On Wednesday, during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres (22 September 2021). The two leaders discussed NATO and the UN’s commitment to international peace and security, as well as efforts to strengthen bilateral collaboration in areas including peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.
The situation in Afghanistan was discussed by the Secretaries-General. Mr. Stoltenberg briefed Mr. Guterres on NATO’s ongoing efforts to bring at-risk Afghans to safety, emphasizing the necessity of holding the Taliban to fulfill duties, which include the safe passage, human rights, and terrorism.
Other serious security issues discussed by the two presidents included climate change as a crisis multiplier. Mr. Stoltenberg stated that combating climate change has become a top priority for NATO and that the Alliance is taking steps to address it – including defense planning and capability development, exercises, and assessments – with a clear political commitment among Allies to significantly reduce military emissions and contribute to the Net Zero goal.
Over the last decade, NATO and the UN have increased their cooperation. NATO’s support for UN peacekeeping operations, counter-terrorism, civilian protection, and the Women, Peace, and Security agenda are all top priorities for collaborative engagement. NATO has contributed to the development of UN guidelines for countering improvised explosive devices and has sent experts to assist in UN peacekeeping training operations. As part of the reaction to COVID-19, Allied airlift assisted the World Food Programme in delivering a field hospital to Ghana in 2020.