- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly 19-22 May 2023 Spring Session took place at the European Convention Centre Luxembourg. The delegation met with our Ambassador Fleur Thomas who briefed us on the background and the issues in the country. Nearly 44% of the population have come from outside Luxembourg. The local standing communities are the Portuguese and the Italians. Luxembourg has the highest GDP per head of population.
The UK delegation had two bilateral meetings. the first with the Ukraine delegation (right) and s delegation from Belarus with the national Leader of Belarus and head of the United Transition Cabinet, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
The Plenary session took place on Monday 22 May 2023 and we heard from the President of the Parliamentary Assembly Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, and the Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg HE Mr Xavier Bettell (left) and other speakers.
There were two Declarations which we agreed subject to amendments. There was a vote on the amendments and the Declarations. The Declarations were ” A New Nato in an Age of Strategic Competition: Accelerationg NATO’s adaptation at the Vilnius Summit and 2. Untied and Resolute in Support of Ukraine. A key amendment was to explicitly recognize the Wagner Group as a criminal and terrorist organisation and to firmly condemn its actions in Ukraine and other parts of the world. The Declarations will be forwarded to the Villnius Summit in Lithuania for consideration by the NATO members.
The first session of the Political Committee heard reports on Russia’s War against Ukraine:Rethinking the Global Order and lessons Learned for NATO. On the Report: The future of NATOs Open Door policy, I asked if the process for Ukraine to be given candidate status could be included in the Report making it clear what needs to be done for candidate status as the EU have granted. (Para 61). It was agreed to be included. (Left UK delegation with Ukraine observers)
An important report was presented to the Political Committee by Theo Francken (Belgium) entitled Shifting Geopolitics in Iran and the Gulf I acknowledged it was a prescient report which noted that the Gulf monarchies are seeking to deepen their own ties with China and Russia. It is vital to ensure that the Centre for Democratic Resilience is set up as agreed within NATO HQ.
Finland accession to NATO was welcomed and it is hoped that Sweden’s membership will be complete by the Villnius Summit. NATO also has established an office in Japan. The next summit will be held in Villnius, Lithuania on 11-12 July 2023.