Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My statement from the NATO parliamentary assembly 161110

(The NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen chose to send the NATO Parliamentary Assembly a video message instead of showing up in person. His excuse was he was too busy preparing for a Summit meetings of Heads of State and Government later this month. An insult to the parliamentary process. I decided to address this despite there were no Q&A after the video, I was granted the space to do this. Heads of state are serving the parliaments and the parliaments are serving the people. It is important to always remember this. Rasmussen seems to have forgotten this obvious fact.)

Statement made by Mrs. Birgitta Jonsdottir, member of the Icelandic delegation to the NATO-PA, 16 November 2010 at the Annual Session in Warsaw (after Secretary General of NATO´S video message)

Thank you Mr. President,

I greatly appreciate the Assembly’s stated purpose to provide a forum for the exercise of parliamentary scrutiny of NATO and to create a context for the Alliance to be ruled in a democratic fashion.  At a national level, subjecting military establishments to democratic control is no easy task. But it becomes even more challenging in a multi-national context.

I therefore find it utterly baffling that the Secretary General of NATO has chosen not to appear before this body today. I also understand that he did not meet with the heads of our delegations at the annual February meeting in Brussels.

Secretary Generals of large alliances are indeed busy people, particularly when those alliances are entangled in tragic wars. But what we are talking about here is a wilful effort on the part of the Secretary General to avoid subjecting himself and his institution to the essential and sometimes uncomfortable rigors of democratic accountability.

To put it bluntly, we did not travel to Warsaw to conduct a dialogue with a video image of the Secretary General of NATO. Speaking with a television is, in itself, a rather absurd exercise – but it becomes well nigh impossible when that image is a pre-recorded one. I suspect that I am not the only parliamentarian who sees this matter as an affront to the people we represent.

I would therefore like to urge the leadership of the Assembly to make it very clear to the current Secretary General that our members will not tolerate any deviation of the very fundamental exercise in democratic scrutiny. NATO cannot be allowed to become an unaccountable body.


Deep Politics Forum said...

In the politics of theater your statement is important. They need to be publicly called on their behavior and you are in the position to do so. NATO is an inherently anti-democratic and unaccountable institution. They exist to further the ...Reich wing agenda and by pass the nation-state institutions of accountability that might put a brake on the eastward global onslaught of NATO. If you are not already in contact with him already please make yourself known to Rick Rozoff. He has been documenting NATO since the 'humanitarian' bombing campaign of Yugoslavia. He is very knowledgeable in this area and is very helpful. He can be reached His Stop NATO group here:
His website here:


David Raymond Amos said...

Here Here

Well said.

My hat is off to you lady. I wish there were a 1000 more like you in a hundres countries to speak ethically on behalf of all ae children's futures.

Veritas Vincit
David Raymond Amos

Mikaela Åkerman said...


Hi Birgitta.
I'm a Swedish journalist looking to get in contact with you. I've sent you an e-mail with my requests and contact information.
I'd very much appreciate if you could get back to me as soon as possible.
Many thanks.
Mikaela Åkerman
Reporter, Svenska Dagbladet

Frank de Groot said...


(Is there the word "brave" in "bravo"?)