preventing war depends even more than in the past on effective preventive diplomacy and on the successful management of crises affecting our security.

No country can address alone these new, more complex and global security challenges and threats. Their successful management requires a multinational and cooperative approach to security.

This is indeed the approach that the transatlantic community has developed since the end of the Cold War, when we decided to undertake the transformation of NATO. We began at the Rome Summit in November 1991 when the Heads of State and Government of the Alliance decided to revise and make public for the first time NATO’s new Strategic Concept.

Since then, the Strategic Concept of the Alliance has been revised twice again, in Washington in April 1999 and in Lisbon in November 2010. These three Strategic documents give us indeed a detailed view of the major transformation NATO has undergone since the end of the Cold War, in order to adapt in a very flexible way to the fast changing security environment. I do believe that this has been a most successful transformation both on a political, diplomatic and military level.

Transformation for a security organization such as NATO is a continuous process. It never ends. In order to accomplish its core security tasks NATO must continue to transform, refining periodically its security concept; and making sure that its civilian and military structures are flexible enough to adapt to the evolution of a fast changing and unpredictable international security environment.

NATO embodies the transatlantic link by which the security of the United States and Canada is permanently tied to the security of Europe. As Hillary Clinton recently said: “Europe is and remains America’s partner of first resort”.

At the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, together with the core tasks of collective defense and crisis management, NATO’s Heads of State and Government have stressed the importance of “cooperative security”.

NATO’s cooperative approach to security has indeed enabled us to develop political consultations and practical cooperation with partner countries of the most diverse backgrounds and security cultures.

NATO is not and does not aspire to be, “the global cop”. It is not NATO that has become a global organization but rather, security challenges have become global in character. Consequently, in order to be an effective security provider for its members, NATO must be able to deal with the security challenges that affect the security of its members wherever they come from.

But in order to be an effective security provider, NATO must continue to improve its ability to work together with other security partners.

From the seven Mediterranean Dialogue countries and the Gulf countries in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, or the Structured Cooperation Framework with Iraq, to more global partners such as Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, NATO’s security partnerships have not only allowed to build a better mutual understanding but also to contribute to the successful management of security crises.

37 NATO and partner countries helped the people of Bosnia build better lives, 30 NATO and partner countries are doing the same in Kosovo, and 50 NATO and partner countries are currently helping Afghanistan to assume full responsibility of its own security by 2014, without help from outside. All these operations have been and are conducted on the ground, under UN mandate.

In Libya, most recently, we have seen NATO countries help protect the Libyan people together with five partner nations, four of which Arab partner countries members of the Mediterranean Dialogue and of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, saving countless lives.

And as promised in the Strategic Concept these operational partners were given, during NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and Libya, a structural role in shaping strategy and decisions of the operations in which they participated.

NATO has also been able to develop a comprehensive approach during the management of its operations, involving other international actors, such as the United Nations, the European Union and the OSCE and working in a complementary fashion with all of them, avoiding duplications. It has also reached out to new ones that have become increasingly more active internationally, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council and the League of Arab States, as we have seen during the Libyan crisis.

I am convinced therefore that our transatlantic community will be able to deal more effectively with today’s global security challenges, if it is able to develop political consultations and practical cooperation with a wide network of partnership countries and international organizations around the world.

This must be indeed our vision for the future. No country can successfully address alone the global security challenges of today’s complex world. By building a new culture of cooperation in the security sphere on a multilateral level, NATO and partner countries will be able to work together more effectively in order to promote better conditions of international security, stability and peace.

Thank you.