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Leaders from 34 NATO and EU nations, alongside partners from the civil and private sector, have concluded two days of discussions at the Interdependency in Resilience Conference.

The conference was jointly hosted by the City of Norfolk’s Mayor, The Honorable Kenneth Alexander, and the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Denis Mercier, and featured contributors from across the civil, private and military sectors. The discussion focused on how the Alliance can help nations and partners build resilience.

Building persistence in ‘resilience’ efforts and activities, not least through trusted and mutually reinforcing relationships, creates increased strategic awareness and understanding amongst NATO and EU nations and partners. Over 200 senior leaders supported the event, including Ambassador David O’ Sullivan, the European Union ambassador to the United States, and Mr Martin Stropnicky, the Minister of Defence for the Czech Republic.

“Traditional threats of yesterday, and the emerging threats of today, makes a more intricate global environment in which to safeguard peace and security across the Transatlantic link.” said Ambassador O’ Sullivan. “These daily threats are very real.”

The Conference featured open discussion panels, where panelists from across the civil, private and military sectors discussed ‘addressing resilience in the strategic environment’, ‘harnessing public-private partnerships’, ‘identifying risks and opportunities’ and ‘building resilience together’.

“NATO, and the defence world in its broadest sense, must reach “outside of the traditional walls” and engage more with a large spectrum of actors, in order to develop resilience” said General Mercier. “The City of Norfolk is confronted by natural events, and is also a strategic hub for both military and private organizations and recognised among the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Network, as THE city of resilience.”

The Interdependency in Resilience conference was designed and delivered in association with OAKAS Limited and the Rockefeller Foundation. The conference was also supported by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, who spoke during the conference and whose City is a fellow member of the 100 Resilient Cities network.

“Resilience is an inspiration! Norfolk is a global trade city and rising seas are a constant threat. Resiliency is the means by which we make decisions to ensure our readiness”, said Mayor of Norfolk, Kenneth Alexander.

The Interdependency in Resilience Conference discussions help nations deliver on their commitment from the 2016 Warsaw Summit to enhance resilience and set the stage for the upcoming NATO Heads of State and Government Meeting.

Norfolk, Virginia has been NATO’s home in North America since 1952. Every year, NATO’s Allied Command Transformation contributes $100 million dollars to the local economy. 

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