Atlantic Forum: the contribution of young people to NATO

From 9 to 11 April, the Atlantic Forum of NATO held its spring online conference. The Atlantic Forum is an initiative created by groups of young leaders from the Transatlantic Community & Pantheon Consultancy, in line with the policy of support to the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goals 16 and 17: Peace, Justice, Strong Institutions and Partnership. The network of young professionals aims at debating at the Atlantic level on issues such as security, peace, the values of democracy, the rule of law, freedom and strengthening the transatlantic bond.

The Debate Forum is the place where young professionals discuss how to achieve common and democratic goals in a security scenario, in order to educate and promote cooperation between allied countries, NATO partners, EU members and partners. The attempt is to create responsible future leaders who have an understanding of and are committed to the values of the North Atlantic Treaty and the Euro-Atlantic Community in general.

Words such as 'collaboration' and 'youth networking' to spread the values of the Alliance were echoed many times. On the opening day of the spring conference, the Deputy Secretary General, Mircea Geoană, highlighted the important contribution of young people to NATO. The role of these professionals is crucial in shaping the future of NATO, in upholding the Alliance's values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Involving young people in the work of the organisation is an effort that is also being rewarded through the first Alliance Youth Summit, which implements and encourages youth participation through the development of the NATO 2030 initiative.

Several topics were addressed during the three-day Atlantic Forum spring online conference: the already mentioned NATO 2030 initiative, external relations and how to expand strategic interests. With regard to the latter, emphasis was placed on the involvement of the United States of America in the Alliance, the long-standing relationship with Turkey and the possibility of implementing the controversial NATO enlargement. These are relevant circumstances on which a discussion should be started, in order to address with clarity and foresight a satisfactory solution at Euro-Atlantic level.

The focal point of the conference was the space given to the well-being of law, namely lawfare: how law can be used as an instrument of hybrid warfare in order to counter terrorism. Climate change, reducing the environmental impact of military operations, and space exploration were also discussed in order to ensure security and lasting peace for all mankind.

It is important to underline the strong transatlantic bond that emerged at the conference, the will to build more resilient societies and to maintain the technological edge of the Atlantic Alliance. Always looking to the future, maintaining the security of billions of people living in NATO and non-NATO countries.

Article translated by: Elena Briasco

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  • L'Autore

    Valeria Lavano

    IT: Valeria Lavano, studentessa italo-canadese nel corso di Laurea Magistrale in Studi Politici Internazionali presso l’Università degli Studi di Roma Tre. Ha conseguito un Master of Science in International Cooperation, Finance and Development e una laurea triennale in Scienze Politiche e delle Relazioni Internazionali.

    La sua passione per la politica e le relazioni internazionali è stata coltivata anche grazie alle molteplici esperienze vissute, quali la partecipazione attiva ai Seminari di studio preparatori alle carriere internazionali e comunitarie dell'Associazione Europea di Studi Internazionali (AESI) e la Summer School "Acting EuHope" dell'Istituto Toniolo, sotto l’Alto Patrocinio del Parlamento Europeo e con il Patrocinio della Rappresentanza in Italia della Commissione Europea, nel 2017. Dal 2015 è Membro dell'équipe nazionale del Movimento Studenti di Azione Cattolica (MSAC).

    Nella realtà di Mondo Internazionale ricopre il ruolo di Autrice per l’area tematica “Organizzazioni Internazionali”.

    EN: Valeria Lavano is an Italian-Canadian student in the Master of Science program in International Political Studies at the University of Roma Tre. She obtained a Master of Science in International Cooperation, Finance and Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations.

    Her passion for politics and international relations has been developed also thanks to the multiple experiences she lived, such as the active participation in the Preparatory Study Seminars for International and EU careers of the European Association of International Studies (AESI) and the Summer School "Acting EuHope" of the Toniolo Institute, under the High Patronage of the European Parliament and with the Patronage of the Representation in Italy of the European Commission, in 2017. Since 2015, she has been a Member of the national team of the Student Movement of Catholic Action (MSAC).

    In Mondo Internazionale, she is an Author for the "International Organizations" thematic area.

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