Today NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg released his Annual Report

On 14 March 2023, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg released his Annual Report for 2023.

The world faces greater challenges than it has for generations. Rising competition with authoritarian states including Russia and China, war in Europe and the Middle East, terrorism, cyber-attacks and the climate crisis. We need NATO more than ever. Europe and North America united in NATO, stand strong and ready to protect and defend our 32 countries and one billion people.

In 2023, our Alliance became bigger, stronger and more capable. Finland became a NATO Ally, and only last week we welcomed Sweden as a member. At our Vilnius Summit in July 2023, Allies agreed robust new defence plans, backed by hundreds of thousands of troops at a high state of readiness, ready to defend every inch of NATO territory.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, here at a press conference in July 2021. Photo: NATO.
At the Vilnius Summit, Allies agreed to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence. In 2024, we expect around 18 Allies will meet or exceed this target, up from just three in 2014. Allies also agreed a new Defence Production Action Plan to provide the weapons and ammunition we need for a credible deterrence and defence, and to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom.
In 2023, we brought Ukraine closer to our Alliance. We established the NATO-Ukraine Council, continued to provide tens of billions of dollars in military, financial and humanitarian aid, and removed the need for a Membership Action Plan. All Allies agree that Ukraine will become a member of NATO.
In this report, you will read how NATO is evolving to deal with the many threats we face. It covers NATO’s work and achievements throughout the year, including at the Vilnius Summit and our determined support for Ukraine.
In 2023, NATO commissioned surveys across all 31 Allies and in Sweden (then invitee) to understand our citizens’ perceptions of NATO. Support for our Alliance, the transatlantic bond and collective defence remains strong. 82% believe collaboration between North America and Europe on safety and security matters is important.
This report also includes details of estimated 2023 national defence expenditures for all 31 NATO Allies. 2023 saw the ninth annual increase in defence spending, with an unprecedented 11% increase across European Allies and Canada. By the end of 2024, European Allies and Canada will have spent an additional $600 billion on defence since Allies agreed the Defence Investment Pledge in 2014.
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